Former Valley coach laid to rest


MERCEDES, Texas – A hero to the community will be laid to rest. It’s a story of a heroic man who did everything to prosper in life. From coaching high school football to mowing lawns with no limbs.

Iliana Ayala, daughter, “He was disabled, he didn’t have arms or legs but that didn’t stop him.”

Rene Ayala, a former Mercedes High School star running back in the 90’s, lost his arms and legs during an apartment fire while rescuing his wife and children.

”His children were his trophies. He didn’t need no gold medals. He didn’t need no recognition for himself.” said his daughter.

Despite his disability, Rene Ayala did everything to help athletes in the Valley succeed. From coaching little league football in La Feria to coaching high school students in Edcouch-Elsa.

“He was not afraid to get on the floor and show what needs to be done or what needs to be fixed.”

Ayala’s family and friends describe him as a hard working man who made a strong impact on people in the Valley.

“He was someone to look up to, a great man.” said a family friend.

Iliana Ayala, “We see all the support that we have. We know our dad made a great impact in this community, these cities.”

In need of cash with the desire to continue providing for his family, Ayala started mowing lawns by attaching the law mower to his wheelchair. He even went as far as installing fences and unloading trailers of bricks to pay for his sons college tuition.

“He did a lot more than what people with arms and legs did.” added Ayala’s friend.

Today a true hero was laid to rest. Ayala leaves behind three daughters and three sons. Along with an entire community who thanks him for his courage and desire to help others.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to pay for funeral arrangements. If you would like to help with the expenses visit:

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