Coaching legend John Strycula passes

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN

When it came to being a football coach, very few in the area did it better than John Strycula.

The local legend won league titles at Charter Oak and Glendora high schools before putting Citrus College of the map in the 1960s and 1970s, including winning four consecutive titles in the Mission Conference, which was always regarded as the top conference in the state.

Strycula, who was inducted into the California Community Colleges Football Coaches Hall of Fame, died this past Friday. He was 86.

“He was top of the line,” said his son, John Strycula, himself a former football coach. “He won where ever he went. He always put great teams on the field. His record spoke for itself.”

Strycula was the first football coach at Charter Oak, and won three league titles for the then Lancers. He moved on to Glendora in the early 1960s and led the Tartans to three league titles.

He then went to Citrus, turning the Owls into one of the top programs in the state during 1970s, winning four consecutive Mission League titles, including back-to-back seasons in the middle of the decade when the Owls went 17-1-2 with a bowl victory.

Strycula was 120-60-7 in 19 seasons at Citrus, leading the Owls to 10 conference championships and three bowl games.

His 1975 and `76 teams are considered by many as the Owls’ best. Citrus went 9-0-1 in winning the Mission Conference and tied College of the Canyons in the Mission Bowl.

The Owls followed it up with an 8-1-1 record in 1975, with another Mission Conference title before routing Santa Barbara City, 24-0, in the Mission Bowl.

Strycula retired following the 1985 season and was inducted in the CCCFCA Hall of Fame this past March.

Services for Strycula will be held this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Beaumont Presbyterian Church, which is located at 702 Euclid Avenue.

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  • Kennedy Bryant

    Strycula was a great coach but a better man

    • Kennedy Bryant

      and he loved my college alma mater UOP

  • D-Mo

    We went to all the Citrus games when I was a kid. Strycula was considered a football hero in my family. Last time I saw him was at a CO game a few years back. Spoke to him briefly. I was honored when he said he remembered me. Sorry to hear of his passing.

    Condolences to the family.