University President Peter Salovey announced Thursday that Vicky Chun, the current director of athletics at Colgate, will lead Yale Athletics. She will replace Director of Athletics Tom Beckett, who will retire in June. As Yale prepares for its first new director of athletics in 24 years, the News shares five things you should know about Yale’s historic hire.
1) She made NCAA history as a player and coach
Chun is 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. Chun graduated from Colgate in 1991 and played on the volleyball team. She helped the Raiders secure the Patriot League title in 1990 before winning Patriot League Player of the Year honors in 1991. As a coach, Chun won two Patriot League championships at Colgate and was named Patriot League Coach of the Year in 1996.
2) She became a head coach at 24, but then left for an internship
Chun was just three years out of college and finishing a masters degree in History when she was named the head volleyball coach at her alma mater in 1994. But after leading the Raiders for three seasons — and winning two conference titles — Chun knew she wanted a career in sports administration instead of coaching, and left Colgate. She turned down head coaching offers throughout the country to intern at the NCAA. Sure enough, Chun returned to Colgate in 2005 as an administrator, and in 2013, was named the school’s director of athletics.
3) She is the fifth woman to serve as an Ivy League director of athletics
While Chun makes Yale history as the first woman to serve as the University’s director of athletics, four other woman have held the position at other Ancient Eight schools. Josie Harper became of the first in 2002 when Dartmouth hired her to lead its athletic department. Columbia’s M. Dianne Murphy was the longest-serving woman in the Ivy League, leading the Lions from 2004–15. Chun has remained committed to promoting women in collegiate athletics, and served a three-year term as Board President of Women Leaders in College Sports.
4) Under her leadership, students athletes outperformed non-athletes in the classroom
Chun’s commitment to academics makes her a good fit for the Ivy League. While serving as Colgate’s director of athletics, Chun oversaw a 98 percent graduation rate among student athletes, the second-highest rate in the nation. In 2016, student athletes exceeded the grade-point average of non-athletes for the first time in Colgate history. Currently, 22 of Colgate’s 24 NCAA-sponsored programs score a perfect 1,000 in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate.
5) She has a lit Instagram
Chun, 49, is active on social media, boasting over 2,000 followers on Twitter (@Vchun) and over 1,000 on Instagram (@vickychun91). She posts almost daily, sharing news about prominent Colgate alumni and most recently, encouraging followers to vote for Raider men’s hockey goalie Colton Point for the Hobey Baker Award. Chun will be one of the youngest directors of athletics in the Ancient Eight, and her social media presence is one of many ways she will likely relate to student athletes.