UR Hall of Fame basketball player, radio, TV analyst Beckwith dies at 60

Free Press staff report | 5/30/2024, 6 p.m.
Greg Beckwith, who served as University of Richmond’s basketball radio and television analyst for more than 20 years following his …
Greg Beckwith

Greg Beckwith, who served as University of Richmond’s basketball radio and television analyst for more than 20 years following his hall of fame career as a UR guard, died Friday at age 60.

He is survived by his wife, Julie, and his children Brittany and BJ.

Mr. Beckwith arrived at Richmond in 1982 as a 5-foot-10 freshman point guard from Uniontown, Pa., and has been among the most beloved members of Spider Nation ever since. For his record-setting accomplishments as a player and his service to the program as an alumnus, he was inducted into the Richmond Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.

“First as a player, then as a coach, and finally as a broadcaster, Greg has been a vital part of Richmond Athletics for more than 40 years. He brought a positive spirit to the Robins Center and everywhere he traveled on behalf of Spider Basketball,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hardt. “ We will miss his smile, his laugh, and his love for his school more than words can describe.”

Mr. Beckwith was the starting point guard for the 1983-84 Spiders, leading the team to the ECAC South conference championship and the program’s first berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Spiders defeated Rider in the opening round before stunning No. 5 seed Auburn and Charles Barkley in the first round, a game that marked the start of Richmond’s reputation as “Giant Killers” in the NCAA Tournament.

This February, Mr. Beckwith and the rest of the team were recognized at halftime of Richmond’s game vs Davidson, a contest in which Mr. Beckwith provided commentary alongside announcer Bob Black, his on-air partner for the past 21 seasons.

“I’m so fortunate to have known Beck for 40 years,” Mr. Black said. “We’ve had so many great small point guards over my years, and Greg was the original who set the standard. But it’s the years since that I’ll forever cherish. As my broadcast partner for more than 20 years, Beck was great on the air and even better off the air. His positive, smiling personality, which touched so many people, was an inspiration to me, and we became so close that I think of him not just as a colleague and friend, but as a brother.”

Mr. Beckwith also led Richmond to the 1986 NCAA Tournament as a senior, earning All-State and All-CAA honors. He left Richmond as the program’s career leader in assists and steals and held both marks for more than 30 years (he now ranks second behind Jacob Gilyard in both categories). Mr. Beckwith still holds UR records for most assists in a season (200 in 1985-86) and most assists in a game (16 vs Navy on Feb. 25, 1986).

Following his playing career, Mr. Beckwith coached, serving as a graduate assistant at both Richmond and Virginia Tech. Following coaching, he began a long career in athletic apparel, starting with AJD Cap Company. In 1998, he joined Adidas, beginning a 23-year relationship that would see him ascend to sales manager of the Eastern Region. Following his retirement from Adidas, Mr. Beckwith joined S&S Activewear as an account executive in 2022.

A celebration of life is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, June 3, at Cannon Memorial Chapel on the UR campus. A reception follows in the Robins Center. Visitation begins 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at Bliley’s Funeral Home, 3801 Augusta Ave.