July 17, 2006
University of New Mexico director of athletics Paul Krebs announced today that Tim Cass has been named the school's senior associate director of athletics. Cass, a former Lobo men's tennis player and head coach and the current men's tennis coach at Texas A&M, replaces Conrad Colbert who retired in June. Cass will begin his position at UNM on August 1.
"I am very ecstatic about the opportunity to come back to UNM and work for Paul," stated Cass. "During our visit, I found his vision for UNM athletics and its role within the University, the community and the state of New Mexico to be something I would love to help carry out. Being a former Lobo, I have a great passion for the University of New Mexico. It is a dream of many people to return to their alma mater and this is certainly true in my case."
Cass, 41, is one of the most respected Division I head coaches in the nation and guided both the Lobos and the Aggies to unprecedented success. During Cass' 10 seasons at Texas A&M (1997-06), the Aggies won three Big 12 Tournament championships and a regular season Big 12 title. Texas A&M was in the NCAA tournament in all of Cass' 10 seasons and his record at the school was 196-84. Texas A&M is one of two teams (UCLA) to reach the NCAA Sweet 16 in six of the last seven seasons. Before Cass' arrival, the Aggies had reached the NCAA round of 16 just twice.
Cass started his coaching career at the age of 23 when he was hired at UNM in 1988. He took the reigns of a depleted Lobos program as one of the youngest head coaches in NCAA Division I at the time. Two seasons later, Cass had rebuilt the squad and guided the Lobos to the school's first Western Athletic Conference title in 23 years. He went on to win five consecutive WAC titles (1991-95) and guided New Mexico to a No. 6 national ranking in 1995.
In 18 years as a head coach, Cass has been conference coach of the year eight times, regional coach of the year four times and a finalist for national coach of the year four times. He has a career mark of 323-170, including a 127-86 record in eight years at New Mexico. Among active coaches, Cass ranks second in consecutive NCAA appearances with 16, taking New Mexico to six championships and A&M to 10.
Just as impressive as his coaching resume are Cass's accomplishments as an administrator and fund-raiser. During his time at Texas A&M, he was directly responsible for raising over $4 million to help enhance the tennis program and facilities. Cass oversaw all aspects of the construction of the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center and secured a $2 million cash gift for an indoor tennis facility. He also successfully marketed the Aggie tennis program, leading the nation in paid attendance for five consecutive years.
At New Mexico, Cass was responsible for the fundraising and construction of UNM's indoor tennis facility. He also initiated a season ticket program for men's tennis and developed a corporate box program that generated more than $25,000 annually for the athletics department.
Cass' work as an administrator includes assisting with the searches for the athletics director, head football coach, head basketball coach and head golf coach at Texas A&M. The Aggies also hosted the 2002 and 2005 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships and secured the event again in 2009. A member of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Board of Directors, the ITA Division I Operating Committee and a former member of the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Committee, Cass has been instrumental in modern changes to college tennis.
"Tim was selected from a very impressive pool of candidates," stated Krebs. "What stood out most was his success in both of his coaching stops. Tim will bring the perspective of a highly successful Division I coach to our staff. He knows what it takes to produce winning teams on the court and he has been a very effective administrator and fund-raiser at New Mexico and Texas A&M. Being a former Lobo also added to his appeal as a candidate. This was a place he wanted to be, a job he really wanted and I know he will be a valuable asset to Lobo athletics."
During his collegiate career for the Lobos, Cass was a three-time All-WAC honoree and was an All-American in doubles in 1986. After graduating from UNM in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in business administration, he participated on the professional tennis circuit for one year.
Cass married the former Laura Wood, who is an Albuquerque native and a UNM gradute, in 1998. The couple has two sons, Dylan Craig (4) and Hayden Francis (2). Laura is an attorney in private practice in College Station.