Central Catholic and first UIW head coach Mike Santiago dies after battle with cancer

Santiago also coached at Texas State and Stephen F. Austin

SAN ANTONIO – Longtime San Antonio-area head football coach Mike Santiago has died after a battle with cancer. He was 68 years old.

Santiago coached at the collegiate level and later in high school. He had been the head football coach of Central Catholic High School since 2017 and led the Buttons to the playoffs last season.

Central Catholic president Jason Longoria released the following statement to KSAT.

Coach Santiago was an inspiration to all of us, both on and off the field. He was a passionate and caring educator with an unwavering commitment to his athletes, coaches, the school, and our families, even in his final days. We witnessed his immensely positive impact on our young men, shaping them into skilled athletes and admirable individuals of character. He will be deeply missed.

Santiago’s ties to San Antonio football run deep.

He was the first head coach in UIW football history, leading the program from 2009 to 2011. The UIW athletics department shared the following statement on social media.

We mourn the passing of Mike Santiago. Mike will always remain special to the UIW Football program as the first ever head coach. We’d like to extend our condolences to his wife and long-time UIW faculty member, Rochelle Caroon-Santiago, and his family. May he rest in peace.

Santiago was also an assistant coach at Texas State, then SWT, from 1987 to 1989. He became a head coach for the first time in 1999, when he took over Stephen F. Austin’s football program. He won the Southland Conference in his first season with the Lumberjacks and finished with a 39-27 overall record.

Central Catholic High School has not released any details about services or funeral arrangements for Santiago.

About the Author:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.