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Leos mourn Will Darity

Will Darity chats with inductee Liz Lucsko at the 2009 Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Darity, the University’s sports information director, died suddenly Wednesday at the age of 43. / file photo by Rafael Anguiano

Will Darity chats with inductee Liz Lucsko at the 2009 Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Darity, the University’s sports information director, died suddenly Wednesday at the age of 43. / file photo by Rafael Anguiano

Kristina Bugante
Arts Editor

Sports Information Director Will Darity died Wednesday morning in Pasadena of a heart attack. He was 43.

For 18 years Mr. Darity served many roles at the University, most recently as the sports information director of the athletics department and an assistant coach.

“Will Darity was completely dedicated to Leopard Athletics, spending countless hours above and beyond his duties,” Paul Alvarez, director of the Athletic Training Education Program, said in a statement released Thursday by President Devorah Lieberman. “He will be missed as a friend and colleague.”

The track and field program won four Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Con­ference championships under his guidance as assistant coach for track and field and cross country. In addition, Mr. Darity led student athletes to the NCAA Division III Championships.

“Will supported all athletes,” senior chemistry major and basketball player Megan Musashi said. “We got to know him on a personal level.”

“He really cared about each person’s well being as well your success on the field, the court or the pool,” she said.

Mr. Darity graduated from T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville, N.C., and earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1993. That same year, he interned for the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Mr. Darity was the sports information assistant at California State University Northridge from 1994 to 1995.

In 1997, Mr. Darity earned a master’s degree in education with a focus in athletics management at the University of La Verne while serving as assistant coach for track and field and cross country.

Mr. Darity was also an admissions counselor and a CAPA academic advisor from 1998 to 2004.

Alongside his numerous responsibilities at the University, Mr. Darity wrote for the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, mainly covering high school sporting events.

He taught a course titled “The Human Condition,” CORE 320, during the majority of his time at the University.

Senior kinesiology major Kirsten Hurd was a student worker for Mr. Darity for three years.

“It’s hard to put into words what Will did for everyone, not only as an athlete,” Hurd said.

“He never looked at us as just athletes, or just as student workers. My grandfather died last year, and he was the first person to be there for me. He’s an amazing man.”

A candle lighting in honor of Mr. Darity was held Thursday afternoon in the Interfaith Chapel on campus.

The campus community was invited to light a candle and stay for reflection or prayer.

Memorial service plans are still pending, according to a release from University spokesman Mark Vidal.

Kristina Bugante can be reached at kristina.bugante@laverne.edu.

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3 Responses to " Leos mourn Will Darity "

  1. Reggie taylor says:

    I’m a parent of a freshman and she spoke very highly of Mr. Darity, the Laverne community will miss you dearly , may God bless you and your family.

    The Taylor Family

  2. Jean Bjerke says:

    What a tragic loss. When I worked at La Verne, our PR staff collaborated regularly with Will. We all liked and respected him. He was calm in a crisis, always so professional and reliable, totally committed to La Verne athletics – and a very nice man. This is a terrible shock and loss to the University and to La Verne Athletics.

  3. William was one of my best friends during our time together at Valley Springs Middle and TC Roberson High. I’m shocked and saddened by all this, but one thing doesn’t shock me at all: the fact that William was as loved by those at La Verne as he was by those who knew him as a young man. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen William without a smile on his face, and I’ve never known him to be anything but kind, compassionate, and friendly. He was everyone’s friend; it didn’t matter who you were or what kind of social status you had. If you couldn’t count one more friend, you KNEW William was your friend.

    I miss my friend. Love you Willy D!

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