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Laredo College instructor remembered with bench dedication

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Laredo College paid tribute to one of its longest-serving faculty members, a woman who left an indelible mark and impacted thousands of students’ lives throughout her distinguished 46-year career at the college.

Dr. Sara Campos Carrasco, a Laredo College kinesiology instructor and tennis coach, passed away on July 22, 2022. Her spirit will live on through the many lives she touched and the legacy of service she left behind.

On Thursday, Aug. 25, Laredo College leaders, faculty, staff and Dr. Carrasco’s family gathered for a special commemoration ceremony to officially dedicate a bench in her honor. The bench is on the east side of the Maravillo Gym at the Laredo College Ft. McIntosh Campus, a place she called a second home for over four decades.

Dr. Carrasco joined the Laredo Junior College Palominos in 1971. By the spring of 1972, she was coaching the first women’s and men’s tennis teams, a position she held for 26 years. She dedicated her life to teaching and raising awareness about the effects of heart disease and diabetes.

A trailblazer in many ways, she was the first woman inducted into the NJCAA Tennis Hall of Fame and Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. Under her leadership, the Palominos captured the Texas Junior College Athletic Conference championship in both men’s and women’s divisions in 1995.

She was a maternal figure to her students and student-athletes alike. She dedicated countless hours mapping out their academic plans, often going out of her way to find funds to cover their tuition, books, meals and housing.

Among the courses she taught at the college were weight training, water aerobics, indoor cycling, badminton, bowling, basketball, aerobics, tennis, sports officiating, introduction to physical fitness and wellness, foundations of kinesiology, first aid and concepts of physical fitness.

Her family, friends and co-workers remember her passion and advocacy for living a healthy lifestyle and describe her as a loving, energetic and caring person.

The Carrasco family chose a quote by John Wooden to describe the impact she had on her students and athletes: “A good coach can change the game. A great coach can change a life.”

“Sara was one of a kind–energetic, enthusiastic, generous and brought joy to the lives of many people,” the family said in a statement. “It was through education where Sara had an impact forming life-long relationships with her students. Sara’s inspiration, sense of humor and tenacity brought a whole new perspective on living a healthy and fulfilling life. They say it’s easy to make a buck, but it’s a lot tougher to make a difference.”

Dr. Carrasco’s legacy will forever be cherished by all who knew her, and her name will be permanently imprinted on the beautiful bench named in her honor.

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