Nate Mendoza is announced as Santa Barbara High School’s football coach

Photo credit: Santa Barbara Unified School District

Former Dos Pueblos coach Nate Mendoza will return to the sidelines as the head football coach at Santa Barbara High School, replacing JT Stone, who last season announced his departure after eight seasons as the Dons’ head coach.

At Dos Pueblos, Mendoza led the Chargers to three Channel League titles between 2012 and 2017, capping his time with a school-record 12 wins in 2017 and leading the Chargers to the CIF championship game for the second time in school history.

Before coaching football, Mendoza coached baseball at Dos Pueblos, won four straight CIF playoffs and two Channel League titles, and was named Channel League Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2012.

“I’m honored and excited to lead this historic football program,” Mendoza said of his new position. “I am highly motivated to make the Santa Barbara High School community proud of the team we have put on the field. More importantly, I will be committed to personally, academically and athletically improving the lives of every student athlete I coach until they are done playing for the Dons.”

The appointment was made official Tuesday by the Santa Barbara Unified Board of Trustees, and Mendoza will also serve as the dean of student engagement and teacher at Santa Barbara High, where he has served as an administrator for the past three years.

Mendoza’s wife, Jamie Carpio, also serves as the district administrator, and he credits her with “being his rock and making him the coach he is today.” Together they have three children: Lukas (12), Luna (6) and Lola (1).

“Anyone who has met Nate Mendoza knows that he loves motivating students,” said SB High Principal Elise Simmons. “Whether as an administrator or coach, he builds lasting and impactful relationships with our students. His positive presence in the hallways and in our classrooms will now be felt on the field. With Nate leading the program, I am confident that our student-athletes will thrive and perform at their best.”

The Dons have built a strong football program under coach Stone in recent years, reaching the CIF Southern Section Finals in 2019 and finishing top of the Channel League in 2022 with a 9-1 regular-season record.

Mendoza will have a wealth of talent returning from last year’s roster, beginning with the explosive offensive trio of quarterback Abel Renteria, running back Koa Herrera and wide receiver Kai Mault.

The rest of the offense is full of returning starters, including offensive linemen Javier Tinoco, Noah Napoles, AJ Gomez, Adrian Chavez and Malachi Johnston, along with a deep group of receivers featuring Mault, Tomas Gil and Winston Bartley.

On defense, the Dons will be strong up front, with Damian Stehno and Parker Roses on the line, Jordan Mitchum and Jacobo Nevarez at secondary, and a group of four veteran linebackers in Chaz Rosales, Michael Cabral, Samson Perez and Bode Fauskee. Behind them, the future for Santa Barbara football looks bright as last year’s junior varsity roster went undefeated in 2022.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Nate Mendoza as the next head coach of the Santa Barbara High School football team,” said SB High Athletic Director Todd Heil. “Nate brings a wealth of experience that will help our program get off the ground and continue the success that has been built over the past few seasons.”

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