Elizabeth W. Bass
2008 Outstanding Alumna
Beth Bass became Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) on Nov. 1, 2001. Only the second individual to assume this position in the 27-year history of the WBCA, Bass is the successor of Betty F. Jaynes who retired in November 2000 from the organization she helped found. Bass assumed the role of CEO of the organization as originally stipulated during her hire by the WBCA board of directors in late 1996. She originally joined the WBCA in January 1997 as Executive Director.
As Chief Executive Officer, Bass administers all operational affairs for the WBCA, which boasts more than 5,000 members, including coaches and leaders in women’s and girls’ basketball both nationally and internationally. Bass oversees all marketing endeavors of the Atlanta-based Association. She also manages the non-profit organization’s $3 million annual budget, all WBCA programs and services, and supervises the national office staff, which consists of 14 full-time staff members and six interns. She is also charged with overseeing the WBCA’s external affairs as she takes on a more active role with affiliate organizations such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) and USA Basketball.
The WBCA board of directors hired Bass after a highly successful tenure in the sports and fitness industry. With experience as a women’s basketball and women’s sports marketing executive at Converse Inc. and NIKE, Inc., Bass has been a catalyst for corporate support of women’s basketball for more than 10 years.
At NIKE, Bass specialized in the firm’s women’s basketball sports marketing endeavors, including coaching endorsements, the WBCA High School All-America Game, the inaugural Nike Girls All-America Camp, and the Coaches’ Extravaganza at the WBCA National Convention. Prior to NIKE, Bass served as National Sports Marketing Director at Converse from 1986 through 1995, during which time she cultivated Converse’s women’s basketball marketing endeavors including the renowned Converse/WBCA Coach of the Year Award.
A native of Hartsville, South Carolina, Bass was a four-year women’s basketball letterwinner at East Tennessee State University, where she graduated with honors in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in her double major of public relations/advertising and political science.
Upon leaving ETSU, Bass enrolled at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she served as a graduate assistant for marketing & promotions in the Lady Volunteers athletic department. She completed her master’s degree in recreation administration at UT in 1986.
Bass received the President’s Award from the National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) in April of 2004. She was honored for her efforts in promoting and marketing The State Farm Wade Trophy, which is the oldest and most prestigious award presented in Division I women’s basketball and commonly referred to as the “Heisman of Women’s Basketball.” The State Farm Wade Trophy honors the late Lily Margaret Wade who pioneered an unprecedented dynasty in women’s basketball, leading to the growth and popularity of the sport during the 1970s.
In 1998, Bass received an Award of Honor from East Tennessee State, which is given each year to deserving alumni recognizing outstanding accomplishment and representation of East Tennessee State. She was recently awarded the inaugural Spherion PathMaker Award given by ETSU Intercollegiate Athletics and the Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association (BASA) for Bass’ significant contributions to the develop-ment and success of young women, and to the advancement of opportunities for all women in their cho-sen field of endeavor.