Since 1890, thousands of cadets, midshipmen, coaches and players — including former Heisman Trophy winners Roger Staubach (Navy) and Glenn Davis (Army) — have been a part of what is arguably college football’s greatest rivalry in a sport full of great rivalries.
One of the participants in this year’s battle is Pacific Beach native and Army Black Knight assistant coach Andy Guyader, who will be coaching in his fifth straight Army-Navy .
“[It’s] something I couldn’t ever equate to anything else,” Guyader said, relishing his first-hand experience of the longtime battle between the nation’s oldest military academies. “But I can tell you that last year, I remember standing on the sideline and looking up into the sixth row and seeing the president of the United States, which pretty much sums it up. It is an emotion-filled day for a lot of people.”
Guyader arrived at West Point with Rich Ellerson after Ellerson was hired by Army to be the head football coach before the 2009 season.
“Moving here to the East Coast is a very different atmosphere compared to the West Coast, as well as the military aspect of it, so there was a lot of adjusting involved,” Guyader said. “But some of the best people I’ve ever met have been here at West Point.”
Guyader was the starting quarterback for the Mission Bay High Buccaneers for three years between 1989 and 1991 before attending college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he played for the Mustangs from 1992 to 1996.
After he graduated with a master’s degree in civil engineering, Guyader began his coaching career at Pasadena Poly High School across the street from Cal Poly. He spent 2001 to 2003 there as the offensive coordinator and helped lead the school to a CIF title in 2002.
Following Pasadena Poly High, he spent the next five years on the coaching staff at Cal Poly from 2004 to 2008.
“Coaching isn’t any different than teaching a class,” he said.