Golden Nuggets: No need to discuss the AD timetable, but let's recognize DC Art Kaufman's hire as one of the best in the country

The welcome wagon is out for Art Kaufman. - Cal Bears Online

Sandy Barbour must have left some pretty big shoes to fill if it's gonna take a year to find her successor. After a bad 2013, Cal's hires for 2014 should be a big improvement.

(Due to behind-the-scenes miscommunication, this GN was originally intended to be another story on the new timeline for the AD search. Since I don't have time to rewrite all of it, enjoy a shoddy and thrown-together lead.)

Athlon Sports is taking a look at the best coordinator hires for the 2014 season with DC Art Kaufman making the list.

Injuries played a role in California's defensive struggles in 2013, but this unit needed a change at coordinator. In steps Kaufman, who was surprisingly fired after a solid 2013 season at Cincinnati. And prior to his one year with the Bearcats, Kaufman's defense at Texas Tech allowed 5.4 yards per play in 2012. Kaufman's arrival should immediately help the Golden Bears take a step forward on defense, but it's unrealistic to expect a quick turnaround to finish as one of the Pac-12's best defenses for 2014.

There are a few other hires related to the Pac-12 on the list. Somehow, Lane Kiffin's move to Bama is seen as a great move. It boggles the mind.

(It would have been some pretty great clickbait if my headline were "GN: The search for a new AD is going to take HOW long?!" wouldn't it?)

So much for expecting a quick fix in hiring the replacement for outgoing Athletic Director Sandy Barbour. Chancellor Nicholas Dirks revealed that they're planning on taking the hiring process slowly. Dirks went as far as to say he wouldn't expect a permanent hire before February, with plans already in place to spend a year with Interim AD Michael Williams.

Dirks said nothing tangible, including the hiring of a search firm or the assembling of a search committee, will begin until the Chancellor's Task Force on Academics and Athletics provides its recommendations. That report originally was scheduled to be delivered by late June, but now is expected in September.

...

Dirks created that panel last fall to generate a plan to improve the academic standing of Cal's sports teams. Academics stand as a priority for the new hire, alongside elevating the finances of a department that faces a $474 million long-term stadium renovation debt, and four years ago nearly was forced to cut four sports and reclassify a fifth.

Dirks, clearly an avid CGB reader decided to submit his official answer to our CGB Roundtable on the desired qualities for our next AD. Someone show Dirks how to register at SBN so he can just go ahead and leave it in the comments section next time.

Dirks said he's seeking "people who are wizards at financial management, terrific at recruiting, retaining and inspiring coaches and student-athletes, people who are gifted fundraisers," Dirks said. "They have to walk on water. Short of that, we hope there will be lots of people who can fill that role."

So, let's learn a little more about Williams and his responsibilities as temporary supreme overlord of all that is Cal.

One of Williams' most important tasks, Dirks said, will be as "the person at the helm for when we get the recommendations from the task force to figure out how to respond positively and meaningfully to the task force."

...

Williams, retired from his career as an investment banker, has agreed to stay on for up to a year. He is being paid a salary, Dirks said, but will fold that into his philanthropic giving to his alma mater, meaning he is essentially a volunteer.

Don't forget to take a look at all the other news in the Cal universe these days, including the loss of a Cal superstar and a great review of the past year (which I'd love to cover more in-depth here, but I think Ruey will have a story on that coming up on Friday).

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