Down The Field presents: Father’s Day

Over 100 fathers of current Yale student-athletes played college sports. (Yale Athletics)

Every year, families across the United States take the third weekend of June to grill some good food, watch the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament and celebrate Father’s Day. With the fathers of over 100 Yale student-athletes having played college or professional sports in their heyday, Down The Field decided to join the festivities this year by highlighting some of their most notable athletic successes.

Anthony Resch ’85, father of Conor Resch ’17

Serious athleticism runs in the Resch family, and Conor Resch ’17, a member of the Yale lacrosse team from 2014–17, is no exception. But decades before Conor took to Reese Stadium as a member of three Ivy League Tournament championship teams, his father Anthony Resch ’85 was busy making his name in college lacrosse.

A three-time first team All-Ivy defender, Anthony Resch anchored Yale’s defense throughout his time with the Blue and picked up two All-America honors along the way. Graduation from Yale didn’t end Anthony’s lacrosse career, though; in 1989, he earned a spot on the US National Lacrosse team and won a gold medal one year later at the 1990 World Lacrosse Championship. After six seasons playing in the National Lacrosse League with the Philadelphia Wings, Resch switched gears and began coaching for the NLL. During his eight-year coaching tenure, the Wings won four championships, completing Resch’s credentials for his election to the NLL Hall of Fame in 2008. Since then, he has worked as a faculty member and lacrosse coach at La Salle College High School, the school his sons attended.

Oliver Luck, father of Addison Luck ’20

Having appeared in 12 games in his first season for the Yale men’s soccer team, midfielder Addison Luck plays a different kind of football than the other men in his family. The youngest Luck not only broke family tradition by playing soccer in college, but is also the only one of Oliver Luck’s four children to not attend Stanford.

Oliver embodied the title of student-athlete as a quarterback at West Virginia. Addison’s father was awarded first-team Academic All-American honors in 1980, inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and named a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship for his work in the classroom.

On the field, Luck dominated as a three-year starter in Morgantown, graduating in 1982 as West Virginia’s leader in completions and touchdown passes. His success didn’t stop there, as he was drafted in the second round of the 1982 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers, where he played for five seasons and threw 13 touchdown passes. He appeared in 20 games, serving as Warren Moon’s backup for several years.

After hanging up the cleats, Luck unsuccessfully ran for Congress, led Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo to two league titles as team president and served as the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at his alma mater West Virginia before taking on his current role as an NCAA executive.

Richard Swett ’79, father of Sunday Swett ’18

While Sunday Swett spends her time representing Yale as the captain of the varsity women’s tennis team, her father Richard Swett ’79 found his home on the gridiron and the track. A two-sport athlete, Richard played under Yale football legend Carmen Cozza, and contributed to a team which finished 27–7–2 and won two Ivy League titles in his four years at Yale.

However, his biggest claim to fame in the Yale Athletics history books came as a member of the Bulldogs’ track and field team, where as a junior he set the all-time program record in the decathlon. Swett’s 6701-point performance remains the best mark in Yale history to this day.

After Yale, Swett began a career in architecture before serving as a member of the United States House of Representatives for four years. Following his stint in Congress, he was appointed by President Bill Clinton LAW ’73 as the United States Ambassador to Denmark, and held that role until 2001.

Ted Macauley ’87, father of Kyle Macauley ’20

The Macauley family had etched its name into Yale history long before Kyle Macauley ran the opening leg of the Yale men’s track and field team’s 4 x 100 relay which broke a 48-year team record on April 22.

Kyle’s dad, Ted Macauley, made his mark on the Yale Athletics tradition as a three-year letter winner on the Yale football team. In his sophomore season, Macauley’s team entered the The Game against Harvard in 1984 having lost its two previous contests against the Crimson and fell behind 14–0 in the first quarter. After the Bulldogs battled back and with just five minutes remaining, Macauley scored the game-winning touchdown, diving into the endzone on fourth down to seize a 30–27 Eli victory.

The following year, Macauley led the Bulldogs with 550 rushing yards, and won the team’s Robert Gardner Anderson Award in 1986 for best exemplifying the “combination of skill, spirit and pride in accomplishment.” Macauley now works as the CEO of KCM Solutions, a boutique technology staffing partner in the Bay Area.

Bobby Phills, father of Trey Phills ’19

Yale men’s basketball guard Trey Phills ’19 has NBA hops, and it might be simply because a professional-caliber vertical jump is in his DNA — Phills is the son of the late Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte Hornets guard Bobby Phills.

Though he led the nation in three-pointers per game during his senior year at Southern University, the elder Phills, like his son, prided himself on his hard work on the defensive end of the floor. He became a starter on the Cavaliers in 1993, was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 1995–96 and finished his professional career with 592 steals. Basketball legend Michael Jordan, who went on to win his fourth NBA title in 1996, called Bobby the toughest defender he ever faced, according to a January 2000 New York Times article.

Bobby tragically passed away in a car accident in 2000; seventeen years later, Trey wears No. 13 like his father. With high-flying dunks and tenacious defense, Trey continued to carry on the family name as a sophomore starter for Bulldogs.