UNCW Approves Contract Extensions for Keatts, Bass

Monday, April 18, 2016

UNCW men’s basketball Coach Kevin Keatts and Director of Athletics Jimmy Bass have received contract extensions, the university announced today after a special called meeting of the UNCW Board of Trustees.

The contract for Keatts, the award-winning coach of the 2016 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) regular season and tournament champions in men’s basketball, has been extended through the 2021 season. Keatts, who arrived at UNCW in 2014, became the first coach in CAA history to win Coach of the Year honors in consecutive seasons.

“Kevin is not just a superb coach but also a great role model for our student-athletes. He has also become a terrific ambassador for the university in communities across the state and nation," commented Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli. “In addition, Jimmy Bass has assembled and developed a great team of coaches, assistants, trainers and staff to teach and support our student-athletes, as their consistently strong accomplishments in competition and in the classroom demonstrate. We look forward to continued success for all of our sports teams under his leadership.”

The men's basketball team finished the 2015-2016 season 25-8 overall – a school record for wins – and set 19 records, including a school-record 11 consecutive victories from Jan. 9, 2016, to Feb. 13, 2016. The team also established new season records for field goals, free throws, three-point field goals, rebounds and points. The Seahawks won the regular season title for the second straight year and then defeated Charleston, Northeastern and Hofstra in Baltimore for the school’s first CAA crown since 2006 and the fifth tournament championship overall.

“I’m extremely excited because Georgette, our children and I love UNCW and the Wilmington community,” said Keatts. “We have made some major strides in the first two years and, with the support of Seahawk Nation, even bigger things lie ahead. I want to take this opportunity to thank Chancellor Sartarelli, Jimmy Bass, and everyone who has been so supportive the last two years. We're looking forward to building on what we've accomplished and keeping UNCW among the best programs in the country.”

The contract for Bass, athletics director since October 2010, was extended through November 15, 2018. Under his leadership, UNCW’s athletics program has reached new heights, winning 18 CAA championships during his first five years in office. The men’s basketball team and women's soccer and volleyball teams each advanced to the NCAA tournament during the 2015-16 season.

"I'm very humbled by this gesture and appreciate the vote of confidence shown by Chancellor Sartarelli and the Board of Trustees. We've made significant strides over the last six years in the face of many challenges and look forward to continuing to compete for championships and preparing our student-athletes to become solid citizens and excellent representatives of this fine university."

Earlier in April, five UNCW programs received Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA for placing among the top 10 percent nationally in the classroom, marking the largest number of Seahawk teams honored since the first year of the program in 2004-05.