Armando (Jeep) Gutierrez, 97, of El Paso passed away at home on January 2, 2024, with his family by his side. Armando was a long-time resident of El Paso, Texas. He was born in Miami, Arizona, and moved to Silver City, NM where he graduated from Silver City High School in 1943. He enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 where he served in the Pacific Theater as a 2nd class Radioman in World War II, where he earned three battle stars. After the war, he matriculated to New Mexico Western in 1946 where he lettered in football for 4 years leading the New Mexico Conference in rushing his senior year, where he earned his nickname, Jeep.
Armando was then stationed at Fort Bliss with the US Army where he played for one year on the Fort Bliss Rockets football team. He was activated for the Korean War as a Staff Sergeant. After the war, he joined the El Paso Independent School District as a teacher and coach. After earning his MA in Education at Texas Western College, he became the head football coach of El Paso Tech in 1957. As head football coach he pulled some shocking upsets against bigger El Paso high school teams and was named coach of the year.
After coaching at Tech, he became Assistant Athletic Director of Sports and Physical Education for EPISD and then became Athletic Director from 1973 to 1981. As AD he guided the department through the implementation of Title IX, leading the way to improving and growing women’s sports and creating equity. In 1981 he became Assistant Superintendent of Maintenance and Transportation for EPISD until his retirement in 1988.
Armando has served on many committees and has been involved in many civic projects. He was president of the Country Club Optimists, President of the El Paso Coaches Association, and President of the Texas High School Athletic Association. He was honored by the Texas High School Athletic Directors High School Hall of Honor in 1987 and the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991.
In El Paso, he met the love of his life, Elvira Raig, and they were married in 1952. He was an active and long-standing member of Saint Matthews Catholic Church. Armando was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, coach, mentor, and friend. In addition, Jeep was a passionate El Paso sports fan frequently seen at live UTEP sporting events, staying until the final whistle whether a win or a loss. Those who knew him commented on his enormous heart and gentle disposition.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Vera, and is survived by his children Rene (Irene), Richard (Carrie), Charles, Patsy (Tom), Daniel, Bonnie (Steve), and his grandchildren, who he loved dearly, Lauren (Jaime), Elyse (Erin), Christopher (Danielle), Zachary, Mikayla and Sophia.
A Livestream will be available through Sunset Funeral Homes' Facebook page provided through the following link:
(An account is not needed to virtually attend services).