Beloved Pleasanton track coach becomes new US citizen at school

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) -- A high school track coach is basking in the glow of an accomplishment bigger than any medal or championship. He became a U.S. citizen with family, colleagues and some of the students he coached on hand to watch.

Foothill High Track Coach Jorge Quero has undoubtedly heard the "Star Spangled Banner" performed in many ways, in many places... but none more meaningful than from a trio of female students who sang it in three-part harmony.

Following those key words, he was sworn in with words he's been waiting years to hear.

"So help me God."

"So help me God."

"Jorge, you are now a citizen of the United States of America."

Followed by thunderous applause.

Jorge moved to the Bay Area from Mexico with his U.S.-born wife and two kids when she took a new job almost 15 years ago. They then made a life for themselves.

"My kids are bi-cultural, my wife is American. We live here," he said.

Jorge has coached track at Foothill High in Pleasanton for almost 11 years. His reputation - both hard-nosed and supportive.

Many of the athletes piled into the school's multi-purpose room to pay tribute.

Belle Aduaka ran the 400 meters for Jorge and starts school Friday at Cal Pol, where she will run track and major in microbiology.

"I want to say I wouldn't be the athlete I am today without him....I wouldn't be the person I am today without him," she said.

When asked about the tribute, an emotional Jorge responded:

"I don't have words enough to say thanks and I am going to have this moment forever"

There are two crucial things these athletes learn from Jorge's coaching style and his journey to citizenship: you have to put in the time and the effort.

"He pushes us to our limits and we definitely get the most out of everything we put in," said senior track athlete Taylor Mangold.

Possible next move for the new American... coaching an All-American.
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