Four Rio Rico High School students who helped save the life of their wrestling coach were recognized this afternoon by Arizona Schools Chief John Huppenthal

Huppenthal, a former student wrestler, met with the students who performed CPR on wrestling coach Fernando Villaescusa when he suffered multiple heart attacks after practice Oct. 14. 

The students are Areana Villaescusa — the coach's daughter, Martin Fernandez, Carlos Apodaca and Sergio Delgado. They reportedly drove the coach home after practice when he appeared to be ill.

On the ride home, Villaescusa collapsed. Fernandez and Apodaca performed CPR while the coach's daughter and Delgado contacted emergency response units.

Fernandez and Areana Villaescusa are both career and technical education students who had learned CPR two weeks earlier. CPR was performed until medics arrived on the scene.

Fernando Villaescusa has returned to his coaching responsibilities at the high school.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at or 573-4175. On Twitter @AlexisHuicochea​

Education writer for #ThisIsTucson. Mom of one.