John Strycula, the football coach who led Citrus College to four consecutive conference titles and league titles for Charter Oak and Glendora high schools, died Friday. He was 86.
Strycula, regarded as a local sports legend, began as a football coach for Charter Oak where he coached the then Lancers to three league championships. In the early 1960s, he went on to Glendora High School where he led the Tartans to three league titles.
Strycula moved to Citrus College, taking charge of the football program in 1967, according to a Citrus College press release.
In his 19 years at the helm, Strycula led the Owls to 10 conference championships and three bowl appearances.
In one of the Owls’ best seasons in 1976, Strycula guided the team to an 8-1-1 record, a conference championship and a win against College of the Canyons in the Mission Bowl. The following year, the Owls duplicated their previous year’s record, won their fourth consecutive conference championship and defeated Santa Barbara City College in the Mission Bowl.
Strycula retired in 1985 with a lifetime winning percentage of .686 overall and a .734 conference winning percentage.
To this day, Citrus College hails Strycula as the most winning coach in its program’s history.
In March of this year, Strycula was inducted into the California Community College Football Coaches Hall of Fame.