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Community Heroes

Tony Esparza

Tony Esparza and Coach Glen YonanTony hails from Southern California, a native of Orange and a diehard Dodgers fan. He attended Orange High School where he competed and excelled in football and baseball.

Tony served his country in the Army from 1969-72 and part of his time was spent stationed at a NATO Missile station. After the Army, he looked to Northern California to begin the next phase of his life. He enrolled and graduated from Lassen College and then transferred to Cal State Chico and graduated with a Bachelor's in Social Science. He returned to Susanville and the Lassen campus and worked in landscape maintenance for eleven years. He left Lassen in 1993 to take a position with California Corrections as a Vocational Landscape Instructor. He was honored as the California Vocational Instructor of the Year in 2000, much in part to his passion and energy in running the largest greenhouse program in the state of California. Tony retired from the CCC in 2009.

Beyond Lassen and his career with the CCC, Tony served as the foreman of the Lassen County grand jury in 2005 and coached numerous youth sport teams within the Susanville community. He has been a huge part of the success of the Cougar Athletic Boosters for more than 30 years, sharing his time, talents and money to help to cook for fundraisers and if not all of our athletic banquets, as well as his tireless dedication to maintaining Frank Ernaga Memorial Ball Park.

Tony has two children, Gabby an elementary school teacher and Kyle a smokejumper. He has been involved in AA and helping others to achieve sobriety for 32 years. He is grateful to former LCC professor Dr. Bob Middleton for the profound effect he has on his life and would also like to give His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ all the praise and glory.