Bleeding blue and orange – Former TSC baseball player, alumnus credits college for life success

At only 18-years-old, on a baseball scholarship to play with the Texas Southmost College Scorpions, Tony Castillo arrived in Brownsville, oblivious to how his college experience would impact the direction his life would take.

As an all-star baseball player from Robstown, Castillo said he had his pick to play at numerous major universities in the state, but after meeting with a TSC recruiter, taking a tour of the campus and meeting some faculty and staff, he knew which acceptance letter he had to take.

“There was something about TSC, the people mostly,” Castillo said he remembers. “TSC immediately became my home away from home where they believed in me, and for a young man, who wasn’t the best student, that meant a lot.”

Castillo played two seasons with the former University of Texas-Brownsville/TSC baseball program and studied Criminal Justice as a student at TSC, creating an arsenal of skills that shaped him into a well-rounded student and professional.

Befriending many of his instructors and college leadership, Castillo said this is where he grew up and left his mark, not only as a member of the baseball team, but literally on the sidewalk next to the TSC tennis courts.

His only regret, never getting his associate degree.

“I was only missing one class, but I was young, got married, started a family and never went back even after getting constant reminders from my instructors and coach to finish,” he said. “Not finishing is my only regret, but the big man upstairs had different plans for me I guess, and even though my path has led me in a different direction, I can say that my heart and roots are still at TSC.”

Castillo did eventually go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, but instead of building a career in law enforcement, he is now a sales strategy manager for Gatorade at PepsiCo in San Antonio, managing a $7 billion brand and over $180 million in sales.

His career in sales and business strategy began while he was a student at TSC with Coca-Cola in San Benito. He climbed up the ranks to district sales manager before transitioning to PepsiCo.

“My career has been a whirlwind made up of small and big successes, but what I know is that these successes came because of what I learned at TSC,” he said. “I may have gotten my degree from another university, but when people ask me where I went to school, I always say TSC.”

He says TSC because he describes TSC as the place that helped him grow up, see the importance of an education, taught him about responsibility and accountability, the gift of giving and gave him the skills he needed to become a leader at work and in the community.

“TSC creates leaders, no matter where a graduate ends up,” said Castillo. “I am a proud TSC Scorpion and always will be. I will also always be TSC’s biggest advocate. God knew what he was doing by placing this school in my heart years ago, and I hope to someday to be able to give back.”

Castillo plans on returning to school to get a master’s in business administration, and he plans on looking into how he can officially complete and earn his associate degree.

“I need that associate degree,” he said. “I even play on a 40+ baseball team named the Scorpions with other TSC baseball alumni. I bleed blue and orange, so I need to finish what I started.”