Hall of Fame
Important Note: Due to Covid-19, the 2019-20 Canyon Hall of Fame inductees will be celebrated at the 2021 Hall of Fame event tentatively set for Friday, March 5, 2021. Please check back for updates.
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.
- 2020-2021 Inductees
- 2019-2020 Inductees
- 2018-2019 Inductees
- 2017-2018 Inductees
- 2016-2017 Inductees
- 2015-2016 Inductees
- 2014-2015 Inductees
- 2013-2014 Inductees
Jerard Bryant: Alumni Class of 1989 “The Athlete”
Jerard Bryant was a Canyon High School athlete and honors student. During his time at Canyon, Bryant was a three-year varsity basketball player, team captain and a standout athlete in both basketball and track where he broke three school records and had the fastest 200M time in Orange County.
Bryant was named most outstanding runner at the Orange County Championship meet and was named to the All-County team.
Bryant graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and has spent the last 25 years successfully working in the finance sector. His passion, personality, drive and leadership are lifelong traits that have contributed to his success. Bryant now lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two kids.
Denise Koyama: Alumni Class of 1982 “The Artist"
Denise Koyama was a Canyon scholar earning a Laureate Award for language. She graduated from UCI with a degree in Biological Sciences with Honors in Biomedical Research but decided to pursue art earning a degree of Fine Arts in Illustration with Honors from Art Center College of Design. As an Annie and Emmy nominated storyboard artist for 29 years, Denise has worked on many acclaimed projects including Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and the Hotel Transylvania trilogy.
Koyama now works at Sony Pictures Animation, is a talented glass lampwork artist and is a member of Oil Painters of America. She holds a Kaiden Degree for Ikebana and is a proud stepmom of three daughters and auntie to two Canyon alumni.
Mitchell Siegel: Alumni Class of 2014 “The Super Fan”
Mitchell Siegel is Canyon High School’s “Super Fan.” As a Comanche, Siegel served Canyon’s baseball, football and basketball programs as the announcer and team manager. His ability to inspire his fellow Comanches with his enthusiasm, passion and dedication helped lead his teammates to win three CIF Basketball Championships and earned Mitch the prestigious “Glietsman Award”. Siegel is an assistant coach for boys varsity basketball, an announcer for boys baseball and assists with Canyon football, providing consistent motivation and encouragement to Canyon athletes.
In his spare time, Siegel works at Disneyland and Board and Brew in Anaheim Hills and is an active social influencer. Siegel lives with his parents, Ron and Mindy in Anaheim Hills and enjoys walking and listening to music.
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.
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.
Dr. Eric Lin - 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.
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, has produced a 2 time Olympic gold medalist and 40 college aquatic athletes. In the past 38 years Coach Anderson has lead his swim teams to 664 wins, claiming 32 aquatic league titles. Coach Anderson has also coached multiples seasons of boy’s Water Polo, Swimming & Football and has “coached’ in the classroom, teacher Physical Education, 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 1990’s 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’s traditions. Dr. Joseph was elevated to Area Superintendent for Orange Unified School District before leaving OUSD to become the Superintendent of Antelope Valley High School District. He retired in 1993 as Superintendent of South Pasadena Unified School District. Joseph founded and has remained a contributor to the Principal’s Scholarship Fund which has been providing financial support to graduating seniors annually since 1974. Lou Joseph 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” and in 2003, his uniform number 18 was retired from the baseball program in honor of his contributions.
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 Country & CIF honors before heading off to college where she hit the most historic home run in Fresno State softball history; the game winning run as the Bulldogs won the 1998 National Championship. Lindenberg was named 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.
Eden Espinosa –Espinosa made her Broadway debut as a member of the Original Broadway Cast of Stephen Schwartz's musical Wicked, which opened on October 30, 2003. She started the production as standby for Idina Menzel in the lead role of Elphaba. She was also an understudy for the role of Nessarose.
Espinosa performed the lead role of Elphaba for a month continuously during the Summer of 2004, while Menzel was filming Ask the Dust. Espinosa left Wicked on September 5, 2004, to originate the lead for the Broadway debut of Brooklyn. Espinosa performed the lead role of Elphaba for the Wicked First National Tour while it was in San Francisco, from August 5 to September 11, 2005. She replaced Stephanie J. Block while she recovered from an injury, and closed the San Francisco run.
On January 10, 2006, Espinosa returned to perform in the lead role of Elphaba for the Broadway production of Wicked, taking over the role from Shoshana Bean. Espinosa performed for the Wicked celebration of its 1,000th performance on Broadway, on March 21, 2006. Espinosa played opposite both Megan Hilty and Kate Reinders as Glinda on Broadway. She left the Broadway production on October 8, 2006, and was replaced by Ana Gasteyer.
Espinosa received the 2006 Broadway.com Audience Award for "Favorite Female Replacement", in recognition of her performances as Elphaba during her Broadway run as lead.
Espinosa was chosen to originate the role of Elphaba for the third U.S. production of Wicked in Los Angeles, which opened on February 21, 2007 at the Pantages Theatre. She opened the show with former Broadway costar Megan Hilty as Glinda. She received broad critical acclaim for the role.
Espinosa left the Los Angeles company on December 30, 2007 and was replaced by Caissie Levy. She returned to the Los Angeles production of Wicked on October 31, 2008, to reprise the role of Elphaba and stayed with the production until its finale on January 11, 2009.
Wicked Los Angeles was one of the most financially successful musicals in Los Angeles theatre history. On March 2, 2010, Espinosa took over the role of Elphaba from Teal Wicks for the San Francisco production of Wicked, on a contract which ran through June 26, 2010.
She performed opposite Kendra Kassebaum as Glinda, whom she had previously performed with on the Wicked First National Tour in San Francisco. Espinosa has appeared on various television shows, including Law & Order, Robot Chicken, and Dog Whisperer. She had a recurring role in 2009 as the voice of Sasha Caylo on the super robot animated series Titan Maximum, an original show developed for Adult Swim. In 2007, the ABC series Ugly Betty included performances of "I'm Not That Girl" and "Defying Gravity" in the episode "Something Wicked This Way Comes" featuring Espinosa and other members of Los Angeles Wicked cast. She has also appeared on the Today Show in 2004, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade TV broadcast in 2004, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2007, and as a performer on the 2008 Tony Awards.
In 2011, she appeared on the animated sketch comedy series Mad episode "Force Code / Flammable" as Katy Putty, a Katy Perry parody made out of Play-Doh who sings about flammable things, and performed "Flammable", a spoof on Perry's song "Firework".
Doug Neely – Was the 1983 Orange County and CIF Men’s Soccer Player of the Year while at Canyon. Following his collegiate playing career, he was drafted by the New England Revolution and played professionally for 15 years.
- 1983 Century League Player of the Year
- 2 time All Orange County
- 3 Time All Century League
- San Diego St Freshman All American
- Chapman University All American
- 12-15 Year Professional Career
- US National Team Member
- US Beach National Team Member
- California Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee, 2008
- National Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee (Oregon Chapter), 2012
- Won five CIF Southern Section Championships
- 19 Century League Championships; including 14 in a row
- Teams were ranked #1 in Orange County at the end of the season on seven occasions
- Had a five-year undefeated dual meet record of 86-0 while coaching 16 Section Champions, 12 state placers and three CIF State Champions.
- Selected as the Oregon Wrestling Coach of the Year
- Gold Medalist, 2004 London Olympics in Water Polo
- Set the CIF record for most goals in a high school career with 452
- Century League Athlete of the Year in 2004
- Four-time NCAA Champion while at UCLA with an overall record of 124-6; this included two undefeated seasons.
- Two-time All American
- NCAA Player of the Year in 2008
- Team won 1984 CIF Southern Section Championship in baseball
- Drafted in 1996 by the Philadelphia Phillies
- Played for the Giants, Royals, Orioles, Phillies, and Cardinals
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.