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Sandy Barbour: Cal Athletic Director Opens Up

Part IV of our interview (click here for Part I, here for Part II, here for Part III) with Sandy Barbour! Ever wondered what Sandy's favorite Top Dog is? Read on!

Sandy Barbour chats with Lindsay Brauner
Sandy Barbour chats with Lindsay Brauner
Avinash Kunnath

(via Lindsay Brauner)

Lindsay Brauner: You are just one of a few female athletic directors in the NCAA. What does that mean to you?

Sandy Barbour: I believe there are five [female athletic directors] in all of Division 1-A and about, probably close to 30 in all of Division 1, if you include some basketball schools like DePaul that don't have football but are 1-AAA. So, whichever category you look at, the numbers are small.

I'll be honest with you, I try not to really focus on it or think about it a lot on a day-to-day basis because to me, my job is to be the very best Sandy Barbour you can possibly be and serve Cal and serve our community and do what's right for Cal everyday, but certainly there's a bigger picture.

I do feel some sense of responsibility for being successful, achieving at Cal, so perhaps other women can have this opportunity. But, at the same time, I also feel pressure to be successful here because of my passion for Cal. I feel pressure with others in this department for them to have other professional opportunities--male or female--down the road. It's certainly something that crops up.

I hope there comes a day that, whether it's me or it's Debbie Yow at NC State or whoever it is, that it becomes that we're known for being excellent administrators or we're known for having gotten a project like the Memorial Stadium project done, as opposed to being known as one of a few female athletic directors in the country.

LB: Can you talk to me about what your favorite place to eat is in Berkeley?

SB: Oh my...

LB: You can't say the training tables at Memorial Stadium.

(via Lindsay Brauner)

SB: [Laughs] The training table's pretty good, but it would not be my favorite place. There are so many, so many great places in the Bay Area and I had the privilege to live in New Orleans for nine years, which has some great restaurants, too, but they cannot hold a candle to the Bay Area. Wood Tavern is certainly one of my favorite places and À Côté and César, but also places like Steve's Korean BBQ and Top Dog, so it's all great. Chicken apple sausage is my favorite Top Dog.

LB: I was gonna ask you that!

SB: It's phenomenal. I feel a little shallow when people ask me what's great about living in the Bay Area and I don't lead with it, but certainly food and the variety of food and just the food experience that we have the privilege of having here in the Bay Area is certainly an absolute plus.

LB: Do you play any sports?

(via Lindsay Brauner)

SB: I played field hockey and basketball in college. Played a lot of sports in high school. I would say nowadays I'm limited to a little bit of golf--a little bit of bad golf--and trying to stay in shape, trying to get some workouts in on a weekly basis. But I stopped playing pick-up basketball and a lot of other things a long time ago because I didn't want to continue to embarrass myself.

LB: I was going to ask you why you stopped playing pick-up!

SB: It's better to have people create, in their own vision, how skilled you might have been than to completely wipe out all doubt.

LB: This may be a tough question to answer, but do you have a favorite sport?

SB: Well, you know, I certainly have sports I know more about and that I have maybe a greater connection to, but I'll be honest with you, the thing for me has to do with Cal student-athletes. Anything that Cal students or Cal student-athletes are participating in, I'm gonna be all in and interested in how they're doing and how Cal's doing and how they're representing Cal. That certainly holds my interest in a big, big way, so it's about the Cal student community and their participation.

(via Lindsay Brauner)

LB: Sandy, thank you so much for joining me, I really appreciate it.

SB: My pleasure. Go Bears!

LB: Go Bears!