The following message was sent to the ESD community earlier today from Hobson Family Head of School Dave Baad.
We are delighted to announce that Thad Lepcio has accepted our offer to be ESD’s next Director of Athletics. Thad is currently serving in the same position at the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey. Before Peddie, Thad worked at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, serving his last 12 years there as Athletic Director. Thad is a graduate of Amherst College, where he majored in American History and the Classics and was a member of their golf team. Thad went on to earn his M.S. in Sports Management from the University of Massachusetts. We are excited to welcome him, his wife Lynn, and their son, Teddy, a recent West Point graduate, to our community.
Thad began his career at Wofford College, where he served as both the Head Women’s Golf Coach and Associate Athletic Director. After working there for almost a decade, Thad answered the call to enter the independent school world of teaching and coaching at Baylor. There he taught Latin, was their faculty liaison to the student-run Honor Council, and coached their nationally ranked boys and girls golf programs. He boasts five members of the PGA and LPGA tours among his former students. This led quickly to Thad being asked to run Baylor’s entire athletic department.
As Baylor’s Athletic Director for over a decade, he oversaw the largest interscholastic program in the state of Tennessee. He managed an operating budget of $1.4 million in support of 71 teams in 20 sports. He supervised a staff of 83 coaches, three trainers, and an equipment manager. The program won 111 State Championships and was recognized twice (2006, 2007) by Sports Illustrated and three times by CBS MaxPreps (2012, 2016, 2018) as one of the top 25 interscholastic programs in America. Additionally, he helped generate gifts of $11.6 million for capital improvements to their athletic facilities.
In 2020 and in an effort to be closer to his son, then a baseball player at the US Military Academy, he moved his family to the Peddie School. He has enjoyed success there as well, overseeing a similarly robust program and being elected president of the New Jersey Independent School Athletic Association, a 31-school interscholastic athletic conference.
Our hiring team was impressed throughout the process with Thad’s values alignment to ESD’s mission, his clear strength in creating relationships with students, coaches, and parents, and his experience overseeing one of the great interscholastic programs in the country. His commitment to excellence in athletics and the role they play in a well-rounded independent school education is profound. We are thrilled he will be joining us.
I want to thank our hiring team of Ruth Burke, Associate Head of School; Bernadette Gerace, Chief Human Resources Officer; Claire Mrozek, Junior Class Dean and AP US History teacher; and Jody Trumble, Director of Campus Safety. The national search firm, The Finney Group, presented dozens of highly qualified candidates. Our internal team thoughtfully tackled the task of narrowing to three finalists, hosting campus visits, and deliberating on who would best fill this important role. I also appreciate everyone who took the time to meet these finalists and provide feedback.
We have been fortunate to find two outstanding people (incoming Head of Upper School - Matt Peal and Thad) to fill roles on our Executive Leadership Team moving into next year. Our next steps include ensuring a positive transition for them and their families. Please look for opportunities to meet these candidates in the coming months.