GENEVA, N.Y.—William Smith College Director of Athletics Susan Bassett has been named the director of athletics and physical education position at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. The appointment is effective July 1.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunities, I’ve had at William Smith,” Bassett said. “I believe the William Smith athletics staff is the best in Division III. It has been my privilege to work with them.
“Hobart and William Smith is a very special place for athletics.”
HWS President Mark D. Gearan praised Bassett's achievements.
“Susan Bassett has been an extraordinary leader for William Smith Athletics. She cares deeply for our student-athletes and has built a coaching staff that is nationally regarded. We will miss her leadership and committment to Hobart and William Smith,” said Gearan
At Carnegie Mellon, Bassett will oversee the university’s 17 NCAA Division III varsity teams—nine for men and eight for women. The Tartans are members of the University Athletic Association.
“Susan comes to us with exceptional credentials and we have great confidence in her ability to lead our very successful varsity and intramural athletic programs,” Carnegie Mellon Vice President for Enrollment William F. Elliott said. “She’s a great leader, administrator, teacher and coach who is admired and respected by her peers. I look forward to continued success for Carnegie Mellon athletics with Susan at the helm.”
Bassett’s leadership at William Smith has led to the addition of three varsity programs since her hiring in 1995: sailing, squash, and golf, and a wide array of additions and upgrades to the Colleges’ athletic facilities. Also under Bassett’s guidance, Heron Society membership has swelled to record numbers.
A national powerhouse before her arrival, William Smith has continued its championship tradition during the Bassett-era. The Herons have won two national championships since 1995 (Field Hockey 1997, 2000) and three ECAC Championships (Field Hockey 1999, Lacrosse 2001, Soccer 2003), as well as dozens of conference championships. In 2000, William Smith was recognized as one of the top athletic programs in the nation by “Sports Illustrated for Women.”
Beyond the athletic arena, Bassett has been instrumental in developing the whole Heron with the introduction of the Peak Performance Plan. The program aims to help student-athletes achieve peak performance academically, athletically, and professionally.
A member of the NCAA Division III Management Council 1999 until 2004, including the final year of her term as the chair of the council, she oversaw the development and passage of the wide sweeping reform package that were adopted during the 2004 NCAA Convention. She presently serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators.
Bassett enjoyed an extraordinary coaching career before moving into the director’s chair. As the swimming and diving coach at William Smith and later as the men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach at Union College, she mentored 114 All-Americans and two National Champions, was a three-time New York State Coach of the Year, and the 1993 NCAA Division III Women’s Coach of the Year.
In 2004, she was presented the Jean Giambrone Service Award for exemplary lifetime commitment to local women’s sports at the WHAM Sportswomen of the Year Awards Luncheon.
A 1979 graduate of Ithaca College, she received a master’s degree in physical education from Indiana University in 1980.