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Former Illini football standout, longtime administrator has died

Kicker Mike Bass
University of Illinois
Mike Bass kicking for the Fighting Illini.

Mike Bass, a record-setting kicker for the Fighting Illini who later had a long career in state government and the U of I system, has died. He passed away March 18. No other details were given.

According to the school, Bass finished his football career in 1982 as Illinois's all-time leading scorer with 212 points. Known as the Illini's "Barefoot kicker" Bass led Illinois in scoring in all three seasons of 1980, 1981 and 1982, while also becoming the Illini's season and career field goal record holder by making 24 of 28 field goals in 1982 and 41 field goals during his three-year career. He is still tied for the single-game record by making five field goals that included the game winner on the final play of the game in a 29-28 victory at Wisconsin in 1982.

Bass was selected as a team captain in 1982 when the Illini played in the Liberty Bowl, the school's first bowl appearance since the 1964 Rose Bowl. He earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors and Second-Team All-America recognition his senior year of 1982. In 1990, Bass was selected as a member of the Illinois Football All-Century Team.

He went on to a 20-year career at the University of Illinois System and retired in May 2022 as the Special Advisor to the President and Deputy Comptroller where he led procurement diversity and legislative initiatives.

During Bass's career in the System Offices, he served as a leader in the Office of Business and Financial Services organization for 18 years and served as Assistant Vice President for External Affairs, Executive Assistant Vice President for Operations and External Relations, Executive Assistant Vice President for the Office of Business and Financial Services, Senior Associate Vice President for Capital Programs and Real Estate Services, and the Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance and Deputy Comptroller. For a brief time, he also served as the Interim Executive Director designate for Governmental Relations, utilizing his vast experience in state government.

Prior to joining the University of Illinois System, he spent 15 years working in Springfield in the Bureau of the Budget, as a member of the Senate Minority Appropriations Staff, Budget Director for the Department of Public Aid, and 10 years as Appropriations Director for the Senate Majority Staff.

A statement from the family said Bass is survived by his wife Mona and his son Tucker, his mom Bonnie, and his brothers Bob and David and their families. Services will be private,

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