PI alumnus-turned-NFL-coach becomes resource

By Gaige Davila

Juan Castillo at Port Isabel High School on Jan. 19. Courtesy photo.

It’s possible the Tarpons will get exclusive NFL expertise this summer, after a visit from Juan Castillo.

Castillo, who currently works in the NFL as the Offensive Line Coach for the Chicago Bears, visited his alma mater this past week. Castillo graduated from Port Isabel High School (PIHS) in 1978. 

Castillo spoke with PIHS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Tony Villarreal and some members of PIHS’ coaching staff for half an hour in an impromptu meeting. The conversations were insightful and practical, Villarreal said. 

“There’s no excuse for not working hard, that’s what we got from Juan Castillo,” Villareal told the PRESS. “He’s just a purist, as far as work.”

Castillo, Villarreal said, reminded him of the late Eliseo Villarreal (unrelated), the long-time defensive coordinator for the Tarpons, starting in the early 1970s. Both worked together in the early nineties, when Tony Villarreal started as head coach and athletic director for Port Isabel. From the work ethic, to the mannerisms and body language, Villarreal said. 

Villarreal will remain in contact with Castillo, he said, hoping to bring him down to Tarpon Territory this summer for football training camps, along with Robert Garza, the now-retired center for the Chicago Bears from Rio Hondo. 

“The knowledge they have is amazing,” Villarreal said. 

Before the Bears, Castillo was the offensive line coach and run game coordinator for the Buffalo Bills; the run game coordinator and offensive line coach for the Baltimore Ravens; and the offensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. 

On July 4, 2009, the City of Port Isabel declared the day “Juan Castillo Day.” 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.portisabelsouthpadre.com/2021/01/29/pi-alumnus-turned-nfl-coach-becomes-resource/

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