Juan Francisco "Kiko" Farias

Baseball Coach
Laredo Optimist Little League Team
Texas State Play-offs- Final Four- Breckendridge 1964

The late Juan Francisco "Kiko" Farias, Little League coach, who devoted 21 summers of his life unselfishly and with pride to the children of Laredo is the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame "Sportsman of the Year" for 1999 in baseball. Kiko, as he was affectionately called, participated in basketball and football at Martin High School. In 1956, he began his Little League coaching career as an assistant to Coach Celestino Camarillo of the Sioux team, a member of the newly formed Indian Nations Little League. The league was later renamed the Optimist Little League. Little League in the 1950's and 1960's was the summertime activity in Laredo. Its importance to the children of Laredo, especially those from low income families, cannot be overemphasized. His involvement in the team gave him an opportunity to work with young children. During the 21 years he was directly involved with Little League, he became known for fielding strong teams with excellent fundamentals, discipline and respect. Coach Farias had ten pennant-winning League teams and as manager of the All-Star Teams he won four District Championships. In 1964, he managed the Optimist All-Star Team to the Texas State Championship Tournament Final Four. This team was the first in Laredo history to reach the State Finals. While not winning at State, his team was awarded the "Good Sportsmanship" trophy for its on and off field behavior. Kiko Farias' most lasting and important contribution to Laredo Little League is not the number of games or pennants he won but the lasting impression he left on the kids whose lives he touched. He instilled pride and respect in each and every individual and a sense of being able to become the best each could be.

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Proposed museum location is downtown Laredo, Texas, intersection, Farragut at Juarez Ave.