Neighborhood Hero Tony Gallegos

Tony Gallegos was a huge part of El Monte’s CIF and State Championships in 2019

By George Hernandez

[Norwalk] – On April 15th, 2024, the coaching community lost a great coach and mentor, Tony Gallegos, who passed away in a tragic work accident at the age of 43. 

“This has been the hardest write up I’ve ever done. I’m trying my best to describe a man that was family to me. A man that I’ve seen change many lives in the 10 years I coached side by side with him. I Love you Coach. I’ll see you on the other side.” – George Hernandez 

Tony Gallegos (second from right) was a dedicated family man.

Gallegos served as a long-time youth football coach for the Norwalk Saints and the Paramount Razorbacks. In 2011, he joined Jesse Ceniceros’ staff at Norwalk. 

Tony went from freshmen coach to varsity defensive back coach at Chino and, in 2018, took over as defensive coordinator at El Monte for Ceniceros. Gallegos had a great two-year run there, winning two Mission Valley League titles and a CIF and state championship in 2019.

But Gallegos’ first love was his family, especially his kids Max, Matthew, Mary, Mallory, and his wife Virginia. He coached Max and Matthew through youth football. Max was the starting center at El Monte in 2018 and ’19. Tony was also the guardian of Lions legend Davon Booth, whom he introduced as his stepson. 

Tony was a jokester who ensured everyone was on their toes because if you weren’t, you would be made fun of. 

Loyalty to his staff and players was another thing he was known for as he was always willing to help the younger coaches and go above and beyond for players. 

Coach Anthony Romero, who passed away in early March after a battle with cancer, I’m sure was waiting at the white pearly gates with a new pair of New Balance shoes for him. 

Tony Gallegos will be missed by all of the lives he touched.

Coach Gallegos will be truly missed by everyone he came in touch with. 

“If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know what I would be doing right now or where I would be without our talks.” said Ben Owsley, former El Monte player, via Instagram. 

“Coach Gallegos was a dude! One of my guys who was much more than a coach on my staff. He was someone I considered as family. He was one of the hardest-working and dedicated men I knew. Your legacy will live on forever! Rest in Peace, Coach,” said Sierra Vista head coach and former El Monte Coach Ceniceros.

Please leave memories with Coach Gallegos in the comments for family and friends.


Click the link above to donate to the Tony Gallegos Memorial Fundraiser.

12 Comments to "Neighborhood Hero Tony Gallegos"

  1. Albert S Hernandez II's Gravatar Albert S Hernandez II
    April 27, 2024 - 11:52 am | Permalink

    you were a great nephew who always showed love and respect to your tio growing up, you always greeted me with that big smile of yours. Whenever we played basketball at Cherry park you were my toughest opponent on the court, you were stronger and faster and made it difficult for me when we competed.. sometimes i think you let me win because i was your uncle..that was just the heart you had for family.. I ‘m so proud of the man you became. As a dad and coach, you handled your business in life…you showed your children a strong work ethic and how to be a loving father..Give Grandma Mary a hug and kiss when you see her, I know she was there to welcome you into the Lord’s Kingdom.
    love you Mijo and God Bless

    Psalms 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”
    Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”

  2. Francine's Gravatar Francine
    April 26, 2024 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    You’re such an amazing cousin/brother!
    Your love, loyalty and admiration for family was always 💯 especially for your seeds! I will miss those long talks about life we use to have. The challenges we faced always made us do better, you showed so many on how to not quit when life got hard! Love you P aka “Baloo”! You will be forever remembered as a loyal dedicated HERO to me! Much love & respect for you brother!

  3. Pseudonym's Gravatar Pseudonym
    April 21, 2024 - 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Damn. Too many seemingly good men taken before their time leaving behind families, friends, and communities in their wake. I know the pain myself. Godspeed to all involved.

  4. David Ruiz's Gravatar David Ruiz
    April 20, 2024 - 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Tony, I have so many great memories of us growing up together. My Primo Tony is a person you could always count on with a huge heart that did everything and anything for his family especially his kids.
    I love you P you’ll be missed till we’re together again.
    Grief is the price of love which I am gladly to pay in full…

  5. April 19, 2024 - 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Tony Gallegos was a truly nice and kind person. He was a valuable member of El Monte’s staff and coaching staff. Tony was good for students and had a unique way he connected with people, students and adults. His kind nature and positive outlook on life was contagious. We will miss Coach Gallegos and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. Max and Mary, you are in our thoughts.

  6. cv falcon parent's Gravatar cv falcon parent
    April 19, 2024 - 7:30 am | Permalink

    May God Bless him and his family. And may the young men that played for him be positive influences in their community.

  7. Aylin Castellanos's Gravatar Aylin Castellanos
    April 18, 2024 - 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Biggest jokester I knew for real. You will be missed Bigums. Thank you for all you did for Adalynn & I. We love you! 🕊️💙 LLW

  8. Mary Gallegos's Gravatar Mary Gallegos
    April 18, 2024 - 9:47 pm | Permalink

    I love you dad 🕊️💚
    Best father / Bestfriend I could ever ask for !

  9. God Bless's Gravatar God Bless
    April 18, 2024 - 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Wishing his family and friends all the strength in the world to deal with this tragedy. The Mid Valley sports devotees are in your corner.

  10. April 18, 2024 - 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your loving caring words..My Son leaves a Legacy and I’m so proud he was my child! RIP Mijo

  11. Virginia gallegos's Gravatar Virginia gallegos
    April 18, 2024 - 8:36 pm | Permalink

    We love you coach you are family !! Thank you 🤍

  12. Coach Coach's Gravatar Coach Coach
    April 18, 2024 - 7:38 pm | Permalink

    As a coach of 50 years I never got Tired of our football practices and games and being around the family of coaches.. I’ll never forget the championship game he couldn’t take the bus ride up to Crescent city with us Because he had to work but drove all night to be at the game I remember How tired he looked that night, but as soon as that game got started, he coached that defense and boy what a Defensive game we had on that championship night !!!
    That was Coach G … May GOD BLESS YOU and All the FAMILY!!

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