CELEBRATION, Fla. — Don Corkran, who guided the grass-roots club membership of B.A.S.S. through 2008, will once again assume the job of B.A.S.S. Federation Nation director, B.A.S.S. LLC announced today.
“We got lucky: Don has agreed to come back to B.A.S.S.,” said Jerry McKinnis, one of three private investors who purchased B.A.S.S. from ESPN in November 2010. “In no other person could we have found such depth of knowledge and understanding of the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation. Everyone in the Federation Nation can welcome back Don knowing he’s going to work as hard for them as he ever did.”
Corkran, whose start date is May 16, said his return is a homecoming.
“I’m happy to be back home,” he said. “I’ve been a B.A.S.S. member since the early 1970s, and I feel like I am going back home now. I’m so excited, and I appreciate this opportunity to come back. I could see how deeply the new ownership of B.A.S.S. is committed to the Federation Nation program,” Corkran said. “They understand its importance.”
After a military career, Corkran joined B.A.S.S. in April 1990 as assistant tournament director. In May 1991, he was promoted to Federation Nation director. He served in that capacity until June 2000, and then from July 2003 to 2005. He filled in again to manage the program from May 2007 to January 2009.
Corkran said his first priorities will include increasing adult Federation Nation membership, just as he did in the 1990s. He’d also like to develop programs to get more kids, especially high schoolers, involved in clubs.
In general, the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation director serves as the national anchor for state-level B.A.S.S. affiliated organizations, which in turn serve local clubs. The B.A.S.S. Federation Nation also serves as the road for B.A.S.S. club members to the Bassmaster Classic, a long and competitive round of local, state and regional tournaments that end with the annual B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats, which produces six Classic qualifiers.
Working with Corkran in an effort to improve the service level for the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation members will be Deb Wilkinson. She comes from the B.A.S.S. tournament department, where she has served as a tournament manager since 2005, overseeing Weekend Series events and the former Women’s Bassmaster Tour.
“This is a new challenge for me,” Wilkinson said. “I look forward to contributing to building the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation.”
2011 Bassmaster Federation Championship and Federation Divisional Championships presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats Official Sponsors: Toyota Trucks, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, Skeeter, Triton, Yamaha
2011 Bassmaster Federation Championship and Federation Divisional Championships presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats Supporting Sponsors: Humminbird, Lowrance, Minn Kota, MotorGuide