News

Bass Announces Retirement from UNCW Athletics

Monday, June 13, 2022

Director of Athletics Jimmy Bass, who has overseen a decade of significant athletic and academic achievement for UNCW Athletics, is stepping down, effective April 1, 2023.

Bass, 65, was named athletics director by then-Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo on Oct. 19, 2010. He is the program’s sixth full-time athletics director, following William J. "Bill" Brooks, Paul Miller, Peg Bradley-Doppes, Mike Capaccio and Kelly Mehrtens.

The second longest-tenured athletic director in the history of the program behind the legendary Brooks, Bass has orchestrated a decade of tremendous athletics success during his tenure in the Port City.

Bass will be honored later in June as one of the winners of the Cushman & Wakefield AD of the Year Award by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). He will be recognized for his work in the I-AAA Division.

“With Jimmy Bass at the helm of UNCW Athletics, our Seahawks have consistently achieved excellence in the classroom and in competition,” said UNCW Chancellor Jose Sartarelli. “His steady guidance, combined with his strong commitment to the success of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, have propelled UNCW Athletics to new heights since he joined our team in 2010.”

Under Bass' energetic leadership, the Seahawks have captured 31 Colonial Athletic Association championships and UNCW teams have advanced to the NCAA post-season 32 times. In addition, 37 individuals have competed in NCAA championships during Bass’ 12 years with the program.

“I couldn’t have succeeded without the help of so many people,” said Bass, a native of Dunn, NC. “First and foremost, I want to thank my family for their unconditional love and support. I also want to thank and congratulate all of the student-athletes for their dedication throughout the years. In addition, I’ve been very fortunate to work with so many outstanding coaches along the way. They have all been terrific role models for so many young men and women.

“One of my proudest accomplishments has been the outstanding academic record of student-athletes. We’ve consistently competed for championships. More importantly, our student-athletes have prepared themselves to become outstanding leaders in their chosen fields and in the community.”

With an expertise in marketing and fundraising, Bass restructured the department's fundraising arm when he first arrived and orchestrated a $2 million renovation to venerable Trask Coliseum. The Seahawks also reached a sponsorship consulting partnership with IMG Worldwide along the way and created partnerships with ticketing giant Paciolan as well as communications tool TeamWorks.

From 2012-14, Bass served as president of the CAA, assisting the league with expansion and other key initiatives.

In September 2019, Bass was appointed to the prestigious NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee, a six-member committee responsible for the selection and seeding of the competing golf teams in the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships. He continues to attend annual meetings with the Golf Coaches Association of America regarding NCAA Championship format, scoring, media, and factors influencing NCAA men's golf.

Bass has overseen several improvements in UNCW facilities as athletic director. Trask Coliseum has received several upgrades, including the installation of a large video board and construction of a control room eight years ago and the expansion of the Student-Athlete Support Services center. The women’s basketball locker room was renovated and a new locker room for the volleyball team came online three years ago.

In the classroom, Seahawk student-athletes have been among the UNC System’s top academic performers during Bass’ tenure. During the spring 2022 semester, the university’s 311 student-athletes compiled a cumulative 3.394 grade point average and 61 student-athletes achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Bass steered the program through some turbulent times as well, helping the program navigate COVID-19 protocols and an untimely flu outbreak by the men’s basketball team in the fall of 2021. He also worked around numerous hurricanes during his time in southeastern North Carolina.

Bass came to UNCW after spending three years as Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Operations at East Carolina University. He held previous positions at Mississippi State, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, UNCW and Davidson. Bass returned to the Port City after serving as UNCW's first full-time athletics fundraiser in 1986.

Bass earned a bachelor's degree in speech communication from N.C. State in 1978 before completing his master's degree in sports administration from Ohio University in 1980.

Career Highlights

Oct. 19, 2010: Named sixth athletic director in UNCW history during press conference in Golden Hawk Room of Nixon Annex.

Feb. 10, 2011: Restructures department's fundraising arm to be directed by Senior Associate A.D. Patrick Ransdell.

May 23, 2011: Unveils new strategic plan that encompasses 35 pages and maps out the department's goals through 2015 and beyond.

July 7, 2011: Oversees $2 million renovation to Trask Coliseum, the cornerstone of the program.

June 13, 2012: Selected president of the Colonial Athletic Association during the league's summer meetings in Hilton Head Island, SC.

June 19, 2012: Signs agreement with IMG College on a multi-year athletics sponsorship consulting partnership.

July 1, 2015: The Seahawks add beach volleyball as the 19th sport in the department's portfolio.

April 22, 2018: The Seahawks win two CAA championships (men's tennis and men's golf) in one day in the Triad area.

Sept. 20, 2019: Appointed to four-year term on the prestigious NCAA Division I Men's Golf Committee.

Sept. 17, 2020: Announces partnership with Paciolan to streamline and improve the game day and season ticket purchasing experience for Seahawk fans.

June 25, 2021: Announces partnership with TeamWorks, the leading athlete engagement platform for collegiate and professional organizations.

Mar. 15, 2022: Named one of the winners of the Cushman & Wakefield AD of the Year Award by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

UNCW “Firsts” Under Jimmy Bass

May 1, 2012: The men's tennis team earns its first at-large entry into the NCAA Men's Tennis Championships.

April 20, 2014: The Seahawks capture the school's first CAA women's tennis title with a 4-3 victory over Charleston in Williamsburg, Va.

Nov. 20, 2014: UNCW hosts its first NCAA championship event on campus when the men's soccer team entertains Patriot League champion Bucknell in the NCAA Tournament at the UNCW Soccer Stadium.

Nov. 9, 2015: The women's soccer team receives its first at-large invitation to the NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship.

May 14, 2022: The softball team captures its first CAA championship and earns the program’s first berth to the NCAA Softball Tournament.

Other Accomplishments
- The Seahawks have hosted 10 CAA championships on campus
- UNCW hosted five NCAA soccer championship games from April 27-May 2, 2020
- The Seahawks created and completed two strategic plans
- Upgrades have been made to nearly every athletic facility
- Introduced a comprehensive strategic plan during his inaugural year and later unveiled another five-year plan in July 2018

Jimmy Bass