Rockhurst University mourning loss of former athletic directorJune 24, 2011

Rockhurst University is mourning the loss of former athletic director Frank Diskin, who was killed Thursday on a rafting trip just west of Fort Collins, Colo.

Larimer County Sheriff's officials said Diskin was sharing a raft with several family members when the raft flipped in the high-flowing Poudre River. Diskin died from drowning, with complications due to heart disease, according to the Larimer County Coroner's Office.

Diskin, 69, was the athletic director at Rockhurst University from 1985-2007. He also coached men’s basketball, women's basketball and women's volleyball at Rockhurst with a career winning record of 225-136.

"Frank was always there to support you and you could ask him for advice," said Rockhurst volleyball coach Tracy Rietzke. "He was just a great guy. He led our department with a personal touch."

During Diskin's tenure, Rockhurst athletics expanded from four varsity sports in 1985 to 11 sports in 2005. He also led Rockhurst into becoming an NCAA Division II member and assisted in the formation of the Heartland Conference in 1998. In 2005, he spearheaded Rockhurst's move into the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

According to Rockhurst President Thomas B. Curran, Diskin was an integral player in the growth and success of Rockhurst University athletics for more than 20 years. "His leadership and concern for athletes and coaching staff will long be remembered," said Curran back in 2007.

Diskin recently served as the activities director at Parsons High School before retiring in 2010. He was also an assistant athletic director at Washburn University and athletic director at St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City.

A native of St. Paul, Kan., Diskin received his bachelor’s degree from Pittsburg State University and master's degree from the University of Missouri. He is survived by his wife, Mary, and six children.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Wednesday, June 29 at 10 a.m. at Church of the Ascension in Overland Park, Kan. Rosary is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28 at at 7 p.m. June 28 at Church of the Ascension. The Funeral Mass will be on Friday, July 1 at 10 a.m. at St. Francis Catholic Church in St. Paul, Kan., followed by burial at St. Francis Cemetery. Rosary is scheduled for Friday, June 30 at 7 p.m. at St. Francis Catholic Church.

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