The International University Sports Federation (FISU) has paid tribute to Donald Leas following the technical diving committee chair’s death at the age of 82.
Leas was viewed as an integral member of the FISU family, having served in the position since 1981.
Leas had been suffering from an aortic aneurism for several years.
FISU secretary general and chief executive Eric Saintrond said Leas would be missed.
“We have lost a friend and one of the world’s leading experts of diving,” he said.
“His commitment and level of involvement was unmatched.
“Even now, heading into the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade, he was working very closely with the Organising Committee, advising them on every aspect including venue construction.
“He will really be missed.”
Leas had been involved with diving since high school, through university and later as a coach and administrator.
He later served as national chairman of diving in the US Olympic Committee.
Leas held roles as competition director for several international diving events including the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games and FINA World Cup the previous year.
The American was also named winner of the National Collegiate Athletic Association diving coach of the year award in 1984, before being named their diving coach of the decade for the 1980s.
He was also an author of more than a dozen books on diving and its rules.
FISU stated that Leas is survived by Carol, his wife of more than 20 years.