Candaele Steps Down as Football Coach at Vista Murrieta

Coley Candaele, shown here addressing his team after a playoff game last year, is stepping down as head football coach. Murrieta 24/7 pho...

Coley Candaele, shown here addressing his team after a playoff game last year, is stepping down as head football coach.
Murrieta 24/7 photo: Doug Spoon

Coley Candaele today stepped down as head football coach at Vista Murrieta High School, where he led the Broncos to seven consecutive appearances in CIF Southern Section football championship games.

Candaele is the only head football coach the school has ever had, taking the job in 2003 and building the program into one of the state's best. Vista has a combined record of 132-25 during his tenure, winning the CIF-SS championship in 2011 and finishing as runner-up in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. He was named CIF-SS Inland Division Coach of the Year in 2011 and was selected as a CIF State Coach of Character in 2006.

Candaele made the announcement this morning. He will continue as head track coach and as athletic director -- a position he took over in July.

"I've been a football coach for 21 years, and now it's time to do something different," Candaele told Murrieta 24/7. Being athletic director, football and track coach, husband and father ... to take us to another level in football, something has to give.

"It's going to take a little more time to take this football program from a top 10 program in the state to a top five program. I have two daughters who will be coming to Vista Murrieta soon, and I don't want to miss a thing with my family."

Vista Murrieta principal Mick Wager tried to put into words what Candaele has meant to the school.

"Over the last 13 years, Coley Candaele built a football program from scratch into a nationally recognized championship program," Wager said. "His winning attitude regarding teamwork, character-building, and constant improvement permeates the VMHS campus. We are thankful for his service, and we are fortunate to have Coach Candaele continue to serve and positively impact our campus as our athletic director and head track coach."

Candaele said the school will begin the formal hiring process for a new head football coach immediately. Darren Daniel, assistant superintendent of human resources for the Murrieta Valley Unified School District, said he is confident the program's reputation will attract top candidates.

"Given the success of Vista Murrieta's football program, the head coaching position will more than likely attract a number of highly qualified candidates," Daniel said.

Candaele gave credit to the school administration and everyone connected with Vista Murrieta for the success of the football program over the years.

"To go from basically a beginning school with only freshmen and sophomores to a state football power ... no one could've seen that," he said. "That's what Vista Murrieta is about. It's hard to come here and not be successful.

"This school provides opportunities for success, both athletically and academically. From the administration to the support staff to the teachers and the coaches, it's a complete commitment. I was fortunate enough to get caught up early in that storm of success."

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