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Joseph C. Nuñez

Date of Birth

July 19, 1948

Date of Death

January 20, 2019

Nuñez, Joseph Charles (Joby); 70 of Santa Barbara, passed away at his home on January 20, 2019, surrounded by his family and loved ones. Joby was born in Santa Barbara on July 19, 1948 to Beatrice Terres Nuñez and Angelo Nuñez. He attended Our Lady of Guadalupe Elementary School, Santa Barbara Junior High and Santa Barbara High School where he excelled athletically. Joby was an all-around athlete, who played football, basketball and baseball. He was an All-Channel League first-team selection in football and baseball and was named Best All-Around Athlete his senior year and was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Santa Barbara High School. He attended Mesa College and then transferred to Oregon State on a football scholarship. He played on the 1967 “Giant Killers” team that was considered one of the most famous football teams in Oregon State History. He transferred to U.C.S.B. where he played football his junior and senior years. He was one of the Gaucho Football award winners his senior year and was co-captain of the team. He graduated from U.C.S.B. in 1971 with a B.A. in kinesiology and he received his secondary teaching credential from U.C.S.B. in 1972.

Joby’s love of coaching began when he coached for the Recreation Department’s summer baseball season when he was just out of high school. He loved mentoring young athletes, so it wasn’t surprising that he became a high school coach. He was a truly gifted coach who was loved by his former players. Mentoring was his passion, and he never lost an opportunity to provide encouragement, not only to his players, but also to those who needed it.

Joby had a long and outstanding career as a teacher, coach and administrator in the Santa Barbara School District. He began teaching in 1972 at Dos Pueblos High School, where he taught P.E. and was a coach for the varsity football team.

He always said that he was lucky to coach under Dick Mires, and work with incredibly knowledgeable coaches, such as Dick, Scott O’Leary and Tom Everest, all of whom became life-long friends. While at Dos Pueblos, he had the opportunity to develop the school’s soccer program. He felt that the soccer teams at DP would not be able to compete with Santa Barbara High teams until he could develop players from a young age, so he developed a soccer program at the Goleta Boys and Girls Club. Dos Pueblos became a very competitive program after that, winning a CIF final.

He then went back to his Alma Mater, SBHS, to coach football and soccer with Lito Garcia. While coaching at SBHS, he convinced his old coach, Mike Moropoulos to return to coaching football. Joby was so happy to work with his old coach. They both said that they learned a lot from each other, but more importantly, they became good friends. Joby not only coached at SBHS, he also taught ESL History and ran the Career Center, helping students to attain work/study jobs. After 10 years at SBHS he went to San Marcos as an Assistant Principal, where he worked for several years before going to La Cuesta. He loved being the assistant principal there because he felt he could really impact the students there. His last placement was as an assistant principal at Dos Pueblos High School. He felt that he had gone full-circle in his career, and although he was a Don, he really felt an affinity for all the high schools in the district.

Joby was always running into his former players and students who approached him regularly to reminisce about their time and experiences together. They often told him that he was instrumental in changing the course of their lives. It meant a lot to him to hear these stories, as he always felt so happy to have had the opportunity to do so.

Joby was also very active in the community serving on several committees. He was very involved in Ye Old Gang, which raised money for athletic programs at SBHS. He worked tirelessly raising funds, putting on Golf Tournaments, and the Awards Ceremony, which recognized former athletes who had attended Santa Barbara High School. He was one of the early recipients of this award. He was also recognized for his coaching by the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, an award he was very proud to receive.

Joby left us way too young, but left a legacy in the community that will last forever. He never met a stranger because he treated everyone he met as a friend. He will be missed by everyone who met him, but especially by his family. He has left a huge hole in their hearts.

Joby is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Patricia Nuñez (Chavez), three children: Janet Lemons, Daniel Nuñez (Vanessa Ramirez), and Ana Karina Arnold (Nathaniel). He is also survived by his grandchildren: Joseph Lemons, Daniel Joby Nuñez, and his newest granddaughter, as yet unnamed, baby girl Arnold. His grandson, Joshua Lemons, preceded him in death. He is also survived by his siblings: Dr. Robert Nuñez and his wife Jennifer, Loretta Carter and her husband Chuck, Adrianne Nuñez Bellamy and her husband Jerry, and numerous nieces and nephews.

His family wishes to express their appreciation to Dr. Gregg Newman at the Ridley Tree Cancer Center for all of his support over the years.

The funeral mass will held at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on Saturday, February 9 at 11:30 a.m. Immediately following will be a celebration of life at the Carriage Museum.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Santa Barbara High School Alumni Association for a perpetual scholarship in memory of Joseph Nuñez: Santa Barbara High School Alumni Association, P.O. Box 6121, Santa Barbara, CA. 93160-6121

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