Susan Bassett

Associate Vice President and Director for Intercollegiate Athletics and Campus Recreation

Susan Bassett

Susan Bassett ‘79 began her tenure as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports at her alma mater on July 1, 2013. During the 2017-18 academic year, Bassett was promoted as an associate vice president in Student Affairs and Campus Life. In the 2022-23 school year Susan was again promoted to associate vice president directly reporting to the President, and she now serves as a member of the President's Cabinet. 

Since her return to IC, Bassett’s mission has been to build on the foundation of excellence and legacy of achievement synonymous with IC Athletics. Bassett’s priority in all realms of the program is focused on student experience through participation in a comprehensive educational athletics experience. The athletics programs at IC have benefitted significantly from the work Bassett has done to improve the facilities around campus. Since 2014, IC athletics has seen improvements to Carp Wood Field with a new irrigation system in the summer of 2018, Butterfield Stadium received a new retaining wall in 2017 and the locker rooms (baseball and football) in Ceracche underwent renovations during the summer of 2018. At the Athletics and Events Center, Giannotti Weight Room was renovated and updated in 2016, and the women’s golf team enjoyed the installation of a state-of-the-art golf simulator during that same year. The turf at Higgins Stadium was expanded prior to the start of the 2017-18 academic year and resurfaced with FieldTurf better serving the needs of both intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports.

Bassett joined Ithaca College after serving as Director of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation at Carnegie Mellon University from 2005-2013. During her tenure, she 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 the university's stadium, the replacement of the university's track, the addition of a varsity weight room, and a new soccer stadium.  The Tartans began their trajectory of competitive success in both the UAA and NCAA competition as the women’s soccer team advanced to the elite 8, women’s tennis, men’s basketball, track and football were NCAA Championship participants among other notable team achievements during her time in Pittsburgh.

In June 2010, Bassett was named the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year for the Central Region of the United States. In 2010, she became the first active Division III athletics director to be elected president of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA), now Women Leaders in College Sports.

Prior to her arrival at Carnegie Mellon, Bassett served as the director of athletics at William Smith College in Geneva, N.Y. for 10 years from 1995-2005. During her tenure, she facilitated the addition of a new golf and sailing team and the athletics programs enjoyed regional and national prominence. Bassett also developed the Peak Performance Plan, 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 three athletics programs in the nation by "Sports Illustrated for Women." During her tenure at William Smith, Bassett was elected Chair of the NCAA Division III Management Council and guided the Division through the 2004 Reform Agenda.

Bassett began her career as head swimming and diving coach and assistant lacrosse and field hockey coach at William Smith from 1980-1987, where she coached 22 Swimming All-Americans. She also served as the head men's and women's swimming coach at Union College from 1987-1995, where she mentored 92 All-Americans and was named the NCAA Division III Coach of the Year in 1993. Bassett coached Union to 5 top ten NCAA Championship finishes during her time at the helm.

Bassett earned her bachelor's degree in physical education with a concentration in Athletic Training from Ithaca College in 1979 and was inducted into the Ithaca College Hall of Fame in 2005. She received a master's degree in physical education from Indiana University in 1980. Bassett was inducted into the Union College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006 and into the Heron Hall of Honor at William Smith College in 2012.

Learn more about Athletics at IC here.