Once a student athlete at George Fox University (GFU), now the new Director of Athletics (AD), Adam Puckett feels right at home here in Newberg. He returns to GFU after 13 years in the corporate finance industry. His wish to one day come back to one of the places he loves most in this world has finally come true.
While he just started his new position as the AD over the summer, Puckett has been on campus serving on the Board of Trustees for five years prior and teaching corporate finance as an adjunct professor. Nonetheless, Puckett said, “I absolutely loved my college and athletic experience at George Fox. It was a dream of mine to come back as soon as I
Puckett was born in Longview, Wash., but moved to Bend, Ore., early in his life. After finishing high school there, he followed in his older sister’s footsteps to attend GFU in 2000.
As an athlete for the track and field team at GFU, he competed in the high jump, long jump, and triple jump events, winning all-American honors his senior year, placing seventh in the long jump at the NCAA Division III National Outdoor Track and Field Championships. That same event also placed him fourth among the GFU school record books for long jump.
As an accounting and finance major, he remembers one of the most influential experiences he had was a semester abroad in Seville, Spain, at Trinity Christian College. While his immediate reasons at the time was to stay connected with his girlfriend, Brook, who needed a semester abroad to fulfill the requirements for her Spanish major, it was travelling around Spain that gave him a personal sense of what it means to be a witness of Christ.
“People go all around the world to be missionaries because God calls people to different things. That is wonderful, but I firmly believe that the places that need Jesus the most are places like Lake Oswego, Ore,” Puckett said.
After marrying Brook on the same year of his graduation in 2004, Puckett went straight into a job at Delap White Caldwell & Croy LLP (Delap) in Lake Oswego. Brook worked in Child Welfare Development until their two children came along, Michaela (8) and Josiah (6).
Working mostly with real estate, the firm started with 33 people when Puckett got there but ending with 120 at his departure. Puckett said that he was the first GFU graduate to be hired on
there, but throughout the years they amassed somewhere around 25 other GFU grads.
“The joys of my job were always devolving our young staff, seniors, and managers into being better at what they do. To me it was like a vocational ministry, recognizing that God has
placed me here at Delap,” Puckett said.
To this day, Puckett counts his 13 years of experience at Delap as extremely formational and informs a lot of what he does not as an AD. “Honestly, out of college I really wanted to
do sports management; I did not anticipate to be at Delap for 13 years!” Puckett says. “But through the years I just realized how much GFU had impacted my life and how much the place
meant to me, and I just love getting to work with and know young adults.”
Puckett still teaches corporate finance at GFU, but it was when his job at Delap and GFU overlapped that he realized what he wanted to do. “While I loved what I was doing at the firm, at the end of the day I was just tired,” Puckett says. “I love being able to work with students and speak into their lives.”
Now as the AD, he is able to use his position to connect with student athletes much more than he used to. As a firm believer in the GFU athletic mission statement that espouses athletic excellence, academic success and Christ-like character development, Puckett said, “Although it is so important that students and athletes are integrated, but I truly believe that our athletes can be leaders on campus too.”
Puckett wants to relate his competitive and athletic spirit to those in the GFU community. He says, “There is a big difference between a good Christian university and a Christian university that is on fire for God, so that when students leave here they bring their skills to each of their own industries. Let’s get after it.”
Reported by Jacks Whitehurst
Photographed by Satoshi Seth