By Donna Parker
George Becknell ’78 has perfected his balancing act serving as board chairman for the San Antonio Sports Foundation, managing his financial services business, and living in a household of women.
“I’ve been successfully living with my wife, Lori, for 21 years,” he laughingly remarks.
“We have two teenage daughters and even a female dog, so at times, it can be difficult around the house. We just believe in forgiveness and understanding each other’s differences.”
Lori, also a Trinity graduate of 1978, manages rental properties in their community of Alamo Heights. Their daughter Alexandra, 19, is a sophomore at Ole Miss and works summers at Saks Fifth Avenue. Their daughter Danielle, 14, is a high school cheerleader fluent in Spanish, having been involved in a language immersion program in first grade.
George set the tone for a successful life when he left the University of Texas, walking away from a full-ride football scholarship under legendary coach Darrell Royal —because he didn’t like the UT sports system. He tried junior college for a year before approaching Trinity’s football coach at the time, Gene Norris, who told George, “I want you to come to Trinity because you like Trinity.”
“In other words,” says George, “Coach Norris was more interested in the athletes’ education than he was the football field.”
George knew he’d found the right school and settled into playing ball, taking classes such as music appreciation and kinesiology, and participating in intramurals under Coach Jim Potter’s direction. He credits the academic environment and small, friendly campus with teaching him true life skills.
“The most successful people have the ability to form relationships. Whatever I did at Trinity helped me get out of my shell and develop relationships with anybody. That’s the key to success.”
When asked to describe his “perfect day,” George’s optimism shines through.
“I have those almost every day. I wake up at 6 and work out for two hours. I’m in my office by 9 working cases and making calls. Yoga classes two days a week and home by 5. Then, if I’m lucky, I’m attending a Spurs game!”
There, he wastes no time networking with Spurs player Tony Parker’s girlfriend, actress Eva Longoria, whom he’d like to recruit to volunteer for the Sports Foundation’s girls’ health and fitness program – because above all else, George believes in balancing his good fortune.
“It’s what I would tell any young person just getting out of college – if you don’t give back to society or build that into your future, then you’ll never be happy. In whatever career field you choose, only choose it if it makes you happy.”