Thomas Eccleston, Jr.
Team: Special

Thomas Eccleston, Jr. '32
Year Inducted:

Thomas Eccleston, Jr. ’32 has credentials as a coach that are impeccable. As a long-time coach at Burrillville High, he had the following records: Football (22 years) – Won 149, Lost 36, with consecutive state championships and seven undefeated teams. Baseball (nine years) – Won 127, Lost 36, with consecutive state championships in 1948-49-50, along with a rarity in baseball circles, an undefeated (21-0) team in 1950. Hockey (15 years) – 215-77-12, with nine league championships and six state titles. His football teams were exciting to watch and difficult to defense. He taught a high-scoring, exciting brand of hockey with strong emphasis on team work and precision passing. Not a star athlete himself, although he played four years of soccer at Brown, Tom Eccleston gained a reputation as perhaps the soundest high school coach in the state and had numerous offers to coach at the college level. In 1956, he became head hockey coach at Providence College. In eight seasons he won 96 and lost 68, with only one losing campaign. His 1960 team won the Boston Arena Tourney and in 1964 his P.C. sextet won the Eastern Championship and went to the national finals. That season, Eccleston was voted NCAA Coach of the Year and also won the Clark Hodder Trophy as New England Coach of the Year. He resigned from P.C. to devote full-time to his duties as superintendent of schools in Burrillville. Since 1972, he has been at The Hill School, where his hockey teams have a 66-33 record. Tom Eccleston is a member of the Rhode Island Coaches Hall of Fame and the Providence College Athletic Hall of Fame. At a testimonial dinner in Burrillville in 1971, he was named that town’s “the most unforgettable character of the century.”