Burroughs Loses Icon in Jay Gudzin

Longtime teacher, coach and administrator dies at 67.

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Jay Gudzin

The John Burroughs High School community has suffered a tremendous loss as a former student, teacher, coach, and vice principal Jay Gudzin has died. He was 67.
Gudzin graduated from Burroughs in 1973 and worked at the school from 1978 until 2009. He later worked at Monterey High before retiring in 2013.
Following his graduation, Gudzin continued his football career at Los Angeles Valley College, where he was a junior college All-American in 1974. He moved on to play at Cal State Long Beach.

He returned to Burroughs in 1978 and was a teacher, coach, and administrator. Gudzin coached football and baseball and taught wood shop, drafting, and computer-automated drawing.

He is survived by his wife, Debbie, who also worked at Burroughs for many years as the athletic department secretary.

Dr. Oscar Macias, who was most recently the principal of Luther Burbank Middle School, thanked Gudzin for the time for they worked together.

“Jay took me under his wing as I began my school administration career at JBHS.  He affectionately called me ‘Junior’ and always looked out for me,” said Macias, who now works for the Glendale Unified School District. “I will never forget his kindness, mentoring, and friendship.”

Longtime Burroughs girls’ basketball and softball coach Doug Nicol credited Gudzin for encouraging him to become an educator.

“I had the pleasure to know Jay Gudzin as a teacher, coach, and administrator.  He was so good to me and was a big influence on my decision to become a teacher.  As my boss at Burroughs, he was always there to support me in whatever I needed,” Nicol said. “He was also a good friend, who helped guide me through various situations throughout the years.  As a former coach, he knew how to support other coaches as an administrator, and I will remember him fondly as an incredible mentor and friend.  He loved Burroughs and will forever be a Burroughs Indian.”

Gudzin, who was born in Burbank, moved to Florida six years ago and enjoyed spending time with his wife and grandchildren at the beach.  

The family has asked for those to remember him by donating blood.