Bass, 65, was named athletic director by Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo on October 19, 2010. He is the program’s sixth full-time athletic director, joining William J. “Bill” Brooks, Paul Miller, Peg Bradley-Doppes , Mike Capaccio and Kelly Mehrtens.
The second-longest tenured athletic director in program history behind the legendary Brooks, Bass orchestrated a decade of tremendous sporting 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 within the I-AAA division.
“With jimmy bass at the helm of UNCW Athletics, our Seahawks have consistently achieved excellence in class and competition,” said UNCW Chancellor Jose Sartarelli. , have propelled UNCW Athletics to new heights since joining our team in 2010.”
Under Bass’s energetic leadership, the Seahawks have won 31 Colonial Athletic Association championships and UNCW teams have qualified for the NCAA playoffs 32 times. Additionally, 37 people have competed in NCAA championships during Bass’s 12 years with the program.
“I couldn’t have done it without the help of so many people,” said Bass, a native of Dunn, North Carolina. “First of all, 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 over the years. Additionally, I have been blessed to work with so many great coaches along the way, all of whom have been great role models for so many young men and women.
“One of the accomplishments I am most proud of is the outstanding academic record of student-athletes. We have consistently competed for championships. Most importantly, our student-athletes have prepared themselves to be outstanding leaders in their fields of predilection and in the community.”
With marketing and fundraising expertise, Bass restructured the department’s fundraising arm upon his arrival and orchestrated a $2 million renovation of the venerable Trask Coliseum. The Seahawks have also entered into a sponsorship advisory partnership with IMG Worldwide along the way and have partnered with ticketing giant Paciolan as well as communications tool TeamWorks.
From 2012 to 2014, Bass served as CAA President, assisting the league with expansion and other key initiatives.
In September 2019, Bass was named to the prestigious NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Committee, a six-member committee responsible for selecting and seeding golf teams competing in the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships. He continues to attend annual meetings of the Golf Coaches Association of America regarding NCAA championship format, scoring, media, and factors influencing NCAA men’s golf.
Bass oversaw several facility upgrades as athletic director. Trask Coliseum 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 was commissioned three years ago.
In the classroom, Seahawk student-athletes were among the top academic students in the UNC system during his tenure. In the spring 2022 semester, the school’s 311 student-athletes compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3,394 and 61 student-athletes achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA in the second semester.
Bass also led the program through turbulent times, helping the program navigate Covid-19 protocols and a premature flu outbreak by the men’s basketball team in the fall of 2021. He also worked around numerous hurricanes during its stay in southeastern North Carolina.
Bass came to UNCW after spending three years as senior associate athletic director for external operations at East Carolina. He held previous positions at Mississippi State, NC 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 voice communication from NC State in 1978 before completing his master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University in 1980.
October 19, 2010: Named the sixth athletic director in UNCW history during a press conference in the Golden Hawk Room of the Nixon Annex.
February 10, 2011: Restructures the department’s fundraising arm to be led by AD Senior Deputy Patrick Ransdell.
May 23, 2011: Unveils a new strategic plan that includes 35 pages and charts the department’s goals through 2015 and beyond.
July 7, 2011: Oversees the $2 million renovation of the 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: Signing of an agreement with IMG College on a multi-year sports sponsorship consultancy 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.
September 20, 2019: Appointed for a four-year term to the prestigious NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee.
September 17, 2020: Announces a partnership with Paciolan to streamline and improve the experience of purchasing game days and season tickets for Seahawk fans.
June 25, 2021: Announcing a partnership with TeamWorks, the leading athlete engagement platform for collegiate and professional organizations.
March 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 wins its first general entry into the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships.
April 20, 2014: Seahawks capture school first CAA women’s tennis title with a 4-3 win over Charleston in Williamsburg, Va.
November 20, 2014: UNCW hosts its first NCAA Championship event on campus as the men’s soccer team entertains Patriot League champion Bucknell during the NCAA Tournament at UNCW Soccer Stadium.
November 9, 2015: The women’s soccer team receives its first general invitation to the NCAA Division I women’s soccer championship.
May 14, 2022: The softball team catches its first CAA and earns first place in the program at the NCAA Softball Tournament.
-The Seahawks have hosted 10 CAA championships on campus
-UNCW hosted five NCAA Football Championship games from April 27 to May 2, 2020
-The Seahawks have created and completed two strategic plans
-Improvements have been made to almost all sports facilities
– Presented a comprehensive strategic plan in its inaugural year and then unveiled another five-year plan in late July 2018