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Stone will step down as Santa Barbara Dons head football coach following the season as family relocates to NC

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J.T. Stone says the 2022 high school football season is his final one as head coach at Santa Barbara as family is moving out of state.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The 2022 high school football season is about to start but it will also mark the beginning of the end of J.T. Stone as head coach at Santa Barbara.

KEYT NewsChannel has learned that Stone recently informed the school and his players that his family is relocating to North Carolina as soon as the football season is over.

"This will be my final season here as the Dons head football coach," said Stone who is entering his ninth season on the job. "California is an expensive state and there are just more opportunities elsewhere."

The family move also affects Dons girls basketball as his daughters Elle (star sophomore) and incoming freshman Jazmeen are already starting the school year in the Charlotte area.

Stone was the 2019-'20 Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table High School Coach of the Year after leading the Dons to an undefeated Channel League season, an 11-3 overall record and a CIF-SS Division 8 championship game appearance.

This upcoming season figures to be an emotional campaign with the impending departure of Stone.

"It made me very sad," began senior running back Nathan Barrios when Stone told the team of his plan. "A tear fell out of my eye."

Stone said this year's group is his most skilled led by junior quarterback Abel Renteria.

"The 3-4 months I have left with them I am going to love them," said Stone. "We have something special to play for, we have a great group of boys and we are ready to go."

The Dons begin Stone's final season with a home game on Friday, August 19 against North (Torrance). Game time is 7pm from Peabody Stadium.

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Mike Klan

Mike Klan is the sports director for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Mike, click here.

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