CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Bishop High School teacher and Coach Cody Ryan Perez died Sunday night in a traffic accident.
Perez taught anatomy and physiology at Bishop High School. He also taught two athletic periods, one for the high school and one for the junior high.
“He always had a beautiful smile. He was always very cordial, beautiful manners. Brilliant science mind and he did a really good job with the kids. He made the hard content easy for them. He talked to them in a way they understood,” Bishop CISD Superintendent Christina Gutierrez said.
Perez was an assistant baseball and football coach at Bishop High School.
He started playing baseball at the age of three and his love for the game only grew. He was the starting shortstop at Moody High School in Corpus Christi and played for New Mexico and Coastal Bend College at the collegiate level.
His former coach and colleague Corky Gallegos said that baseball was Cody’s love, and although he never married, he was married to the game.
“The more the fire came on, the more focused he got. He never flinched at the heat of battle. He was doing it and was doing it at a high level," Gallegos said. "I just remember Cody walking up to the plate to bat and hearing the screams of all the girls. Everybody loved Cody. My little daughter would come home talking all about Cody. When he picked her up, she was speechless. That’s the impact he had.”
His best friend Justin Pinon said they shared many life experiences in high school with an off the field bond. They knew each other since they were four.
“He was a competitive leader. He didn’t just thrive to be the best at something. He thrived at being perfect and to me he was perfect," he said. "They say there’s no perfect people in the world but he was that to me. He was a special puzzle piece in my life that held everything together for myself, so to loose a piece like that makes you feel incomplete."
Perez excelled in academics and growing up, he wanted to be a physical therapist. He graduated tenth in his senior graduating class at Moody High School and went on to graduate with a Bachelors in Kinesiology and minor in biology. He also earned his Master's degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.
Perez’s mom, Cynthia Perez said that, on the night before his passing, he shared his hopes for his future with her. Perez was working towards earning his administration certification to become an assistant principal and was also interested in pursuing a doctoral degree.
Perez was a son, nephew and grandchild. His uncle Danny Flores said his sons looked up to Cody as a role model and as a baseball player. Flores also said Perez made his grandparents proud and was like a son to everyone. Flores watched Perez grow up and never left his side.
“He was basically teaching me baseball even though I was coaching him. He knows the game as a three year old. He was inspiring me. Cody was special. They tell us reach for the sky because the sky is the limit and that’s where Cody was going; beyond the skies,” Flores said.
The Bishop baseball team and school district plan to honor Coach Perez not only during season, but everyday from now on.
“There’s high level coaching and there’s coaching. He was tipping the high level this year. I knew he had matured and was finding his stride in the coaching position. That’s how I’m going to remember him at his best," Bishop High School Head Baseball Coach Mike Medina said. "Don’t let a day go by that if you value someone to let them know how much you value them and how much you enjoy being around them. I’m going to honor him everyday by being the best version of myself everyday. I think everyone who loves him and knew him will do the same,”
Cynthia Perez is planning to start the CP22 Forever Foundation to remember her sons legacy.
Perez’s funeral services are open to the public for those wishing to attend.
A viewing will be held Monday, Aug. 21 from 1 p.m to 5 p.m. at Guardian Funeral Home in Corpus Christi. There will also be a rosary at 7 p.m. at Most Precious Blood. There will be a final viewing at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, followed by mass and a burial service at 1 p.m. at Seaside Cemetery.