Rivera Coach Reaches 500

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BROWNSVILLE – Two years after graduating from college, Mary Elizabeth Avelar-Guerra took over the volleyball program at Rivera High School. She immediately put her finger prints on the program.

“I implemented a lot of what they thought was a little crazy, but it was just stuff that I knew from traveling because I played all over Texas,” said Avelar-Guerra.

In 25 years, Avelar-Guerra has quite the coaching resume. District titles, area championships, coach of the year, regional tournaments, the list goes on. Throughout her entire career, she’s pushed student-athletes to be great.

“When I started none would play club or anything like that,” said Avelar-Guerra. “There’s a lot of stuff that I learned that I could teach them along the way.”

Avelar-Guerra’s 25th season brought her greatest milestone yet. Coach recently picked up her 500th career win.

“It was her goal and our goal to work as a team to help her to get to that five hundredth win,” said senior Litzy Medina. “It’s honestly the best feeling in the world.”

“Just remembering it makes me smile and gives me chills,” said senior Stephanie Garza. “She’s done so much for us everyday she’s out here.”

“It’s really cool,” said Avelar-Guerra. “But I give a lot of credit to my staff. My staff helps me an awful lot. I don’t do it by myself.”

Over the years, Coach Avelar-Guerra and her husband Richard have become a great one-two punch as Rivera volleyball coaches. They’re also a dynamic duo as parents. Their daughter Richelle is now in 7th grade. That means in just a couple of years, she’ll have the chance to join mom and dad on the Raiders’ court.

Rivera continues district play Tuesday against Harlingen.


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