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This post's matchups: Sandy Barbour vs Bob Milano, Zack Follett vs Milica Vukadinovic
We continue on with the top half of the Joe Kapp bracket; top two matchups were posted this morning, and now we move onto the bottom two this afternoon. Polls for these matchups close next Thursday at midnight. The athlete matchups are above, the athlete descriptions and polls are after the jump.
#5 Sandy Barbour vs #12 Bob Milano
Although Sandy B gets a lot of credit for something she didn't do (the previous AD hired Tedford), she, nonetheless, has been one of the best ADs in Cal history. She was a historic hire as noted here:
BERKELEY – Saying she'd "spent 23 years preparing for this opportunity," Anne "Sandy" Barbour met the press, the public, and the UC Berkeley community Wednesday in her new role as UC Berkeley's athletic director.
The surprise pick makes Barbour, 44, the first woman ever to head Cal's sports program, and the first appointment by Robert J. Birgeneau, who doesn't assume his official duties as chancellor until next week. Wearing a blue-and-gold Cal necktie, Birgeneau noted that the announcement - a topic of intense speculation among Cal boosters and media wags alike -- came on his third day as a UC employee, and said he "couldn't have imagined how exciting it would be."
Cal has rocketed up the Director's Cup Standings since Sandy B came out here. Although she focuses strongly on the two revenue sports, she does not ignore the non-revenue sports, which can be just as important to school spirit. We have national champions in sports like women's swimming, discus, and crew. Not to mention elite teams, like women's volleyball.
I think she'll most known for her work to help shepherd the Memorial Stadium upgrade through. It was a long process and many other people, including many Cal fans, lost patience with the process. But she understood how things worked, kept unimportant problems unimportant and has Cal moving towards owning elite facilities. That's the job of an administrator, really. To provide leadership on important projects and make key decisions towards improving the metaphorical and literal playing field for our sports. And she has provided that in spades.
#12: Bob Milano
For the better part of four decades, Bob Milano was the heart and soul of Cal baseball. He played catcher for the Bears in the early 1960s. Then, after a brief semi-pro career in western Canada and a decade coaching and teaching at Burlingame High School, Milano returned to Berkeley in the ‘70s to serve as the Bears’ assistant coach and assistant athletic director. All of this was prelude, though, to his 22 years at the helm (1978-99), during which his teams’ 668 wins made him the winningest head coach in school history. Earlier this year, Milano was elected for induction into the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, topping a long list of career achievements, which also include the following:
- two-time Pac-10 Southern Division (the "Six Pac") Coach of the Year
- "Six-Pack" championship in 1980
- three College World Series appearances (including a 3rd-place finish in 1980)
- Olympic gold medal as an assistant coach of the U.S. National Team in 1988
- head coach of the U.S. National Team in 1997
- coached 15 All-Americans, 49 all-conference selections, and 1998 National Freshman of the Year, Xavier Nady
- fourth person in Cal baseball history to have his game jersey (No. 7) retired.
When I arrived at Cal in 1985, Milano was the senior member of a triumverate of charismatic coaches leading the three major men’s sports. Indeed, he seemed a perfect fit alongside football’s Joe Kapp and basketball’s Lou Campanelli. None of their teams were conference (let alone national) powerhouses, but all three men instilled a competitive fire in their players that made them a lot of fun to watch. For Milano, this meant the occasional belly-to-belly, nose-to-nose rhubarb with the umpires that always livened up an otherwise lazy weekend afternoon at Evans Diamond, and given the intimacy of the setting, fans were always well within shouting distance themselves. Alongside the series with Stanford, I always looked forward to the Sun Devils’ annual trip to Berkeley. ASU was, arguably, the premier team in the Six-Pack, and it was clear to all that Milano had a less-than-friendly relationship with his counterpart from Tempe, the late Jim Brock. I don’t know the full story, nor how much their feud extended beyond the diamond, but it centered around the 1988 College World Series, when Brock’s Devils handed Milano’s Bears a painful first-round loss using a bit of gamesmanship that stretched the boundaries of conventional baseball ethics. Leading up to the game, Brock had implied that he’d start his right-handed ace against Cal, only to surprisingly start the left-handed Rusty Kilgo in his place. As the New York Times explained, Brock was happy to ’fess up to the deception:
Brock said that he had not lied, since he had not specified a starter. When asked if his move was a breach of etiquette and whether it would affect Pacific-10 relations, Brock said: ‘’If you had to sacrifice 20 years of good relations to win today’s game, I would have done it.’’
Milano said he did not intend to speak to Brock about the issue. ’’I’ll file it away,’’ Milano said.
Lest anyone get the wrong impression, while a fierce competitor himself, Milano has long been revered around Berkeley as a gracious gentleman. That was certainly the impression I got in the few interactions I had with him myself, during my days at KALX. Ohio Bear recalls the same:
It was my play by play broadcast debut in the 1990 season. It was a brutal season for Cal baseball, but Bob Milano was the same old Bob. Anyway, we went down to the field to do the Bob Milano show taping and my broadcast partner informed Coach Milano that it was my baseball broadcast debut.
Bob: "That’s great. So is your mom going to be listening?"
Me: "No, not that I know of."
Bob: "Well, if your mom’s not even listening, I guess you’re not any good."
Awesome. (Yes, he was kidding.) Broke the ice nicely for my nervousness.
One of the things he was always gracious to do was the "Bob Milano Show," a pregame show that was pure Bob monologue. He’d take the mike and go 5 minutes. Awesome. It was a never fail lesson in baseball and candor, with the occasional funny malaprop. My favorite of all time was during a season in which a USC baseball player named Mark Smith shred us. He batted something like .600 against us that year and won 2 games with game-winning HRs. Yet, for whatever reason, Milano kept calling him "Chris Smith" over and over again. Gave him props, sure. But never got his name right!
And the Bob Milano legacy at Cal is far from complete. His son, Bob, Jr., is the Assistant A.D. for Capital Planning & Management. There is also a Diane Milano on the staff, who manages Cal’s Spirit Groups, but I don’t know if she and the Bobs are, indeed, related. (And to be honest, I’m assuming Bob and Bob, Jr. are father and son, but that is subject to fact checking.)