Susan Bassett Named Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports at Ithaca College

(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – Carnegie Mellon Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation Susan Bassett has announced her resignation after eight years at the helm of the department. Bassett has accepted a similar post at Ithaca College, her alma mater, and will assume duties as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports on July 1.

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve Carnegie Mellon University for these past eight years,” Bassett said. “I have found the experience to be challenging, enriching, rewarding and wonderful. The university community is truly extraordinary. I am confident that the department will continue on the positive trajectory it enjoys,” Bassett said.

Bassett has had an indelible impact on the Carnegie Mellon community since her arrival in 2005. During her tenure, Bassett developed the Excellence Forum to provide students with leadership and life-skills development and staff with professional development opportunities. Additionally, Bassett participated in the improvement of many campus facilities, including the installation of a new state-of-the-art turf field for Gesling Stadium, the replacement of the university’s track, the addition of a varsity weight room and a new soccer field.

“It would be impossible to overstate the impact Susan has had on the health and welfare of this campus during her tenure with the university,” said Carnegie Mellon Vice President for Campus Affairs Michael Murphy. “Far from simply building a stronger department, she helped us all realize anew that physical health, active engagement, sportsmanship, leadership and teamwork are all important elements to our individual success and community fabric. I am grateful for the foundation she has built here, which will sustain us in this transition and in the years to come.”

At Ithaca, Bassett will oversee a program with 27 intercollegiate sports. Ithaca has been a national power in Division III for many years, as the college has won 15 team national championships in eight different sports. Bassett will replace Ken Kutler, who stepped down after 10 years at Ithaca.

“It is a dream come true to return to Ithaca College as the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports,” Bassett said. “I am honored by the confidence that Provost (Marisa) Kelly and President (Thomas) Rochon have placed in me to join their administrative team. The tradition of excellence in athletics at Ithaca College defines it as one of the best athletics programs in NCAA Division III. I am thrilled to accept this position and return to my alma mater.”

Bassett earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Ithaca College in 1979, where she became a member of the athletic hall of fame in the fall of 2005.

“Susan Bassett is a natural fit to lead Athletics and Recreational Sports at this moment in IC history,” said Kelly, provost and vice president for educational affairs at Ithaca College. “She truly understands how every moment of students’ experiences at college, including their competitive or intramural athletic experience, helps prepare them for future success.”

Bassett began her career as a swimming and diving coach at William Smith College. She would go on to lead the Union College swimming and diving program and earn NCAA Coach of the Year honors in 1993. Bassett later spent 10 years as director of athletics at William Smith and is a member of both the William Smith and Union Athletics Halls of Fame.

During her eight-year tenure at Carnegie Mellon, Bassett’s achievements have been recognized on a national level by her peers in intercollegiate athletics. In June 2010, Bassett was named the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year for the Central Region of the United States. Bassett was one of 29 individuals honored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and one of four Division III administrators to win the prestigious award. Additionally, Bassett became just the first active Division III athletics director to assume the executive post of NACWAA President in 2011.

Bassett received a master’s degree in physical education from Indiana University in 1980. In September 2012, Bassett was inducted into the Heron Hall of Honor at William Smith.