Legendary Nogales head coach Ray Molera passed away on Monday morning according to reports from his former players.
Molera’s squad was a dominating team. It was what we call a “dynasty” today. He coached the Nogales boys to three state championships and two second place finishes between 1976 and 1983.
“Thank You, Coach for the discipline you provided for us to become tough basketball players and to be tough in life,” his former standout player Jorge Leon wrote.
“Today the Basketball Gods are taking not only a great Coach but an even better Human Being. Love you, Coach. Never ever forget you.”
Leon was part of Molera’s back-to-back state championships in 1982 and 1983. He is now an assistant coach at Sunnyside.
Memorial services for Molera will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Ray Molera Gymnasium in Nogales at 9 a.m. Mass to follow at Sacred Heart Church at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to the Animal League of Green Valley: 1600 West Duval Mine Rd, Green Valley, AZ 85614. Telephone 520 625 3170
Ray Molera File
1976: 4A Championship
1978: 4A Runner-up
1981: 4A Runner-up
1982: 4A Championship
1983: 4A Championship
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com