Athletic Director, Yale University
National Advisory Board
As a player, coach and athletic administrator, Tom Beckett has spent much of his life mentoring young people. The Pittsburgh native has served as the director of athletics at Yale University since 1994, overseeing 35 varsity sports and approximately 850 student-athletes.
Under Beckett’s tenure, Yale has led the nation in teams honored by the NCAA for Public Recognition Awards (Academic Progress Rate - APR) in six of the nine years of its existence. There has been comparable success on the field, including 21 national championships in the sports of men’s hockey, women’s squash, women’s crew, lightweight crew and women’s sailing. He has seen 60 Ivy League titles, 36 Olympic athletes and 278 All-Americans while Yale has averaged more than 10 nationally ranked teams during his tenure.
Beckett has made community involvement at Yale a high priority. His leadership in community endeavors helped create the award-winning Thomas W. Ford ’42 Community Outreach Program, one that brings youth from the New Haven community to the campus for events such as the National Youth Sports Program and Yale Youth Days. An accomplished fundraiser, Beckett has also supervised the renovation, restoration or construction of most of Yale’s athletic facilities, making them the best in the country. A 1968 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Beckett earned three varsity letters in baseball and basketball, serving as the captain of the Panthers’ 1968 baseball team. He earned a master’s degree in education from his alma mater in 1972 and is a 1975 graduate of Harvard’s Summer Institute of Life Science.
Beckett played professional baseball in the San Francisco Giants’ organization for five seasons before embarking on a career in college athletics. He coached at the University of Pittsburgh and Butler Community College (PA), and was an athletic administrator at San Jose State University before moving to Stanford, where he served from 1983 to 1994 as associate director of athletics. During his tenure at Stanford, Cardinal teams won 32 NCAA championships, and the program received seven NCAA “Champion of Champions” awards.
Tom is married to Kim (Craddock) Beckett, a special education advocate and PCA New England board member. They reside in the Town of Guilford with their son, Alex, who made history in 2013 as the first student with an intellectual disability to play and score in a sanctioned a Connecticut high school basketball game.