In Fondest Memory Of
"A Giant Of A Man"
|Al B. Munoz was born on October 31,
1926 in Miami, Arizona. He passed away on March 21, 2007. Al Munoz was an exceptional athlete in high school and college excelling in football, boxing and basketball. He served his country during World War II in the Pacific and later won the Army-Air Corp Heavyweight Boxing Championship at Keessler Field in Biloxi, Mississippi. In part, from his love of sports and genuine compassion towards young people he became a teacher and coach after graduating from Northern Arizona University in 1950. Al began his teaching/administrative career as principal and teacher at Hunter's Point Day School on the Navajo Reservation. He earned his master's degree from NAU in 1955 with an emphasis in administration. His journey then continued to Eloy Santa Cruz High School and Glendale High School where he served as a social studies teacher and the first Mexican-American Head Football Coach in the Glendale Union High School District. Coach Munoz had a prolific career at Glendale compiling numerous division titles and state semi-finalists teams. He also had coaching stints at Moon Valley, Independence, and Sunnyslope High Schools. He was known as a strict disciplinarian but was a player's coach with tremendous compassion for all the lives he touched. He concluded the last decade of his career in education as an administrator at Independence High School. He received numerous awards and recognition for his teaching, coaching, and administrative service in his nearly 40 years in the education field. In 1989, Coach Munoz was inducted into the Arizona Coaches Hall of Fame and in 2002 in the Arizona Hispanic Sports Hall of Fame. However, for those who knew Coach Munoz, the most crowning moments in his career in terms of personal accomplishment was seeing the young men and women he taught and coached become successful people in their respective communities.
Throughout his work as an educator, boxing remained one of Al's great passions. As a result, in 1976, he was appointed by Governor Raul Castro to serve on the Arizona State Boxing Commission and was reappointed by Governor Bruce Babbitt to serve two more terms serving as chair to the commission until 1986. He continued his commitment to boxing by becoming an internationally known referee and judge for the World Boxing Organization, World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation. Al refereed or judged 32 championship fights in every continent of the world and was recently to be inducted into the Arizona Boxing Hall of Fame and the Top Rank Hall of Fame.
|He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years Evangeline "Vangie" H. Munoz, five children, Dr. Michael Munoz, Mark Munoz, Gregory Munoz and wife Tania, Zachary Munoz and wife Patricia, Bryan Munoz and wife Suzanne and is preceded in death by daughter Valerie Munoz. In addition, he is survived by nine grandchildren, Tonya, Joshua, Luke, Danielle, Talia, Victoria, Alana, Alyssa, and Sophia. Also surviving are sister, Bertha (Munoz) Sanchez, brother, Samuel Munoz and five nieces and four nephews, he is preceded in death by father, Agripino G. Munoz, mother, Guadalupe B. Munoz, and brother, Michael Munoz. Al was greatly loved by his family and friends and will be deeply missed. Visitation will be 4-8 PM with Rosary at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at Menke Funeral Home, 12420 N. 103rd Ave., Sun City, AZ. Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 AM, Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 6180 W. Utopia, Glendale, AZ with interment to follow at Resthaven Park Cemetery in Glendale, AZ. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials be made in memory of Al to the Salvation Army.|
I have known Al Munoz all my life. Out of love, respect and admiration for him I composed the following song entitled, "Giant Of A Man".
I miss you Al and I have learned. Robin
To hear the mp3 version, click on his picture to the left. (2.5mbs)
Dr. Al Michael Munoz
Dr. Al Michael Munoz was born on July 1, 1951 in Miami, Arizona and was tragically lost to us on April 15, 2008. Dr Munoz was a beloved son, brother, father, friend, coach and mentor. Michael was raised in Glendale, Arizona by his parents A1 and Vangie Munoz along with four brothers and one sister. At an early age, Michael excelled in academics and athletics. His giftedness helped Michael to earn numerous accolades in grade school through high school. Michael attended Barcelona Elementary School and graduated from Glendale High School in 1969 and it was in high school that Michael's talents truly began to emerge. Being the son of educators and the Head Football Coach at Glendale High School provided Michael with blessed genetics and outstanding tutors for his success in the classroom and athletic arena. As a result, Michael excelled in advanced placement course work and was a three-sport athlete at Glendale starring in football, basketball, and baseball. Upon graduation from high school, the United States Army honored Michael with an appointment to the West Point Military Academy and he received all-conference and all-state recognition in football as a quarterback and baseball as a pitcher. As if Michaels' academic and athletic high school schedules did not keep him occupied enough, he also took up the sweet sport of boxing, where his father also excelled. Michael became a prolific amateur boxer in the light-heavy weight ranks earning the recognition of Golden Gloves Western States Regional Champion in 1970 and qualifying him for the national tournament and a shot at the United States Olympic Team. However, Michael opted to turn in his gloves for a time and focus on his education and other passion ...football! In 1970, Michael signed to play football at California Lutheran University in Thousands Oaks, California after a one-year football stint at Glendale College and thrived at defensive-end where he played on the 1971 NAIA National Championship team for the "Kingsmen." Michael suffered a career-ending knee injury during the 1972 season at CLU and once again turned to his gifted intellect to complete his bachelor's degree in pre-medicine. For his academic excellence, Michael was awarded a scholarship to attend summer school at Harvard University and followed that with acceptance into the University of Oregon Dental School in 1973. Throughout his time in dental school, Michael continued his love for athletic competition and boxed competitively while winning numerous amateur tournaments in Oregon and Washington. Dr. Munoz graduated with a doctorate in medical dentistry in 1977. For the next decade and a half, Dr. Munoz practiced dentistry in the Phoenix metropolitan area. To stay connected to his athletic roots, Dr. Munoz worked as a professional boxing judge for many championship fights worldwide, played rugby for the Tempe Old Devils Rugby Club, competed in bull-riding and calf-roping, in addition to competing in power-lifting where he captured multiple Arizona State Power-Lifting Championships in the 1980`s. Ultimately, Dr. Munoz was not fulfilled with his life as a dentist and chose to retire and return to his true passion, which was to train, coach, mentor, and promote amateur and professional fighters in his own training facility. Through a shared vision for the pursuit of athletic excellence, Michael worked with life-long friend Jim Maher in developing Munoz Boxing Systems in conjunction with Strength Training Incorporated. From that time in his life until the day of his passing, Michael did what he loved most, working with those with the desire to develop their mind, body and spirit through pugilistic excellence. Michael's hobbies outside of his life's work were to travel, ski, hunt and fish with family members and friends. Michael will be immensely missed by all his family members, friends and his students of the sport and is preceded in death by his father, Al B. Munoz, sister Valerie and brother Robert, and is survived by his mother Evangeline H. Munoz, fiancee Elizabeth, brothers Mark, Gregory and wife Tania, Zachary and wife Patricia, Bryan and wife Susie, nephews Joshua, and Luke and nieces Danielle, Talia, Victoria, Alana, Alyssa, and Sophia. You always loved us unconditionally, we love you and will miss you BIG brother until we meet again! Visitation will be 4-8 PM with a Rosary Service at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at Menke Funeral Home, 12420 N. 103rd Ave., Sun City, AZ. Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 A.M., Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 6180 W. Utopia Rd., Glendale, AZ. Interment will follow at Resthaven Park Cemetery in Glendale, Arizona.
I've known Mike Munoz my entire life. My memories of Mike will always be those held closely by a younger brother. My family, his family, and many others through the decades have watched him grow into a heroic and iconic figure we aspired to emulate if at all possible. His passing was untimely by most standards; 'Death comes like a thief in the night.' But our collective love for him will never wane as he was the epitome of humanity.
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