He will return for his second stint piloting the Pirates’ hoops program

Staff Report

Santa Ynez High School has announced that Rod Caughell will return as the Pirates’ boys basketball head coach for the 2022-23 season.

SYHS Athletic Director Ashley Coelho made the announcement June 15. Caughell replaces Walter Tyler who stepped down earlier this year after two seasons.

Caughell previously spent 13 years with the SYHS boys hoops program, with six of them as head coach before he retired in 2018. Under his leadership, the Pirates made the CIF-Southern Section playoffs four out of the six years. They reached the section quarterfinals in 2013, his first season as head coach, and that loss was the eventual section champions.

“Rod was instrumental to establishing Pirate Pride and traditions in the basketball program in his 13 years. He is going to do great things with this program moving forward,” Coehlo said. “His level of commitment to transforming the lives of young men on and off the court is incredible. He has a passion for mentoring athletes and challenging them to be at their best in all aspects of their life.”

Caughell moved to the Santa Ynez Valley in 1983 with his wife Susan. They raised four children in the Valley and three of them played basketball for the Pirates.

In reflecting on his experience with Santa Ynez High School, Caughell said he is thankful to the high school for providing his children excellent academics with solid athletic programs.

He said he is looking forward to returning to the bench so he can impact young men now and in the future.

“Success is not only measured by the scoreboard, but more importantly becoming a well-rounded person that has the ability to take on life challenges outside of basketball,” Caughell said.

Caughell’s return will be at the start of a new era for the basketball program (and SYHS sports overall) as the school will begin competing in the CIF Central Section, rejoining a number of former league rivals in Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo County.