Dunkirk Observer

Dunkirk-Fredonia Athletic Community Mourns Death of Coach Roger Moore

The untimely passing Wednesday morning of Fredonia High School Athletic Director and Head Basketball Coach Roger K. Moore has prompted an unparalleled outpouring of condolences and tributes from Roger’s many friends and coaching contemporaries in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area and western New York.A few are printed below:

Thomas Heary, Fredonia High School Principal: “Rog Moore touched the lives of many young people in the community. In so doing, he earned the respect of not only students, but parents as well. To do this year after year was no simple task. Rog did it successfully because of his ability to lead and to motivate, and because he was sensitive and respectful of all students he encountered.”

Mick Dunning Sr., longtime friend: “The void created by the passing of Roger Moore will never be filled. His record of achievements as a coach may be surpassed, but Roger Moore the man…his warmth, his friendly manner, even his towel-throwing accuracy, can never be replaced. I was truly one of the fortunate. I knew Roger Moore from the first day he came to Fredonia.”

Bob Muscato, Cardinal Mindszenty Athletic Director: “Coach Roger Moore’s parting is a tragic event. He will be missed by the coaching fraternity throughout the community and the area. I coached against Coach Moore from 1964-1970. He was an excellent coach and a fiery competitor. In observing his teams play during the past five or six years when I would scout Dunkirk against Fredonia, or just watch a game for enjoyment, it became apparent to me that Coach Moore had two especially great assets in his favor: the wholehearted love and deep respect of his players and the Fredonia fans. He built some great basketball teams. It will be difficult to replace him.”

Vic Lesso, former Fredonia High School Athletic Director: “Words can’t really express the way that I feel about Roger Moore. He came in and started at Fredonia, and took over basketball and baseball. We worked together for many, many years in the FHS Athletic Department, and got along great. All of his peers respected him for his success, and the kids he worked with respected him and would do practically anything for him. It’s a tragic loss. I always admired Roger and the way he worked with boys. Last June was Roger’s first year in the Old-Timers group (20-year coaching club) and we shared many happy memories that night.”

Richard Glenzer, Fredonia Middle School Principal: “I guess my strongest feeling about Roger’s death is that he touched so many young people in such a fine way that his memory will live.”

Pete Criscione, Fredonia High School Baseball Coach: “Roger’s death is a great loss, not only to Fredonia High School but to me personally. I’ve lost a very close friend whom I’ve worked with for the past 13 years. It’s like losing a member of the family.”

Al Stuhlmiller, Dunkirk High School Athletic Director: “It was with a great deal of sadness that I learned of the passing of Roger Moore. His passing leaves a great void in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area. Roger and I had grown very close the past few years, especially when each of us had sons competing against one another. Roger was a great competitor and his intelligent coaching ability will be greatly missed at Fredonia High School. The excellence of the Fredonia Athletic program is a great tribute and will be a lasting memorial to Roger Moore. My wife, myself, the administration, the coaching staff, and all the athletes of Dunkirk High School wish to offer our condolences to Roger’s wife Marguerite, and sons Dan, Mike, and Dennis.”

Jon Baker, Olean High School Basketball Coach: “I was Coach Moore’s 250th coaching victim a year ago, and when I went over to shake his hand in the fourth quarter of that game, I knew I was shaking hands with a great coach. I thought to myself how happy he must feel, and that I’d probably never reach that total. It was eight years ago that I first met Coach Moore, and I can say that I never met a finer coach or gentleman on or off the floor.”

Bob Wisniewski, Dunkirk High School Basketball Coach: “Rog was a great inspiration for a young coach in the way he was able to handle his young players. He was an outstanding coach in both baseball and basketball. His leadership will be sadly missed at Fredonia High School, and his friendship, not only in coaching, but out of coaching as well, is one I’m going to miss.”

Mike Tramuta, Brocton Central Basketball Coach: “In my estimation, Roger was one of the two finest coaches I’ve coached against in high school or college. He was a very kind man, honest, and a winner. When he did lose, he never made any excuses, and always gave credit where credit was due. He was a coaches’ coach. When you beat a Roger Moore team, you knew that you beat a good team.”

Keith Sheldon, EVENING OBSERVER City Editor, and former Sports Editor: “There is no doubt in my mind that he would have been a fine college coach, if he had chosen to go in that direction. Fredonia was fortunate to have had him. He always seemed to get the maximum out of his players. The area has lost an outstanding coach and gentleman.”

Bill Hughes, Fredonia State Basketball Coach: “As a college basketball coach who has watched a lot of high school coaches, I can say the Roger Moore was one of the premier high school coaches I’ve seen anywhere. I think that he had that unique ability that all of us coaches strive for, to be able to take a young man and get the very best from him. That’s what every coach tries to do, and Roger was an expert at it. The Fredonia-Dunkirk area has lost perhaps its finest contributor to athletics.”

Tony Principe, Fredonia High School Basketball Coach: “I feel a deep and personal loss, not only of a colleague, but of a very good friend. It’s quite hard to put in words what he meant to me.”


The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.

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