Remembering Dave Dierker: A Legacy of Support for Cincinnati Student Athletes

Dave Dierker (middle) stands alongside Brian Leshner, former Executive Director at ABC, and Charley Frank, Executive Director of the Reds Community Fund & Vice-President of ABC's Board.

It is with heavy hearts that ABC shares the news of the passing of Dave Dierker, the former Director of Athletics of Cincinnati Public Schools. Dave’s impact on the community, particularly in bolstering extracurricular opportunities for students, is immeasurable.

In 2004, Dave recognized the need for a district-wide booster club to enrich the extracurricular experiences of Cincinnati Public Schools students, particularly in athletics. Thus, the Student Activity Foundation was born, evolving into Activities Beyond the Classroom (ABC). This partnership with CPS aims to enhance athletic programs by managing purchasing budgets for grades 7-12 across thirteen high schools. ABC’s provision of full-time Athletic Directors ensures that each school’s athletic fund is efficiently allocated towards equipment, uniforms, transportation, and more.

However, Dave’s vision extended beyond current student athletes. He saw the importance of honoring the achievements of past CPS student athletes and thus championed the establishment of the CPS Athletic Hall of Fame. This institution, now entering its 15th year, continues to celebrate and immortalize the accomplishments of CPS alumni.

In this 2015 photo, Dave Dierker (far right) and former ABC Executive Director Brian Leshner (center) are present to receive a $5,000 check from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund. This funding was allocated to equip the baseball and softball fields at Withrow High School.

“It was a privilege working with Dave,” said Brian Leshner, former Executive Director of ABC. “He was humble and modest, with a dry, gentle sense of humor. Dave brought a quiet passion to his mission of helping student athletes from the Cincinnati Public School district. He will be missed. He worked alongside Dave for 12 years, advocating for student athletes at CPS.”

“Throughout our teams, we mourn the passing of Dave Dierker,” remarked Ricky Miller, Senior Manager of Athletics. “He was absolutely pivotal in our nonprofit’s founding. While his passing weighs heavy on our hearts, his memory will serve as a guiding force as we expand our mission in Cincinnati. His legacy will not only endure, but will continue to proliferate as we grow to serve over 20,000 students annually in Cincinnati through diverse programs spanning athletics, arts, wellness, and beyond.”

In honoring Dave Dierker, we celebrate a compassionate individual whose vision and compassion have empowered generations of Cincinnati student athletes. His kindness, care, and unwavering commitment to enriching the lives of others will forever be remembered and cherished.