Dick Moriarty is a tremendously accomplished organizer, activist, author, and scholar who was Sports Director for the University of Windsor for 29 years. During his career, the University grew from a three-sport college to a major player in Canadian university athletics.
Moriarty was born in Rochester, New York on April 22, 1933. After graduating from Rochester Aquinas Institute, he came to Assumption College as a student in 1953.
Moriarty served as Sports Director of the University of Windsor from 1956 to ’85. From 1970 onwards, he was also Director of Men’s Sports. During those years, Windsor’s athletic offering grew from three sports for men and two for women to 12 sports for men and 10 for women.
Outside of Windsor, Moriarty was heavily involved with the Ontario University Athletic Union and one of the founders of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union movement in Canada. At both levels, he served as an executive, chaired a number of committees, and convened multiple sports. He was a founding member and served on the Board of Directors for both SWOSSA and the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame.
Moriarty founded the University’s popular Christmas Invitational High School Basketball Tournament in 1957, which as of 2015 remains Canada’s longest running such event. He also inaugurated several other high school invitational tournaments in swimming, volleyball, and wrestling and offered numerous clinics for coaches and officials in sports like basketball, fencing, golf, tennis, and wrestling.
From 1978 to ’94, Moriarty served as Director of the Sports Institute for Research/Change Agent Research (SIR/CAR). The organization studied several amateur sport organizations in our region, including District 5 Little League Baseball, Windsor Minor Hockey, the Windsor Aquatic Club, SWOSSA, the Ontario Lacrosse team, the Canadian Men’s Baseball team, and the Canadian Women’s Softball team.
Moriarty’s honours are numerous. In 1985, he was awarded the JP Loosemore Award by the OUAA for his contribution to Canadian sports. In 1994, he was given the R. Tait McKenzie Honour Award from the Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (CAHPER).
In 1982, along with wife Mary, he founded BANA/Can/Am (Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association). He was named the 1989 Sertoma Man-of-the-Year for his efforts in this field, which were aimed at shifting the public perception of sport and fitness participation from part of the problem to part of the solution.
In 1986, Moriarty was an initial inductee into the University of Windsor Sports Hall of Fame. The OUAA Referees Association granted him a Lifetime Membership in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. He is the first person to win all three awards available to University of Windsor alumni: the Alumni Association Award (1974), the Hall of Fame Award (’86), and the Teachers Award (’98).
Moriarty has published eight books or monographs, 22 chapters in books, and over 100 refereed journal articles.