Rudy Ybarra

Rudy Ybarra, Hall of Fame Athlete

When Joaquin and Socorro Ybarra christened Raul Ybarra, it was a near certainty that he would be involved in soccer in the community. But it might not have been so certain that little Rudy would grow into a soccer giant and the Hall of Fame athlete that he will become tonight.

Under the tutelage of Coach Manuel Lito Garcia, he led the fledgling soccer program at Santa Barbara High School to the very top. Ybarra became the finest soccer player in Southern California, and probably the state. Plain old All-CIF was not enough, this young man was named CIF Player of the Year in both 1975 and 1976.

Ybarra played high school soccer with class, style and intelligence far beyond his years, so well that he entered professional soccer soon after his SBCC studies ended. He was named the 1978 Rookie of the Year in the North American Soccer League.

In 1979 he was a member of the USA Olympic team, led his team to the Western Soccer League Championship in 1986, and to the California State Championship in 1991 and 1992.

His coaching future looks just a bright. He was an assistant coach of the state champion Santa Barbara Soccer Club, head coach of the Central Coast all-stars, also a state champion, and is currently the head Boys’ Soccer Coach at Santa Barbara High School. Ybarra is presently the Athletic Equipment Manager at his alma mater and also serves as their trainer.

Articulate and intelligent, the words greatness and Hall of Fame seem to fit very well. With Rudy are his wife Lourdes (Guzman) and sons, Marco, 13, Rauljr. 9, and Juan Pablo, 6. The Ybarra soccer tradition appears to in good hands. Be proud, Joaquin and Socorro!