Athletics News

Rich O'Leary, Longtime Notre Dame Athletics Staff Member, Passes Away At Age 62

July 17, 2009

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Rich O'Leary, director of intramurals and club sports at the University of Notre Dame, a former Irish men's lacrosse coach and a 37-year member of the University's athletics administration, died early this morning at his South Bend, Ind., home after a cancer-related illness. He was 62.

O'Leary was responsible for more than 60 intramural activities as well as supervision for Notre Dame's 24 club sports teams. He worked particularly closely with the Bengal Bouts, Notre Dame's historic club boxing tournament that benefits the Bangladesh missions (the Bengal Bouts and Notre Dame's tackle football intramural program are considered unique in college recreation). He also oversaw the outdoor recreational facilities and the St. Joseph Lake Beach and Boathouse.

O'Leary served as the Notre Dame men's lacrosse and men's soccer coach in the early club years. He became the first Irish varsity men's lacrosse coach, handling that assignment for eight years from 1981 through 1988 -- following 10 seasons (1971-80) as the Irish club lacrosse head coach (79-53 record).

He led the Irish varsity lacrosse team to division titles in the Midwest Club Lacrosse Association in 1982, '84, '85, `86 and `88. His final Irish squad in '88 finished 10-4 and three other seasons produced nine wins. He finished with a 64-42 career record (.604). He served as president of the Midwest Club Lacrosse Association in 1975 and 1976 - and in '76 he coached the Midwest squad in the Midwest All-Star vs. College All-Star game. In 1986 he served on the selection committee to choose the United States team for the World Lacrosse Games.

The men's team room in the new Arlotta Stadium that will open this fall and be home to the Irish men's and women's lacrosse programs had been named in O'Leary's honor, based on contributions from his former players.

O'Leary originally came to Notre Dame in 1971 as assistant director of non-varsity sports. On two occasions Sports Illustrated named Notre Dame's intramural program best in the nation. A long-time respected member of the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) and Indiana Recreational Sports Association (IRSA), O'Leary assisted in hosting numerous state and regional workshops. Notre Dame's club sports and intramural programs, as well as the entire Office of Recreational Sports, advanced significantly under his leadership, including particular innovations in applying technology to campus recreation needs.

He received a Presidential Award from then-Notre Dame president Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., in 1996 - and the Notre Dame Monogram Club awarded him an honorary monogram in 2002. He has worked for many years in the timing booth at Notre Dame home football games at Notre Dame Stadium and on the Joyce Center scorer's table at Irish home men's and women's basketball games.

After a four-year prep career at East Meadow High School in New York, O'Leary played lacrosse at Nassau Community College for one season, helping the team to the national junior college championship in 1967. He twice received All-America honors ('68 and '69) playing attack while attending SUNY-Cortland -- and he was selected to play in the North-South all-star game in `69. He played two years with the Long Island Athletic Club and nine years with the Chicago Lacrosse Club - and he twice was a member of the North squad in the U.S. Club Lacrosse Association all-star game ('67 and '72). He also spent a year as assistant freshman lacrosse coach at Cornell.

Born Oct. 9, 1946, in Oceanside, N.Y., O'Leary grew up in East Meadow, N.Y. He received his associate degree from Nassau Community College in 1968 and his bachelor's degree from Cortland in 1971. He earned his master's degree from Notre Dame in 1977.

O'Leary is survived by his wife, the former Linda Hempel, a longtime teacher and coach in the South Bend Community School Corporation. They have four children: Megan Leyes of Boulder, Colo; Erin, also of Boulder, Colo; Daniel, of Corvallis, Ore., and Kevin, of Omaha, Neb.

A memorial service for O'Leary will be held at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Monday, July 27, in the Monogram Room of the Joyce Center (park south of the Joyce Center; enter Gate 1). In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Rich O'Leary Memorial Fund that will benefit the Notre Dame men's lacrosse program and the Bengal Bouts (112 Joyce Center, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556).

-- ND --

Shop Now

Nissan
Women's Basketball Pink Zone Warm-up Shirts

Auctions

Official ND Online Auctions // Bid Now »

Gear Store

Get your Official ND Gear // Shop Now »

Event Calendar

Delta

January 21
W, 90-37
Clemson
Notre Dame, Ind.
RECAP
January 21
W, 4-3
Kentucky
Notre Dame, Ind. (Eck Tennis Pavilion)
RECAP
January 21
L, 5-0
Wisconsin
Chicago, Ill. (United Center)
RECAP
January 21
W, 5-2
Cleveland State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Eck Tennis Pavilion)
January 21
W 4-1, M 4-1
Philadelphia Invitational
Philadelphia, Pa.
RECAP
January 23
5:00 PM
Western Michigan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Eck Tennis Pavilion)
January 25
7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Penn.
January 26
5:30 PM
Indiana Relays
Bloomington, Ind.
January 26
8:00 PM
Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN (Mariucci Arena)
January 26
All Day
Shamrock Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind. (Rolfs Aquatic Center)
January 27
8:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN2
January 27
10:00 AM
Indiana Relays
Bloomington, Ind.
January 27
1:00 PM
Texas
Austin, Texas (Texas Tennis Center)
January 27
2:00 PM
Eastern Illinois
Notre Dame, Ind. (Eck Tennis Pavilion)
January 27
8:00 PM
Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN (Mariucci Arena)
January 27
All Day
Shamrock Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind. (Rolfs Aquatic Center)
January 27
All Day
DeCicco Duals
Notre Dame, IN (Castellan Family Fencing Center)
January 28
4:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla.

ESPN2
Pulse FM. 96.9 / 92.1
WatchESPN
January 28
All Day
DeCicco Duals
Notre Dame, IN (Castellan Family Fencing Center)
January 28
TBA
Tennessee or Minnesota
Austin, Texas (Texas Tennis Center)
January 29
7:00 PM
Duke
Durham, N.C. (Cameron Indoor Stadium)

ESPN
February 1
7:00 PM
North Carolina
Notre Dame, Ind.

ACCNE
February 2
4:00 PM
Meyo Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 2
6:30 PM
Penn State
State College, PA (Pegula Ice Arena)

BTN
February 3
12:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C. (PNC Arena)

ESPN or ESPN2
February 3
9:45 AM
Meyo Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 3
12:00 PM
Boston College
Dedham, Mass. (Dedham Health & Athletic Complex)
February 3
1:00 PM
Ball State and Green Bay
Notre Dame, Ind. (Rolfs Aquatic Center)
February 3
4:00 PM
Penn State
State College, PA (Pegula Ice Arena)
February 3
All Day
Northwestern Duals
Notre Dame, Ind. (Castellan Family Fencing Center)
February 4
1:00 PM
Duke
Durham, N.C.

ESPN2
February 4
12:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio (Varsity Tennis Center)
February 4
All Day
Northwestern Duals
Notre Dame, Ind. (Castellan Family Fencing Center)
February 6
8:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network
February 9
11:00 AM
Seattle
Tempe, Ariz. (TSC Field 3)
February 9
7:15 PM
Saint Marys
Tempe, Ariz. (TSC Field 4)
February 9
12:00 PM
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 9
2:00 PM
Spire D-1 Invitational
Geneva, Ohio
February 9
3:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Bass-Rudd Tennis Center)
February 9
7:35 PM
Ohio State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Compton Family Ice Arena)

NBCSN
February 9
All Day
Florida State Match-Up
Tallahassee, Florida
February 10
4:00 PM
Florida State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ESPN or ESPN2
February 10
1:30 PM
South Dakota
Tempe, Ariz. (TSC Field 4)
February 10
9:30 PM
Arizona State
Tempe, Ariz. (Farrington Stadium)
February 10
10:00 AM
Spire D-1 Invitational
Geneva, Ohio
February 10
10:00 AM
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
12:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Loftus Sports Center)
February 10
7:05 PM
Ohio State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Compton Family Ice Arena)
February 10
All Day
Florida State Match-Up
Tallahassee, Florida
February 10
All Day
Duke Duals
Durham, N.C.
February 10
All Day
Ohio State Winter Invitational
Columbus, Ohio
February 11
1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind.

RSN
February 11
1:30 PM
Fresno State
Tempe, Ariz. (TSC Field 1)
February 11
12:00 PM
Illinois
Notre Dame, Ind. (Eck Tennis Pavilion)
February 11
12:00 PM
Northwestern
Evanston, Ill. (Combe Tennis Center)
February 11
1:00 PM
Detroit Mercy
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 11
All Day
Ohio State Winter Invitational
Columbus, Ohio
February 11
All Day
Florida State Match-Up
Tallahassee, Florida
February 11
All Day
Duke Duals
Durham, N.C.

NCAA Infractions Report

St. Joseph Health System Nissan Delta Canon Visit South Bend Mishawaka Vivid Seats