What is the Hall of Fame?

Founded in 2013, the Canyon High School Hall of Fame was organized by the Athletic Department and the Canyon High School Foundation (formerly known as the Canyon Education Foundation) as a way of maintaining the rich heritage and tradition of successful programs at Canyon High School. In addition, it serves as a means of recognizing, preserving, and honoring the students, athletes, faculty, and individuals who have made significant contributions to Canyon High School, as well as their greater community

Hall of Fame Nomination Form

Click here to submit your nomination for a Canyon High School Alumnus, Staff Member or Individual who you feel has been influential in reflecting the ‘Comanche Tradition of Excellence’ by making exemplary contributions to our community during and after their association with Canyon High School.

Deadline for nominations for the 2020 Hall of Fame is October 14, 2019.

Hall of Fame Inductees

 Coach Gary “The Bear” Bowden

Gary “The Bear” Bowden achieved legendary status in the wrestling community after his teams earned 19 Century League Championships (including 14 consecutive titles) and 5 CIF Southern Section Championships. In addition, Bowden’s teams were ranked #1 in Orange County at the end of seven seasons. During one stretch, Canyon’s wrestling teams amassed a mind-boggling, five-year dual meet record of 86-0, which included 16 Section champions, 12 State placers, and 3 CIF State Champions.


 Courtney Mathewson

During her tenure as a Comanche, Mathewson set the CIF record for the most goals in a high school career with 452 and was named the Century League Athlete of the Year in 2004.  After graduating, she attended UCLA where she became a four-time NCAA Champion, two-time All-American, and was named the NCAA Player of the Year in 2008.  Following college, she enjoyed a professional career that was highlighted by a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics.


Brian Nestande

After graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Political Science, Nestande became the congressional campaign manager for Sony Bono. Following Bono’s death in 1998, he served as Congresswoman Mary Bono’s Chief of Staff until launching his own political career in 2000. In 2008, Nestande became a California State Assemblyman in the 42nd district and then ran for Congress in 2013.


Steve Scarsone

Scarsone led the Comanche baseball team to the 1984 CIF Championship and was subsequently drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies. During his MLB career, Scarsone played for the Giants, Royals, Orioles, and Cardinals and the Phillies. He continued his career as a manager in the Oakland A’s system and has helped produce dozens of Major League players.

Eden Espinosa

Best known for her role as Elphaba in the Broadway musical Wicked. Eden Espinosa dramatically elevated the quality of the Canyon High School Drama Department as she headlined dozens of productions during her tenure as a student. In addition to her success on the stage, Espinosa also starred in several television shows with distribution world-wide.


Doug Neely

While a Comanche, Doug Neely was named the CIF and Orange County Player of the year. He then went on to become an NCAA All-American at both San Diego State University and Chapman University. Following his collegiate playing career, he was drafted by the New England Revolution and enjoyed a 15-year professional playing career with various clubs in the United States.

Nina Lindenberg

A 1994 Canyon graduate, Nina Lindenberg is among the top female athletes in Comanche history. Lindenberg was the starting shortstop & hit over .400 during each of her 4 years at Canyon. She received numerous County & CIF honors before heading off to college where she hit the most historic homerun in Fresno State softball history; the game winning run as the Bulldogs won the 1998 National Championship. Lindenberg was named an NCAA All-American and was on the College World Series All-Tournament Team twice. She was also a member of several USA National Softball teams that won 6 gold medals in various competitions around the world.

Steve Anderson

Coach Steve Anderson began building Canyon High School’s Women’s Aquatic program in 1979. During his career, he has coached more than 4,000 girls and has produced a 2-time Olympic gold medalist and 40 college aquatic athletes. In the past 38 years, Coach Anderson has led his swim teams to 664 wins and has claimed 32 aquatic league titles. Anderson has also coached multiple seasons of Men’s Water Polo, Swimming & Football and has “coached” in the classroom, teaching P.E., Computer Applications and Accounting. Coach Anderson is among the winningest aquatic coaches in Orange County.

Nancy Clark

Nancy Clark was one of the first faculty members at Canyon High School. She taught American Government/US History and was the Activities Director for more than 12 years. Clark also ran the Laureate Awards and was the Faculty Club Leader for multiple years. She was the lead anchor and producer of the Canyon morning news show from its inception in the late 1990s until her retirement in 2004. Clark was popular and well respected by her students and colleagues. She played an integral part in Canyon High School’s first 30 years. She is known for her favorite catchphrase: “If we are not having fun, I’m not going to play.”

Lou Joseph

Lou Joseph was the founding principal of Canyon High School. His dream became a reality as he laid the foundation and helped set Canyon traditions. After the first Canyon graduation class, Dr. Joseph was elevated to Area Superintendent for Orange Unified and then left the District to become Superintendent at Antelope Valley High School District and retired in 1993 as Superintendent of South Pasadena Unified School District. He founded and has remained a contributor to the Principal’s Scholarship, funding a senior student each year since 1974. This man is responsible for setting the foundation for who we are today.

Harold “Hi” Lavalle

Hi Lavalle grew up in Southern California, played collegiate baseball at the University of Notre Dame, and in 1973 became the first baseball coach in Canyon High School history. In 19 years, his teams won 258 games and 5 League Championships. In 1984, Lavalle’s team won the CIF Championship and they were CIF Finalists multiple years. He retired with a record of 453-331-17. Coach Lavalle was the 1984 CIF Coach of the Year and the OC Register Coach of the Year in 1992. In 1996, Canyon High School’s baseball field was named “Hi Lavalle Field”. In 2003, his uniform number 18 was retired from the baseball program in honor of his contributions.

Lance Eddy

Lance Eddy served Canyon High School as a Mathematics Teacher, Athletic Director, and Coach during his distinguished career. As the Girls Varsity Softball Coach, Eddy led Canyon to 23 CIF playoffs in 26 years with a lifetime record of 497 wins and 246 losses. Off the field, Eddy oversaw the installation of Canyon’s Softball facilities and was instrumental in developing one of the West Coast’s most prestigious Softball Tournaments, the “Michelle Carew Classic.” In 2002, the OUSD Board of Trustees renamed the Canyon field “Eddy Field” in honor of his service and commitment to Canyon and the community. Eddy retired from teaching in 2003 and retired from coaching in 2009.

Eric Lin, M.D.

Eric Lin was a standout scholar-athlete and a 3-time league champion in the Tennis program, losing only 10 sets out of the 163 he faced in high school. As the Boys 18 National Champion, Lin went on to compete in the 1993 US Open.
Lin was recruited by top ranked UCLA, and played all four years, serving as Team Captain his senior year. He is a two-time NCAA Division 1 All-American.
Lin received his medical degree and completed his Orthopedic Surgery Residency at UCLA, and was a Fellow for Spine Surgery at Rush University in Chicago. Dr. Lin is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and practices in Orange County, CA.

Mike Weinkauf

Mike Weinkauf attended BYU on a football scholarship, received his Master’s from the University of San Francisco, and was hired as a member of Canyon High School’s inaugural staff in 1973. Weinkauf taught English, History, and Speech and coached Football and Wrestling. As an early adapter of video technology, Weinkauf incorporated video production into the learning curriculum and went on to play an instrumental role in developing the Television and Video Production program at Canyon High School. Weinkauf has four children who are all educators, including his son Chris who is a current English teacher and a Golf Coach at Canyon. Weinkauf retired in 2010 after 37 years of teaching.

Zach Cooper: Alumni Class of 1990  

Zach was a 2X State and CIF Wrestling Champion with an undefeated record his junior and senior year. He received All-American honors at both the Cadet and Junior Nationals, was an NHSCA Sr. National Champion and was featured in AWN Magazine and selected to the WUSA Dream Team. He went on to attend Harvard University where he competed all four years and placed 5th twice in the EIWA Tournament Championships. After graduating in ‘94 with a degree in Computer Science, Cooper began a career in finance, most recently as the Chief Investment Officer for a Capital Management group.

Rob Deer: Alumni Class of 1978

Rob was All-League in both football and baseball at Canyon and was drafted in the 4th round of MLB by the San Francisco Giants out of high school. After several seasons with the Giants, Deer went on to play for the Milwaukee Brewers, where he was featured in Sports Illustrated in 1987 after hitting a game-tying home run that gave the Brewers their 12th win for the season. Deer hit over 200 home runs during his 12 years in the MLB and went on to serve as hitting coach for the San Diego Padres, as well as the Chicago Cubs after hanging up his cleats. He currently lives in Arizona and is the owner of Rob Deer Baseball Camps.

Eric DeGraw: Alumni Class of 1985

Eric was a standout athlete as a First-Team All-League baseball player and an All-League and League MVP football player. He was a member of the 1984 CIF Championship Baseball team and was named Male Athlete of the Year in 1985. DeGraw was recruited to play NCAA Division 1 baseball for top-ranked Stanford University as the centerfielder for the 1987 and 1988 College World Series National Championship teams. After graduating in 1989 with a degree in Economics, he now works in New York as the Vice President for IAC, focusing most of his attention on IAC’s mergers and acquisitions and IRS tax controversy.

Jeff Leuenberger: Alumni Class of 1997

Jeff was a contributing member of the 1996 CIF Championship Baseball team and received the CIF Player of the Year award. In 1997 he was selected to the All-County 1st Team and OC All-Star Team and was awarded the League Player of the Year. Leuenberger continued to help Comanche Baseball win a second CIF Championship in 1997, pitching a 1 hit shutout with 15 strikeouts in the 97 CIF Championship game. He earned a scholarship to Cal State Long Beach for baseball and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers. He is now a Senior Business Development Executive with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and is actively involved with the Canyon Baseball team giving back through his time and donations.