Doug Ecklund and Coach Leo Cancellare training for 1990 Olympic Swim Events are in photograph.

Leo Cancellare, AFSC joined the faculty of Cathedral High in El Paso Texas in 1987. The brothers found him; an excellent partner in fulfilling their mission and a role model of for faculty and students. As a popular physical education teacher and swim coach, he tired to instill in the student body his own deep love for God, family, and country. After three years, in 1990, the brothers appointed him dean of students, in charge of school discipline

When they were looking for someone to be the first lay principal of Cathedral in 1995, no less a person than the Most Rev. Oscar X. Ochoa, bishop of El Paso, suggested Cancellare. He accepted the position with the remark that he was simply taking it until a Christian Brother could be found.

Leo developed such a deep affection for the brothers and dedication to their mission that he insisted on having the school identified as a Lasallian school, despite opposition from several officials of the diocese. The brothers awarded him a certificate of affiliation in 1999. That year he was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the thymus. As in every battle, he faced it head on and exemplified for the entire community his deep faith in God. He died April 2, 1999. A city swimming pool carries his name. He was honored by the University of Texas at El Paso as an outstanding graduate.

Leo Cancellare was identified as a giant in an exhibit by the El Paso Museum of History in the fall of 2017 entitled First Steps.

Uploaded on 07.18.2017 by El Paso Museum of History

Central / El Paso High, (1990 - 1999), Sports

  • Swim Coach
  • swimming

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Doug Ecklund & Coach Leo Cancellare

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