Thad Lepcio, an educator with 25 years of athletic administration experience, has been named director of athletics of The Peddie School.
Lepcio comes to Peddie after spending the past 17 years at the Baylor School in Tennessee as a Latin instructor and the head of the school’s outreach and auxiliary programs, before becoming athletic director in 2006.
Lepico said he became convinced that Peddie was the right fit when he met the community and saw the passion people had for the institution.
“From the moment I stepped on campus, I noticed the overwhelming sense of community and love for Peddie with everyone I met, from students to coaches to workers in food service,” he said. “The campus is beautiful; the facilities are fantastic, but it was the people that impressed me the most.”
A graduate of Amherst College with a master of science in sport management from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Lepcio’s involvement at Baylor extended beyond the athletic office and classroom. He served as a dorm parent, director of student leadership and faculty adviser to the school’s Honor Council.
Prior to Baylor, Lepcio worked on the college level as associate athletic director at Wofford College.
Thad is a dedicated teacher and school leader, and an athletic director who shares Peddie’s philosophy that the athletic program is an extension of our classrooms,” said Head of School Peter Quinn. “His educational background and his work experience distinguished him early on. During his campus visit, his vision, enthusiasm and warmth won wide support, and I am thrilled he and his family will be joining our community.”
Lepcio is eager to begin his new journey at Peddie and understands the importance of building strong relationships with coaches and student-athletes.
“I look forward to working with the coaches to give them the resources and tools necessary to give Peddie students a first-class co-curricular experience,” he said. “I enjoy getting to know students outside of the gym, the pool or the athletic fields. I want all Peddie students to know that I am as interested in their academic, social and personal growth as I am in their respective athletic successes.”
"I love knowing that I will play a role in the development of our future leaders."
In measuring the success of an athletic program, Lepcio said he has a responsibility to foster an environment that is welcoming and fun. “Athletics live in a world of scoreboards and statistics. I love to see retention rates of athletic teams. I love to see alumni return to campus to see their coach. When the right culture exists, then students want to participate, prospective students want to attend, and the results on the scoreboard will take care of themselves,” he said.
Participating in multiple sports versus specializing in a single sport is currently a hot topic among high school athletics, coaches, parents and athletic directors. When asked about this much-debated topic, Lepcio stated, “Specialization in a school with only 540 students and a robust athletic program becomes especially challenging. I think it’s important to continue to beat the drum and explain the value of multi-sport participation at the same time recognizing that there are individual sports and a few elite performers that might be on a pre-Olympic, or pre-professional track who might need to focus on their specific sport.”
With the elimination of postgraduates on MAPL football teams and the graduation of others, a challenge looms this upcoming season. But Lepcio is looking at the long term.
I am excited about the future of Peddie football,” Lepcio said. “I have had positive conversations with new Head Coach Pat Loughlin and had the opportunity to participate in the first Zoom team meeting.
"Watching students grow and improve and hopefully meeting and exceeding individual goals brings me the most joy,”
“Peddie football has been around for 134 years, and I am committed to developing a program with student-athletes who want to be at Peddie, who are proud to wear a Peddie uniform, and who want to experience everything Peddie has to offer.”
Lepcio is looking forward to working closely with Falcon student-athletes.
“Watching students grow and improve and hopefully meeting and exceeding individual goals brings me the most joy,” Lepcio reflected. “I love knowing that I will play a role in the development of our future leaders. It is an incredible opportunity and responsibility.”
Lepcio succeeds Jason Baseden, who is leaving to take the same role at Phillips Exeter Academy.
Thad and his wife, Lynn, are the parents of son, Teddy, who is a rising junior at The U.S. Military Academy at West Point.