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Leadership Lessons From The Chair With UNCW’s Jimmy Bass

Guest Jimmy Bass, UNC Wilmington
19:02 min watch


UNC Wilmington Director of Athletics Jimmy Bass sits down with AthleticDirectorU’s Tai M. Brown at the 2022 NACDA Convention as Bass concludes his final year leading the Seahawks. The duo discuss how his expectations of the job differed from the reality of his first few years, fostering relationships with donors, adjusting as new CEOs come aboard, difficult decisions and challenges in the chair and more.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - How did your expectations for what you wanted to accomplish as AD differ from before you got on campus to your first year?
  • - How critical were the relationships you built early in your tenure?
  • - Early in your tenure, how did you engage with donors about the needs you identified for the department versus previous priorities?
  • - You had a donor who had committed a major gift prior to taking over. What were the circumstances and nuances around you working to have the donor change their commitment?
  • - How many chancellors have you had at UNCW and what have you learned from them?
  • - As you welcome your fifth chancellor to UNCW, what adjustments do you make when a new CEO comes aboard?
  • - What were the challenges you went through as UNCW considered eliminating sports?
  • - In one instance, the announcement was made that UNCW would eliminate a sport, correct?
  • - How were you able to be resourceful to maintain UNCW's sport sponsorship and best serve the student-athletes?
  • - How did you lead UNCW Athletics after Hurricane Florence?
  • - What words of wisdom do you have for other ADs?