Golden Valley coach Ed Santos remembered at candlelight vigil
Golden Valley cheerleaders share tears and hugs after speaking about their coach, Edward Santos, known as Coach Ed, during a candlelight vigil at the school on Thursday, July 27, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
By Haley Sawyer
Thursday, July 27th, 2017

The Golden Valley High School amphitheater was filled Thursday night with people whose lives were touched by the late Grizzlies cheerleading coach Ed Santos.

Current and former cheerleaders, parents, football players, family members and others were all in attendance for the candlelight vigil, which began at 7 p.m.

It was a representation of the unity that Santos – who died on Wednesday morning at age 48 after suffering a stroke earlier in the week – sought to build in his life.

MORE: Late cheerleading coach left positive impact on Golden Valley

“Before Coach Ed came in, it was this whole cheer and dance rivalry where cheerleading is cheer, dance is dance. Who does everybody prefer more,” said 2015 GV grad and former dance team member Kimberly Rosales.

“Eventually things started to change and people started to (see) cheer differently. … When Coach Ed came, he made it a whole big family and he would always dedicate not only his time to cheer but he would dedicate his time to the dance team as much as he could.”

Santos was living proof that any goal can be achieved.

Golden Valley cheer advisor Melissa Brewer hugs cheerleader Julissa Yuhasz after Yuhasz spoke about cheer coach Edward Santos, known as Coach Ed, at a candlelight vigil at the high school on Thursday, July 27, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

“He showed me that this sport doesn’t have to be all feminine or the idea of being man or a woman or whatever you may be is just completely vague and anyone can do anything they want,” said John Guardado, Santos’ partner for nearly four years.

Those who spoke at the open-mic vigil shared anecdotes of Santos’ larger-than-life personality and dedication to creating a positive atmosphere through the thing he loved most.

“He wanted cheerleaders to have that respect for (others) … and because of that, I would say all people, respected them as well,” Guardado said.

Services for Santos will be at Mission San Fernando Rey de España in Mission Hills at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

Family of Golden Valley cheer coach Edward Santos, known as Coach Ed, line the front row of the school’s amphitheater as they listen to people share memories of Santos, who died of a strok at the age of 49, during a candlelight vigil at the school on Thursday, July 27, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

About the author

Haley Sawyer

Haley Sawyer

A Pennsylvania native, Haley Sawyer has covered sports across the country. She is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and is the sports editor at The Signal.

Golden Valley cheerleaders share tears and hugs after speaking about their coach, Edward Santos, known as Coach Ed, during a candlelight vigil at the school on Thursday, July 27, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Golden Valley coach Ed Santos remembered at candlelight vigil

The Golden Valley High School amphitheater was filled Thursday night with people whose lives were touched by the late Grizzlies cheerleading coach Ed Santos.

Current and former cheerleaders, parents, football players, family members and others were all in attendance for the candlelight vigil, which began at 7 p.m.

It was a representation of the unity that Santos – who died on Wednesday morning at age 48 after suffering a stroke earlier in the week – sought to build in his life.

MORE: Late cheerleading coach left positive impact on Golden Valley

“Before Coach Ed came in, it was this whole cheer and dance rivalry where cheerleading is cheer, dance is dance. Who does everybody prefer more,” said 2015 GV grad and former dance team member Kimberly Rosales.

“Eventually things started to change and people started to (see) cheer differently. … When Coach Ed came, he made it a whole big family and he would always dedicate not only his time to cheer but he would dedicate his time to the dance team as much as he could.”

Santos was living proof that any goal can be achieved.

Golden Valley cheer advisor Melissa Brewer hugs cheerleader Julissa Yuhasz after Yuhasz spoke about cheer coach Edward Santos, known as Coach Ed, at a candlelight vigil at the high school on Thursday, July 27, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

“He showed me that this sport doesn’t have to be all feminine or the idea of being man or a woman or whatever you may be is just completely vague and anyone can do anything they want,” said John Guardado, Santos’ partner for nearly four years.

Those who spoke at the open-mic vigil shared anecdotes of Santos’ larger-than-life personality and dedication to creating a positive atmosphere through the thing he loved most.

“He wanted cheerleaders to have that respect for (others) … and because of that, I would say all people, respected them as well,” Guardado said.

Services for Santos will be at Mission San Fernando Rey de España in Mission Hills at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

Family of Golden Valley cheer coach Edward Santos, known as Coach Ed, line the front row of the school’s amphitheater as they listen to people share memories of Santos, who died of a strok at the age of 49, during a candlelight vigil at the school on Thursday, July 27, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

About the author

Haley Sawyer

Haley Sawyer

A Pennsylvania native, Haley Sawyer has covered sports across the country. She is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and is the sports editor at The Signal.