Yale News

As she prepares to become Yale’s new director of athletics, Vicky Chun leaves behind a legacy of academic and athletic excellence at Colgate.

In her six years as athletic director, she led the Raiders’ programs to numerous championships, headlined by two Patriot League titles for the football and men’s soccer teams as well as single championships in women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s lacrosse and rowing. Accompanying these accomplishments on the field, Chun oversaw a 98 percent graduation rate for student-athletes, the second-best mark in the nation. Her success at developing Colgate’s programs on and off the field left administrators at Colgate unsurprised when Yale announced it had tapped Chun as its next director of athletics. She will assume the role on July 1.

“She’s always going to be the first name a lot of people think of,” Colgate Director of Athletic Communications John Painter said. “She’s well liked here, and she has a lot of ties throughout NCAA athletics. She’s truly a star and she will be liked at Yale.”

Chun made many of those NCAA connections while serving on the NCAA Division I Council, vice chairing the Division I Oversight Committee and sitting on the Division I Football Competition Committee. She is also currently serving a three-year term as board president of Women Leaders in College Sports and has sat on the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation Board in addition to Harvard’s Board of Overseers, which provides advice to the university’s leadership.

Chun played volleyball at Colgate and returned to her alma mater after graduation to coach the Raiders. Chun thrived in both roles and is believed to be the only person in Division I history to win player of the year and coach of the year honors in the same conference, while also capturing conference championships as both a player and coach.

While she is a veteran of NCAA Division I administration and bureaucracy, administrators at Colgate said her greatest asset is her understanding of the collegiate athletic experience.

“One of the things she did a great job with here was understanding what made Colgate unique and playing on those strengths,” Colgate’s football coach Dan Hunt said. “The fact that she used to be an athlete and coach herself made our relationship work really well because she understands what coaches and players go through. She made an atmosphere where athletes were close with her. She did that here, and she will do the same at Yale.”

Chun also proved to be an adroit fundraiser at Colgate, overseeing a 200 percent increase in giving to athletics support groups. During Chun’s tenure as director of athletics, Colgate built new soccer and ice hockey facilities. These skills make Chun a good successor to current Director of Athletics Tom Beckett, who has seen the Yale athletic department’s endowment grow from $20 million in 1994 to $283 million today.

An effective leader and an exemplum of community values, Chun will now bring those qualities to Yale, a school Colgate’s Senior Associate Athletics Director Ann-Marie Guglieri said Chun has admired for a long time.

“Simply put, Vicky has left a legacy of excellence,” Guglieri said. “She has created a culture of winning the right way, she has hired and retained extraordinary people and always keeps the ‘student’ first in student-athlete. Yale hit a grand slam with Vicky.”

Caleb Rhodes | caleb.rhodes@yale.edu