UNCW athletics: Looking forward following a season of success - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

UNCW athletics: Looking forward following a season of success

UNCW has added branding and signage all throughout its athletic facilities. (Source:UNCW) UNCW has added branding and signage all throughout its athletic facilities. (Source:UNCW)

Unprecedented is one way to describe the 2015-1016 UNCW athletic season.

"I know we had a great year competitively," said Jimmy Bass, UNCW's Athletic Director. "We had a really really good year I think with community engagement and the things all our 300+ student athletes do to help make Wilmington and southeastern North Carolina a better community. Overall it was a terrific year in 15-16."
The Seahawks watched the women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s basketball, and baseball teams as they qualified for NCAA Tournaments, and individual representation in three other sports. So after a year of success that helped elevate the UNCW athletic profile, how do the Seahawks build on this momentum?

Well, by building.

A covered batting cage, locker room improvements, turf fields, an indoor practice facility, and a renovated track are all projects that are completed or in the works. The main priority now - fundraising, to make those visions a reality. 

Mark Scalf’s Diamondhawks were one win away from advancing to the Super Regionals, which would’ve been the first time in school history. Many draw comparisons between UNCW and Coastal Carolina – who just earned a national championship. Coastal is ahead in the facilities race – but Scalf sees progress in the vision UNCW has for its program.

“I think our biggest challenges are continuing to try and make some facility improvements as we go, to improve our development opportunities and facilities, because our program’s based on developments," said Scalf. "Facilities is one, and continuing to grow our scholarship budget to where we have the ability to go out of state and find some players we may not be able to find in state”

Further off than the casual observer may notice, UNCW is also working on the little details that add up. Branding and signage have been placed throughout campus, with the goal of building pride and culture in a program looking to compete with not just conference opponents, but those schools in the state that dominate the headlines.

"Everybody here has a good understanding of what needs to take place," said Scalf. "You see other programs around the country and top 40 top 50 programs around the country continuing to build facilities which helps with recruiting, their fanbase, and I think our administration certainly understands that and is putting some plans together to move in the right direction." 

Bass is excited about what comes next for the Seahawks. "I think we can compete successfully in so many sports. The soccers, the baseballs, our volleyball is continuing to get better - starting the sand volleyball program has been a boon for our indoor program from a talent standpoint, an energy standpoint, a player development standpoint. I think those programs are going to continue to get better every year." 

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