Falcons Remember Coach Herrera’s Legacy
On November 11, 2019, John A. Ferguson lost one of the brightest and most positive members of its staff.
Mr. Herrera was a fantastic teacher and mentor, but to most, he was a great friend. What stood out about him was his constant optimism towards his coworkers as well as students and players alike.
“Mr. Herrera was a great human being both on and off the field…He would always treat everyone with the respect they deserved. He always had a smile on his face, and a hunger to win and get better. He considered us as one big family,” said baseball player Alvaro Gil, 11th grader.
This was the message that Mr. Herrera consistently communicated to his athletes, in efforts to inspire them and help them become better players and human beings.
Proclaimed by his peers to be the ‘king of bad puns,’ he often had a knack for making everyone around him laugh. “He was just that kind of guy, he was always really selfless, and he always put others above himself. Baseball was his passion, and he always loved being out on the field with his kids, and his immense character is already being missed here,” said his assistant coach. He and the rest of the Ferguson staff agree that Coach Herrera will be missed dearly.
Mr. Herrera would preach “It’s not where you’re at, it’s where you’re going.”
He always expressed the values of progress and growth in life with his students.
Mr. Herrera made a huge impact on their lives. He had a dedication to his players and the game. His relationship with his players was like no other. He was like a best friend or a brother; He would relate to them on another level.
“Coach Herrera was a big part of our lives and he taught us not only baseball but things to prepare all of us for life. We miss him more than anyone can imagine. His energy on the field is something you don’t get from a lot of coaches. We are his legacy, and we will make sure his name lives on,” said baseball player Luis Ochoa, 11th grader.
This notion was also the same in the classroom. His students say he would go beyond when it came to interactions with them as a teacher. He loved making connections with students, teaching them the value of life, and how they should live their lives to the fullest.
“He taught us not only about algebra but also about life. He was one of those teachers who really cared about his students. He was a sweet person in general. He was very inspiring and motivational. One class after he was done teaching the lesson, he began to teach us life lessons for the rest of the class. He guided us to a better path and taught us how to become better people,” said one of his students, sophomore Jade Lasprilla.
His students looked up to Mr. Herrera as a great role model and friend. “There was so much of him that embraced education in the classroom, but he embraced it as a human being even more…He left behind such an incredible legacy, one that was positive, reinforcing, and which really honored what our school is really about on the social and emotional side of it,” said principal Villalobos. “I’m really proud and honored to have had the opportunity to know him as a human being first and foremost, and have him work with us to have him touch the lives of so many students and staff members.”
Mr. Herrera will always be remembered for the warmth and familiarity that he shared with many students. “Mr. Herrera was always super positive, and he had such a bright personality,” said student Yelenis Gonzalez, 10th grader.
He had only been a part of the Falcon family for a year, but in that year he has made a huge impact on the lives of many. He had a passion to teach, coach, and guide students with a warm and kind heart. He was the type of person who would light up every room and put a smile on everyone’s face. What was most highlighted about Mr. Herrera was the warmth and familiarity that he shared with dozens of students. It is truly inspiring how many students and staff his captivating personality touched.
Coach Herrera played a big role in shaping and introducing the HSBN (High School Baseball Network) to the Miami-area. Originally starting as the unionization between high school baseball coaches in Broward. It took a year for the Miami baseball community to join in, and it’s known that Mr. Herrera had a heavy influence on the merger.
It is clear for everyone that he will be truly missed. A memorial meeting was held after school to take time to remember all that this friend and mentor has done for them.
Students, faculty, and family all stood together to pray and share their experiences with him. Prayers and condolences are given out to his wife, Lisette, and their 14-year-old son A.J.
A GoFundMe page was created by his assistant coach in efforts to support the Herrera family. The goal is set at 30,000 and in a matter of weeks, the page has raised about $16,000. Any donations are graciously appreciated.
The Talon staff mourns the passing of Coach Herrera and we give our condolences to those he is survived by.
Rest in Peace Mr. Herrera.
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