With help from friends, former McCollum coach Delgadillo lands at East Central

It was almost as if East Central was calling Hector Delgadillo back to San Antonio.

The former McCollum coach first learned about the opening at East Central from former Edison baseball coach Ruben DeLeon, who now is the football coach at Pearsall. Separately Eric Vasquez, who coached the Hornets from 2020 to 2022, recommended Delgadillo for his vacated job.

“Suzette (Arriola, athletic director) asked who I thought would do a great job at East Central,” said Vasquez, who accepted the job at Sotomayor, a new Northside ISD school.

“And I mentioned Hector Delgadillo. I knew he did a great job at McCollum and he’s done a great job at Cameron Yoe since. I know he’ll be successful. He’s a really great guy.”

East Central finished 15-12 overall this year and swept a series against Clemens to claim fourth place in District 27-6A with a 7-7 mark.

In three years under Vasquez, the Hornets compiled a 43-24-3 record and qualified for the playoffs both times they had the opportunity. The postseason was canceled because of COVID-19 in 2020.

Delgadillo coached McCollum to a 53-39 record from 2014 to 2017. Under his guidance, the Cowboys won an outright, undefeated district championship in 2015 and shared a district title in 2016.

“I just feel a lot more confident with all the experience I’ve had at Yoe and McCollum,” Delgadillo said. “The district is tough, but that’s just going to mean that we have to be ready every game.”

In five seasons at Cameron Yoe, Delgadillo guided the team to three Class 3A playoff appearances, including a trip to the Region III finals in 2021 and the regional semifinals this year.

His girlfriend’s daughter will attend the University of Texas-San Antonio this fall and his parents are in town, so Delgadillo asked DeLeon and other coaches to look for area coaching vacancies.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity to come back to San Antonio,” Delgadillo said. “I feel like the community is very similar to where I’ve coached in the past — South San and McCollum. I felt like I could fit in and knew East Central had good quality kids.”

Vasquez has been in touch with his successor, contacting Delgadillo first to gauge his interest and later to let him know details about the program.

“From what I’ve heard, it’s a great baseball community and a great all-sports community,” Delgadillo said. “Suzanne has done a great job as athletic director.”

In nearly the same sense as with Delgadillo, the pieces fell into place for Vasquez to return to Northside ISD. He was a lead assistant coach at Holmes from 2013 to 2016.

“It was an opportunity to start a program at a brand new school,” Vasquez said. “I’ve never been able to experience that.”

Vasquez coached Hornets standouts Matthew Luna, who signed with Texas Tech, and Maddox Miesse, who signed with Abilene Christian. Miesse was one of four key Hornets that sustained serious injuries this season.

“I’m so proud of the whole program,” Vasquez said. “We had super tough luck this year, but we have some really good kids coming up and I know the program is in good hands.”

In the second week of June, Delgadillo was tying up loose ends in Cameron.

“I just want to get the kids used to my style of coaching,” he said, “and to get the parents involved, so they understand how I operate as a coach. The plan is just to get these kids to trust the process.”

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