Mr. Michael Dierks ’91 has announced that he will retire from his position as Athletic Director of Rockhurst High School following a 10-year successful tenure as AD and more than 29 total years of service to Rockhurst as an educator and coach.
Formerly known as “Maestro” to many students and athletes, Mr. Dierks held a myriad of roles at Rockhurst since 1995, including Spanish teacher, Database Coordinator, Director of Alumni, cross country assistant and head coach, track & field assistant and head coach, Arts Department Chair, Journalism and Photography teacher, The Prep News (newspaper) adviser, Physical Education Department Chair, and several internal committees.
Mr. Dierks guided The Prep News into becoming a State Champion and nationally-recognized student newspaper as well as the budding visual, performing, and communication arts programs.
He took over as the head coach of the cross country team in 1997 and has built it into a top program in Missouri since that time. Rockhurst has qualified for the State Meet in each of the last 17 seasons, which is the second-longest streak in the state’s largest class. The Hawklets won State Titles in 2016 and 2018, were runners-up in 2011, 2015, and 2023, and won a 4th Place trophy in 2017.
Coach Dierks will continue as the head varsity cross country coach at Rockhurst.
In 2013, Mr. Dierks was named the Athletic Director. During the last decade, Rockhurst enjoyed many campus and facility improvements including the reconstruction of the stadium press box, visitor stands, new track, turfing of multiple fields, construction of the Hawklets Center, updated weight room, and the purchase of The Goppert Rock Plex. Rockhurst also continued its history of athletic excellence, winning 20 championships, 13 runners-up, and seven 3rd Place finishes.
Mr. Dierks notes that, beyond the on-field success, he tried to honor the commitment and efforts of the student-athletes and coaches to give them opportunities to compete, develop important skills, and build lifelong friendships - all of which are important components for athletics as a formative experience. During his tenure, Mr. Dierks led the department by meeting the needs of 13 varsity teams and 29 sub-varsity teams with over 800 rostered student-athletes annually.
“I am tremendously blessed to experience incredible growth in these last 29 years in serving so many capacities, and my biggest takeaway is how incredibly lucky we are to have this faculty, staff, and administration serving this community in such selfless acts of kindness, passion, and faith,” reflected Mr. Dierks. “The second takeaway through 29 years is witnessing the power and grace of seeing a community of young men who start as boys and graduate as leaders, friends, inspirations, and “men for others” in a plethora of capacities. It is truly an awe-inspiring place.”
A formal search will begin for the school’s next Athletic Director. During this transitional period, Coach Dierks will serve as Associate Athletic Director during the second semester to assist Rockhurst and its athletic department. Mr. Tom Kruse will be serving Rockhurst as our interim Athletic Director until more formal information on a search is announced.
Rockhurst High School thanks Mr. Michael Dierks for his incredible service to his alma mater.
Fr. Vincent Giacabazi, S.J., Principal, remarked: “I am deeply grateful to Mr. Dierks for his 29 years of loyal, diligent, and dedicated service to Rockhurst High School and have greatly appreciated his Mission-centered commitment to our student-athletes.”
“Michael Dierks has been committed to the mission of Rockhurst for these past three decades, impacting the lives of our students in a variety of diverse ways that is reflective of his many God-given gifts and talents. We express our prayers of gratitude to Mr. Dierks for his many years of service to Rockhurst, his assistance in this transition to a new Athletic Director.”