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Lansing Eastern football stadium to be named after former coach, teacher

Posted at 9:32 PM, Dec 01, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Lansing Eastern High School is honoring one of its former teachers and coaches by naming its football stadium in his honor.

Gilberto Sauceda worked for Lansing Eastern from 1979 to 1993. During that time, he taught English, coached football and served as an assistant principal.

In 1993, he became a member of the Michigan High School Association Hall of Fame.

But Sauceda's impact extended beyond coaching.

Marcelle Carruthers, Lansing Eastern's principal, was taught and coached by Sauceda in the early 1980s. He described his former instructor as part of the "fabric" of the community.

“He was always there, whether it be morning, noon or night. He was always available," Carruthers said.

But Carruthers was not the only Lansing principal who was coached and taught by Sauceda. He also taught the principal of Sexton High School and the former principal of Haslett High School.

Nino Rodriguez, a member of the Lansing School Board of Trustees, remembers how when he served as assistant principal and Sauceda was a teacher, the coach would visit his office and say hello every morning before class.

“Gilberto was a very special human being, always taking care of his family, taking care of the students, taking care of the school," Rodriguez said. "He not only cared about the students that were part of the team, but also all the rest of the students in the high school.”

Guillermo López, another member of the Lansing School Board of Trustees, said he even experienced the community's adoration of Sauceda during his campaign for Lansing City Council.

“One of my campaigns for office was in his neighborhood and the first thing that I was asked was ‘Do you know Coach Sauceda? Do you know Gil?’" López said. "And I said yes, I know Gil. So forget my campaign. We talked about the coach and how what a good neighbor he was.”

López said the school board plans to invite many of Sauceda's former players and students to the dedication, which will take place next year in time for the start of football season.

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