After just 13 games, the Andy Guyader era has ended at Cabrillo High School.
The school announced last week that Guyader is out as the school's head football coach. Athletic director Gary West has replaced him on an interim basis, effective immediately.
West spent years as Cabrillo's varsity basketball coach before taking over the AD position when Dan Troup retired in 2019.
Guyader was hired in 2020 when AJ Pateras was let go after three seasons. Guyader was hired after an extensive, months-long search, but was unable to break Cabrillo's long losing streak while at the helm. Pateras spent this past season as the head coach of Dos Pueblos High School.
Guyader inherited a team that suffered through back-to-back 0-10 seasons. The Conquistadores went 0-13 under Guyader, including a three-game spring season.
Much of Guyader's tenure at Cabrillo was affected by the coronavirus pandemic. He was hired at the onset of the pandemic and waited months to begin working with his players in person.
Cabrillo has lost 37 straight games on the football field and is 1-42 over the past five seasons.
There's been a coaching carousel at Cabrillo. Pateras did last for three seasons, but won just one game. He took over after Don Willis was replaced by J.J. Willis in the middle of the 2016 season. That was the last time Cabrillo won multiple games in a season, going 4-7.
Craig Knowles was the only coach over the past decade to provide winning and stability within the program. Knowles, who still coaches golf at the school, led the football program from 2008 to 2013, leading Cabrillo to the 2011 CIF Southern Section Northwest Division title game which the Conqs lost to rival Lompoc. Cabrillo went 11-3 that year, the Conqs' most recent winning season.
Cabrillo has had six head coaches over the past decade while Lompoc High has been led by Andrew Jones throughout the 2010s. After winning 11 games during the 2011 season, Cabrillo has won just 15 games since.
West is taking the reins of the program to keep some continuity for the current and future players while the school searches for its next head coach.
Whoever takes the position will have a new and, perhaps, refreshing challenge in front of them. Cabrillo will move to the CIF Central Section for the upcoming football season, which figures to be a much more competitive fit for the Conquistadores.
The school is moving to the Central Section along with Santa Ynez and Lompoc and will not play Ventura County and Santa Barbara City schools in league games, but will be in a league with Santa Maria, Pioneer Valley, Templeton, Atascadero, Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo high schools.
Guyader came to Cabrillo after he coached at Cal Poly and Army as part of Rich Ellerson's staff. He was also a lecturer at Cal Poly before coming to Vandenberg Village.
Guyader coached at Cal Poly from 2004-08 and then at Army from 2009-2014.
According to Lompoc Unified, West started his coaching career as a varsity football coach at Covina High School after playing four years of collegiate football at Azusa Pacific. He has coached youth sports for over 30 years, including football, basketball, softball, tennis and track and field. The district said West “rebuilt struggling programs at four schools, including Cabrillo, and turned all four into championship-caliber teams in short periods,” according to an LUSD press release.
The district said West will focus on strength training, conditioning and “building a positive team culture.”
“I am extremely excited to help get the football program back to championship level,” West said, per the release. “There are great student-athletes here at Cabrillo and their work ethic, dedication and discipline will help the program turn the corner very soon.”
Mark Swanitz, Cabrillo’s principal, added, “We are excited to have someone as student-centered able to work with kids. Gary is known for his ability to get athletes to reach their full potential, and to build teams with a positive, caring culture. I am excited to see the football program next year.”