Thomas Eccleston, Jr.
Thomas Eccleston, Jr.
Team: Special

Thomas Eccleston, Jr. '32
Sport:
Special
Year Inducted:
1976

Thomas Eccleston, Jr. ’32 has credentials as a coach thatare impeccable. As a long-time coach at Burrillville High, he hadthe following records: Football (22 years) – Won 149, Lost36, with consecutive state championships and seven undefeatedteams. Baseball (nine years) – Won 127, Lost 36, withconsecutive state championships in 1948-49-50, along with a rarityin baseball circles, an undefeated (21-0) team in 1950. Hockey (15years) – 215-77-12, with nine league championships and sixstate titles. His football teams were exciting to watch anddifficult to defense. He taught a high-scoring, exciting brand ofhockey with strong emphasis on team work and precision passing. Nota star athlete himself, although he played four years of soccer atBrown, Tom Eccleston gained a reputation as perhaps the soundesthigh school coach in the state and had numerous offers to coach atthe college level. In 1956, he became head hockey coach atProvidence College. In eight seasons he won 96 and lost 68, withonly one losing campaign. His 1960 team won the Boston ArenaTourney and in 1964 his P.C. sextet won the Eastern Championshipand went to the national finals. That season, Eccleston was votedNCAA Coach of the Year and also won the Clark Hodder Trophy as NewEngland Coach of the Year. He resigned from P.C. to devotefull-time to his duties as superintendent of schools inBurrillville. Since 1972, he has been at The Hill School, where hishockey teams have a 66-33 record. Tom Eccleston is a member of theRhode Island Coaches Hall of Fame and the Providence CollegeAthletic Hall of Fame. At a testimonial dinner in Burrillville in1971, he was named that town’s “the most unforgettablecharacter of the century.”