Tuesday, August 9, 2022

UNCW announces athletic director stepping down

Jimmy Bass is UNCW’s Athletic Director. (Courtesy Jeff Janowski/UNCW).

WILMINGTON — UNCW’s second-longest-running athletics director will retire next April after 13 years in the role. 

Jimmy Bass, 65, became the sixth full-time director in 2010 and has since led the Seahawks to 31 Colonial Athletic Association championships. UNCW teams made it to the NCAA post-season 32 times and 37 individuals have competed in NCAA championships during Bass’ tenure. 

“One of my proudest accomplishments has been the outstanding academic record of student-athletes,” Bass said in UNCW’s Monday press release. “Our student-athletes have prepared themselves to become outstanding leaders in their chosen fields and in the community.”

Academic excellence was a tenet of Bass’s term. The university’s 311 student-athletes in 2022 reached a cumulative 3.394 grade point average and 61 student-athletes achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA according to the announcement. 

One of Bass’s priorities was to bring more money and efficiency to the athletics program. He restructured the department’s fundraising arm and entered into a sponsorship consulting partnership with IMG Worldwide in 2012. He streamlined ticket sales and communication by collaborating with the ticketing giant Paciolan in 2020 and the communications tool TeamWorks in 2021.

Bass also oversaw a $2 million renovation in 2011 and several subsequent upgrades to Trask Coliseum, including the installation of a large video board, construction of a control room and expansion of the Student-Athlete Support Services center. Three years ago, women’s basketball received a renovated locker room and the volleyball team a brand new one. 

In leadership extending beyond UNCW, Bass served as president of the CAA from 2012 to 2014. In 2019, Bass was appointed to the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee and assisted in seeding teams for the NCAA tournament. 

Before this role, Bass served as senior associate athletics director for External Operations at East Carolina before his athletics. No stranger to UNCW though, he was the first full-time athletics fundraiser for the university in 1986.

A native of Dunn, 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.

As a parting gift, Bass will be honored later this month as one of the winners of the Cushman & Wakefield Athletics Director 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.


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