"Highly recommended"..."Champion of the Barrio: The Legacy of Coach Buryl Baty is a biography of Buryl Baty (1924-1954), a successful athlete and coach who is especially notable for taking a stand against bigotry and discrimination. A breakout high school football player turned star quarterback of Texas A&M University, and drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1947, Baty chose to focus on coaching. He coached teams at Luling High School in 1949, and in 1950, he earned the position of head football coach at Bowie High School in El Paso. Baty observed that the athletes he coached, all Mexican-Americans from the Segundo Barrio, suffered greatly from the ingrained racism of the time. His inspirational efforts to resist discrimination and usher his team to championship status spread pride throughout the barrio community. Yet, in 1954, just as his team had the chance to win its third district title, a sudden highway accident shattered their world and ended Baty's life far too soon. In 2013, Baty's legacy was commemorated with a posthumous induction into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame. Champion of the Barrio is more than a biography; it includes firsthand memories of author R. Gaines Baty, Buryl Baty's son, and the testimonies of nearly one hundred individuals who knew Baty during his life."
"This is an evocative, heartfelt book about borders--a border town; the invisible border that divided Texans in the mid-20th century; and how Buryl Baty, an Anglo man with a football pedigree, reached across that line to influence scores of Latinos through the game he knew and loved. Champion of the Barrio is an important contribution to our understanding of the power of sports to reach, teach, and transform, and a vivid portrait of an inspirational figure who was cut down too soon."
"The spirit of Buryl Baty lives on so strongly in our hearts and minds because this man was a hero to us all. Coach Baty was a God-send, touching so many lives. He left us too soon but he left his legacy of inspiration, social consciousness and love. This book is a ‘Must Read!"
“Perhaps the most talented and gifted athlete to ever come out of Paris High School…a coach would consider himself mightily blessed to get one Buryl Baty during his coaching career.”
“You could not grow up in Paris, Texas without knowing about Buryl Baty. I’ve heard about him all my life, and now I know why. He took on the world, and he won. This is an inspiring account and a great read.”
“It’s fun learning about Coach Baty. He could run. He could pass. He was a great leader on and off the field. It’s a great story about a great man.”
“A great story about a man who touched lives and is still touching them even though he is gone. His son, Gaines Baty, was a student of mine at Texas Tech and played football for the Red Raiders. He is a fine man who had a great dad. This book is a good read about character and football.”
“The author describes his father as a hero and a legend, and by the end of the story the case is made. Buryl Baty was an athlete and a coach, but he is a legend because he inspired young Latinos to reach for a better life. The young people of El Paso’s Segundo Barrio faced prejudice every day…many readers will be shocked at the vicious treatment Coach Baty’s young players received…. Discrimination against Latinos is not as familiar to most Americans as discrimination against African-Americans. Coach Baty’s fight against racism and bigotry should resonate with readers.”
"I believe in this story and in the power of one person to change the lives of the young people entrusted to his care—in this case a football team who Coach Baty would not allow to be discriminated against. It is powerful and uplifting."
“I knew Buryl Baty well. He created a glorious era and legacy for his team and school, and it was unbelievable how he captured El Paso’s heart. This is a gripping story – that brought tears to my eyes. Buryl Baty’s name lives on.”