After eight seasons as the head football coach at Santa Barbara High, J.T. Stone revealed that he will step down from the position at the end of the 2022 season.
The former Dos Pueblos High and SBCC quarterback lifted the Santa Barbara High football program to heights not seen in decades, including a Channel League title and CIF Championship game appearance in 2019.
“I think the right thing to do was to tell my kids. I didn’t want to be the type of coach that up and left when the season was over. I wanted them to understand,” Stone said. “We have a relationship and so I felt like these are my guys. I’m going to let them know early.”
Stone is best known for developing quarterbacks oftentimes from the youth level. His list of pupils include Brent Peus, who went on to play at Stanford, Frankie Gamberdella who went on to Sacramento State and Deacon Hill who is currently a scholarship quarterback at Wisconsin.
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“I’m not going to lie, the hardest thing is my youth kids,” Stone said. “A lot of people don’t understand that it’s not just high school. I’ve had these kids since they’ve been in third and fourth grade so when I look at them now I still see that third and fourth grader that told me I want to go to college and play sports. I want to work hard.”
The Stone family will be moving to North Carolina including J.T.’s daughters Elle and Jazmeen, who are among the best basketball players in the state of California for their age groups. Elle led the Dons in scoring last season as a freshman and already holds multiple division 1 scholarship offers. Jazmeen will be a freshman this year and is already garnering attention from major college programs.
Devan Stone, who is going into his senior season on the Santa Barbara High boys’ basketball team, will remain in Santa Barbara and finish out his high school career.
Stone called the current Santa Barbara high football team his bet yet. The Dons will begin the 2022 season against North Torrance at home on Friday, August 19.