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Rooting for the Home Team

May 29, 2018

If you have attended any of Angelo State’s athletic events in the past 35 years, chances are you shared the bleachers with Maria de los Santos Onofre-Madrid.

Maria de los Santos Onofre-Madrid Maria de los Santos Onofre-Madrid An ASU faculty member since 1978, Onofre-Madrid is an assistant professor of Spanish in the English and Modern Languages Department. She is also a huge fan of Rams and Rambelles athletics.

“I’m from a family who supports sports,” Onofre-Madrid said. “When I came here, (then department head) Dr. Tetzlaff told me I should get my season pass for football. I did plan to purchase the activity card, so it started with football and basketball.”

Onofre-Madrid also serves as the faculty athletic associate (FAA) for Belles volleyball, a position she’s held since the start of the FAA program in 2006. The goal of the program is to increase interaction between ASU faculty and student-athletes.

“They asked me if I could be the FAA for one of the sports,” Onofre-Madrid explained. “I said, ‘Sure, as long as it’s for any of the female sports.’ I ended up with volleyball, and that got me to make sure I never missed volleyball games.”

“Once I got into all the others,” she continued, “it was like, now I can’t stop. There are weekends we don’t do anything at home because we’re busy with ASU sports events.”

Onofre-Madrid (left) helped send the Rambelles softball team off to the NCAA Division II Women's ... Onofre-Madrid (left) helped send the Rambelles softball team off to the NCAA Division II Women's College World Series in style. And don’t try to ask her which sport is her favorite, because it is nearly an impossible question. For example, it is not unusual to see her at Mayer Field for a softball game and then later over at Foster Field at 1st Community Credit Union Stadium catching the end of a baseball game.

“I like each sport for different reasons,” Onofre-Madrid said. “There are different things that attract you to each one. They all entertain me, and I like to watch the fans. They are passionate about it. There’s just so much energy.”

Onofre-Madrid’s relationship with Angelo State goes back even farther than her 35 years on the faculty. She is also an ASU alum, graduating with her bachelor’s degree before completing graduate work at the University of Texas at Arlington.

“I grew up in Christoval,” she said. “Since I was the first generation to come to a university, my parents didn’t want me to go too far away. I did have a scholarship and a grant, so I thought this would be a good place to come, so I did.”

“Once I got into all the others (sports), it was like, now I can’t stop. There are weekends we don’t do anything at home because we’re busy with ASU sports events.”

Maria de los Santos Onofre-Madrid

Onofre-Madrid’s passion for ASU goes much further than sports. She attends as many of the Arts at ASU events as she can, including theatre, art and music. She also serves as the advisor for Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, and is on the ASU Alumni Association Board of Directors.

“Being part of the alumni board motivates me a lot,” Onofre-Madrid said. “I like to be involved because you get to see students who graduated. Some of them are your former students, some of them are not, but you get to meet them all.”

And she couldn’t be happier about the growth of the university during her tenure.

“It brings us more prestige,” Onofre-Madrid said. “Hopefully we will keep getting more students and have them really know this university can compete with other major universities. All the improvements that have been made technology-wise for the academic programs – when I first came here, I didn’t even dream of seeing any of that.”

When asked what has kept her at Angelo State all these years, her answer was simple.

“The Ram Family,” Onofre-Madrid said. “You get to know a lot of people, and you feel like you belong. Whenever you attend different meetings, events, athletics or theatre, you meet some of the people that work here and do things you like to do, too. If you’re not part of the Ram Family, you’re not living how you could live here, because if you want to be part of it, you can belong.”

“I’m happy here,” she continued. “I’ve gone through several administrations – I started when President Vincent was here. We’ve had presidents come and go, and I’m still here. I’m glad they still keep me here, because I do enjoy it.”