IC Names New Athletics Director

An experienced athletics director, coach, and alumna took the helm of Ithaca College’s athletics department this past summer. Susan Bassett ’79, who has been recognized as a national leader in Division III athletics for the last two decades, has been named the new director of the Office of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports. Bassett was named Administrator of the Year for NCAA Division III institutions by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators on July 31.

She will succeed Ken Kutler, who announced last October that he would be stepping down from the post, which he held for more than 10 years. Bassett began the new position on July 1.

“Susan Bassett is a natural fit to lead the next generation of Ithaca College student-athletes and coaches,” said Marisa Kelly, provost and vice president for educational affairs. “She truly understands how every moment of students’ experiences at college, including their competitive or intramural athletic experience, helps prepare them for future success. Her experience, dedication, and vision will undoubtedly further strengthen the college’s athletics and recreational sports programs.”

Bassett has served since 2005 as the director of athletics, physical education, and recreation at Carnegie Mellon. During her tenure there, she developed a forum to provide students with leadership and life skills development and staff with professional development opportunities.

Prior to her arrival at Carnegie Mellon, Bassett served as the director of athletics at William Smith College in Geneva, New York. While there, Bassett developed a mentoring initiative to help student-athletes reach their full potential academically, athletically, and professionally. In 2000, William Smith was recognized as one of the top athletics programs in the nation by Sports Illustrated for Women.

Bassett began her career as head swimming and diving coach and assistant lacrosse and field hockey coach at William Smith, where she coached 22 all-Americans. She also held the title of head men’s and women’s swimming coach at Union College, where she mentored 92 all-Americans and was named the NCAA Division III coach of the year in 1993.

“I’m thrilled to accept this position and return to my alma mater,” said Bassett. “My time at Ithaca College uniquely prepared me to attain many of my goals over the last 30 years, and I am excited to help mentor and grow the next generation of IC student-athletes.”

In June 2010, Bassett received the Under Armour AD of the Year Award for the central region of the United States. In 2011, she became the first active Division III athletics director to be appointed president of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators.

Bassett earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Ithaca College in 1979 and was inducted into the Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005. She received a master’s degree in physical education from Indiana University in 1980 and holds places of honor in the Union College and William Smith halls of fame.