Catholic Youth Organization ("CYO") programs in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas date back to 1940 when Monsignor Koch appointed Irwin McCurdy to administer Archdiocesan sports programs. During the war years (1942 - 1945) CYO programs took a backseat and existed only sparingly, though shortly after the end of the war, Reverend Andrew Knat was appointed the CYO Director and the program began anew.
Six years after the programs first began, in 1946, Tom Dorney was appointed as the first full-time Athletic Director for the Catholic Youth Organization. Dorney, who also served as a coach and teacher at Bishop Ward High School, administered the program for 28 years with the help of several advisors. He retired from the role of Director in August 1974.
After Dorney's retirement, the organization as many know it today began to take shape. Reverend Tom Tank, at the time the Archdiocesan Youth Director, established the CYO Executive Board to oversee the Director position and affirm the organization's purpose: to provide Catholic athletic activities for the youth of Wyandotte and Johnson Counties, conducted according to the norms of Christian Sportsmanship. Shortly thereafter, the organization hired Dave Nick as its second Executive Director in the fall of 1974.
Over his 36 years in the position, Nick took the organization to new heights, as participation surged and sports programs grew into what exist today. Football, Volleyball, Basketball and Track became the four core sports played across the two counties. CYO also developed a partnership with Kansas City Missouri's Parochial League, with student participation and the creation of annual "Mo-Kan" tournaments. During this time, the CYO Office also made its way to Bishop Miege High School, where it remains today.
In 2010, Dave Nick retired after serving the CYO across four decades. At the time of his departure, the organization had grown to include over 5,000 participants from 23 parishes across the region. In July of 2010, the CYO Executive Board hired Peter Piscitello as the organization's third full-time director. Piscitello now leads the CYO during an exciting time of growth. Over 71 years, the CYO program has provided athletic opportunities and formation for Catholic youth, and it continues to uphold a mission rooted in developing virtue among participants.