from the president
by Dave Kingsley
Rick Hazelton’s success as Trinity College’s director of athletics can be measured in any number of ways—winning percentages, academic achievements by scholar-athletes, staff management, money management, and facilities improvements, to mention a few. But Rick will say the most important measure of his success is the lasting relationships he has built, both personally and for the College, since his arrival at Trinity in 1974. And those whom Hazelton has touched over the years reinforce this self-assessment.
“Rick is a tremendous communicator. He’s tough but fair. He always allowed us to be who we were, and he let our personalities shine through,” says Bill Curren’75, who was a senior linebacker during Hazelton’s first year of coaching at Trinity. “Rick dealt with us as individuals. He maintained relationships with many of us because he genuinely got to know who we were. He knew what buttons to press to motivate different types of athletes. Rick personifies Trinity, because it’s those close relationships that make it a special place. He is the strongest connection many of us still have to the College.”
A commitment to young people
Hazelton was a business major, like his brothers, and a varsity football player and track athlete at Marietta College in his native Ohio. But toward the end of his playing days, he realized he was going to miss sports after college and decided to switch to history and teaching. After a year of teaching and coaching in Meigs County, Ohio, he knew that working with young people was the life for him.
While at Marietta, Rick met his wife Anne—perhaps the greatest fan of Trinity sports—and they were married in 1967. She was originally from Massachusetts, and the pair decided to start their life together back in New England. Rick became a part-time assistant football coach at Amherst College and went on to secure a full-time faculty position as a physical education instructor, assistant football coach, and head track and field coach at Trinity.
Although he was at Amherst for only a short time, he made an impression on his players, including Lee Levison, who went on to coach football with Hazelton at Trinity for two years and who is now headmaster at the Collegiate School in New York City.
“Coming from Ohio, where football was like a religion, to New England was a culture shock for Rick, but he adjusted quickly,” says Levison. “He had a toughness to him but also a sincerity and integrity that the students gravitated toward. He would get on a kid for missing an assignment, but instinctively he knew that it was important to reconnect.”
Hazelton did not anticipate that he would be a Bantam for 36 years, but he and Anne and their growing family clearly had found a home. In fact, their three sons, Tad’92, James’93, and Alex’99, all played lacrosse at Trinity under now-retired Head Coach Mike Darr and his assistant coach, none other than Rick Hazelton.