Doug Caines
Doug Caines coached football at Dos Pueblos High School since 2015, serving as head coach for the past three seasons. (Noozhawk file photo)

Doug Caines has stepped down as the varsity football coach at Dos Pueblos, the school announced on Friday.

Caines ran the Chargers’ football program since 2018 and guided the team to CIF-SS playoff appearances in 2018 and 2019. He served as the assistant head coach from 2015-17, and was the defensive coordinator on DP’s Channel League championship teams in 2016 and 2017. The 2017 team was a CIF-SS runner-up.

Before coming to DP, Caines was the head football coach at Santa Barbara High from 2012-14.

He will remain a member of the faculty at Dos Pueblos, serving as a media arts teacher.

“It has been a dream come true to lead young men and women into adulthood for the last 13 years as a coach in our community,” said Caines, whose mother, Jo Ann Caines, was a legendary educator in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. She was the principal at La Cumbre Junior High, and the school’s theater is named in her honor. Jo Ann Caines, who served in the district for more than 30 years, passed away in June 2018.

Coach Caines said he took great pride and joy in leading high school student athletes.

“The commitment to leading our athletes is something I take very seriously and do with great pride,” he said. “I would never dream of giving anything less than my all to this role. As a boy who grew up without a father, I know firsthand how important positive male role models are, especially for young men in our community. This is what kept me in coaching. It is that same knowledge that has caused me to reflect and take a step back and prioritize my family. I feel proud knowing our community is better, even if only slightly, due to the experiences and knowledge I have shared with student-athletes over the last decade.”

Caines, who played football at Santa Barbara High, coached with tremendous passion.

“It’s America’s game because of that unique ability to come together and synergize and battle through adversity against an opponent,” he explained in a 2018 Noozhawk story before that season. “It’s special. I just love the game. It’s awesome. I love the gamesmanship, the competition.

“I don’t get to play anymore but I get to compete, so to speak. I love it, and I try to communicate that passion.”

Caines won his final game as head coach of the Chargers as they beat crosstown rival San Marcos.

Athletic Director Dan Feldhaus said he valued the passion Caines brought to the campus and the football program.

“I am so thankful and appreciative for the energy, enthusiasm and passion that Doug brought to our football program,” Feldhaus said. “He was a key part of one of the most successful eras of Charger football, and he has left an indelible mark on our program.

“As head football coach, Doug focused on developing his players not only as athletes, but as strong citizens and leaders in their families and community.”

Dos Pueblos Principal Bill Woodard thanked Caines “for putting his heart and soul into the football program” and mentoring student athletes on and off the field.

He played a key role in the school’s successful 2020 drive-in graduation ceremony during the pandemic.

“I’m pleased that Doug will remain at Dos Pueblos as a member of our faculty in our outstanding Media Arts/Video Production pathway,” Woodard said.

Woodard said the school “will immediately begin the search for the next coach to lead our program.”

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.