Distinguished Kearny Komets Hall of Fame Inductees
Leonard Fierro, Sr.
A graduate of San Diego High School, Mr. Fierro earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from San Diego State. He joined the Army during World War II, was wounded by shrapnel, and awarded the Purple Heart. Mr. Fierro started his teaching career at Kearny and in 1959 transferred to Clairemont High. He taught history and government. During 1960 Mr. Fierro was an activist in the Chicano movement and helped develop “an English as a second language program for the San Diego Unified School District.” He also helped establish the Association of Mexican-American Educators and was a key founder of the local Chicano Federation. A collection of Mr Fierro’s papers documenting his work as an educator, activitist, and participation in bilingual education, are archived at San Diego State University. A tragic car accident claimed his life on November 20, 1995.
Grady graduated in 1974. While at Kearny, he played baseball for three years, some football, and one year of soccer. After playing minor league ball for two years, Grady became head baseball coach at the University of Puget Sound in Washington. He was hired by the Oakland Athletics in 1982 as area scout and is credited with drafting “such players as Eric Chavez, Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito which provided the impetus for the franchise to feature five playoff teams over a seven year period from 2000 through 2006.” In 2002 Grady became the assistant general manager for the Texas Rangers assisting with scouting and player personnel. He joined the San Diego Padres in 2005 as a special assistant to the general manager. In 2006 while still with the Padres, he became vice president of scouting and player development through 2009. Grady returned to the Oakland Athletics in 2010 where he remains today as assistant general manager. He credits his career choice to baseball coach, Jack Taylor and football coach, Birt Slater.
Ed graduated from Kearny in 1974. During his sophomore year, he was a member of Kearny’s Jr. Varsity Football Team and was voted Most Valuable Player. As a junior he was voted second team all league. In his senior year he was once again voted Most Valuable Player for all of San Diego and had the distinction of being the first Samoan to be named MVP. Ed played football for San Diego City College and during his second year, he was named Conference Player of the Year and also First Team All American for Junior Colleges in 1975. Scholarships were offered to him from Washington State, UCLA, Boise State, Washington, and California Berkeley, but Ed opted to stay in San Diego where he attended San Diego State. Ed returned to American Samoa where he is a faculty member at American Samoa Community College. He is President of American Samoa Basketball and affiliated with the American Samoan National Olympic Committee. In February 2012, Ed was inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions as one of the City’s Fabulous 50 top football players from the years 1962 to 2012.
Educator, coach, and mentor, Al joined Kearny’s faculty in September of 1962. He taught world affairs, but was best known for his real world approach to teaching economics. Several of his students credit Al’s economics class as the basis for their business successes as adults. He initiated the first black and Chicano studies on campus. Al coached the volleyball and tennis teams and for a few years was the junior varsity basketball coach. He retired from teaching in January 1993. Al and his daughter, Caron, own and operate Beach and Bayside Vacations on Mission Boulevard in San Diego.
From 1966 to 1982, Mr. Short was involved with coaching basketball at Kearny. He coached the junior varsity team for seven years and in 1973 became the coach of the varsity team. His teams were always known for tenacious defense and won CIF championships in 1976 and 1979. He taught American Government, economics, and physical education. While teaching he earned a law degree from the University of San Diego Law School. He was also an accomplished business man. Respected by his students as well as his fellow faculty members, Coach Short retired in 2003 after 34 years at Kearny. Three years later he would lose his battle with multiple myeloma
Randy developed a love of the arts and theater at an early age which would lead to his success in his adult life. A member of Kearny’s 1972 graduating class, Randy received an Engineering Degree from West Point and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Boston University. During his military career he played the piano in his spare time and would not return to his first love, the theater until he left the military to accept a position with Proctor and Gamble as a sales manager. While living in Seattle, he became involved in the theater and realized that was what he really wanted to do. He moved to Los Angeles, started writing scripts, and was hired by Warner Brothers Studio where he spent nine years before moving to the Disney Studios. “He helped create television shows such as Steven Spielberg’s Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Batman, and Histeria.” While at Disney, “he wrote on Tarzan, House of Mouse, The Three Caballeros, Cinderella, Peter Pan – Return to Neverland, 101 Dalmations II, The Three Musketeers, and Winnie the Pooh.” Randy has been recognized for both his musical and writing talents. He has been nominated ten times for Emmy Awards, winning three; has won a Peabody Award, two Annie Awards, a Promax Gold Award, and an Oviation Award. Randy has also been recognized for his acting and directing, winning five Dramalogue Awards and the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Best Actor in a musical. He is also one of the directors for the Canadian based animated television series, 1001 Nights.
1998-2000 Girls’ Basketball Teams
Under the guidance of Coach Scotty Gilbert, the Lady Komets were a force to reckon with on the basketball court winning CIF Championships three years in a row.