Joe Hay, the former Garden Grove High School football coach who led the team to its first trip to a CIF championship football final since the mid-Forties, was found dead at his home this week.
According to Alan Trudell, spokesman for the Garden Grove Unified School District, Hay, 42, was a physical education teacher at Doig Intermediate School this year. He coached the Argonauts to the CIF Southern Division finals in 2009, then stepped down for “health reasons.”
The 2010 team, coached by Willy Puga, won the CIF title the next year, defeating Beckman 31-30. It was Grove’s first CIF section title in football, and the first in any boys’ sport. Only one other GGUSD school has ever won a CIF football crown, that being Bolsa Grande in 1986, winning the Central Division title.
Preliminary indications are that Hay died in his sleep, possibly from a heart attack. The announcement was made Friday to GGHS as well as Doig. Memorial service details are pending.