Scott Chong: $, Beat Furd, World Domination
Leland Wong: Maintain the stellar academics of our Olympic sports; ensure the football team continues their academic turnaround; and work with Men's Basketball to ensure their improvement. Get that money to pay for the stadium. Prove to us that he or she does indeed love Cal and is a human and not a giant slime monster disguised as a human.
boomtho: First, I think the new AD has to meet with Dykes. As has been covered on CGB, Martin should be "safer" given Wilton's involvement in the hire. I think think the AD should meet with Dykes ASAP to set clear expectations. After that, I think the focus has to turn to fundraising. This is a unique chance to re-energize the donor base and so the AD should take advantage of it.
Nick Kranz: In a sense, the new AD will be one successful football program away from a truly thriving department. Sandy left behind mostly upgraded facilities, a more stable financial structure and mostly successful non-revenue sports. Hopefully the academic issue has already been addressed, and the new AD will merely have to maintain the progress that has already been made.
But oof, the football team. I don't envy the decisions that will potentially have to be made. If Cal finishes with only marginal improvement (say, 3-9 or worse) then you have to decide whether you fire a coach who hasn't been remotely been dealt a fair hand or given enough time. Or you decide to stand pat and hope that the coaching staff that has gone something like 4-20 can turn it around. Dangerous decisions, all.
Also, if the new AD could somehow secure the funding and begin the renovation and rehabilitation of the east side of Memorial Stadium, that would be peachy. But I'd also like the new AD to win a national title in each of the 30 sports that Cal competes, achieve a 100% graduation rate and grant free parking for all season ticket holders. I suspect that an east side rebuild is about as likely.
Avinash Kunnath: The #1 priority is deciding whether Sonny Dykes is the right person for the job. We can be good at non-revenue sports forever, but the majority of Cal fans who donate won't give a hoot if the football program is getting wiped up and down by USC and Stanfurd.
If he gets hired before or during the start of the season (it's been reported by multiple people that the search will be slow), that provides added pressure on Dykes. What I'm hoping happens is that the interim AD Williams stays in place for the rest of the calendar year and that eases the pressure on Sonny game-to-game so he doesn't have to worry as much about getting to Year 3. But if the AD comes before or early in the season, I can also see them trying to get their hands dirty and find the right man.
But I imagine in all circumstances we should have a new AD before the 2015 football season, and he or she will be ready for the reboot. By then he will have a good sense as to whether Dykes is up to the task, or whether it's time to begin looking for potential outlets or scooping out hot candidates. Sandy Barbour probably knew that Jeff Tedford could be gone a few months before she was, but really wasn't able to sell Cal to Chris Petersen (who is now a Pac-12 rival) or Gary Andersen (who is adjusting well to Wisconsin) and chose Sonny over Mike MacIntyre (who performed better in Year 1 with a similar talent gap). With basketball, it ended up being Travis DeCuire or bust. Whereas when John Wilton entered the picture and became more prominently involved in coaching searches, he managed to scoop a name no one was expecting in Cuonzo Martin.
I'm hoping the new AD will not only have the vision to find the right names, but also the ability to sell Cal to the best possible candidate for the job. The Bears have to get good on the football field as quickly as possible and the athletic director has to be cognizant of the fact.
Ruey Yen: That's the first I have heard of a timeline for the new AD hire. It's interesting that Cal will approach this slowly. The top priority for the new AD to me is to make sure that the Athletics Department is in a good place financially, and the way to that is mostly football (which I think has been covered for quite a bit). I also think the new AD can really improve on the "Cal" branding issue. With the Women's World Cup and the Alex Morgan connection and even more so the Rio 2016 games and Missy Franklin turning pro (but still training with Cal Aquatics so she will sports Cal gear like Natalie Coughlin has done), these are golden opportunities to have the Cal brand be spread beyond just the typical world of athletics but also whatever other products these athletes will likely endorse.
People around the world think of "California" as a magical place, and we do own that moniker for our sports team.
Avinash Kunnath: "That's the first I have heard of a timeline for the new AD hire. It's interesting that Cal will approach this slowly."
There's no actual timeline. It's just something I made up on the top of my head. Slow could mean six months or six weeks. All we know is that the AD isn't in a hurry to find a new leader right now with Wilton having someone he trusts in the seat.
The issue of branding is a critical one as well (and perhaps a roundtable of its own). It is one of the biggest issues that Cal has going forward. Do they want to be UC Berkeley, do they want to be California, or do they want to be Cal? The athletic department and the university have long tried to distance themselves from one another, but we're approaching a point where that has come as a detriment to their overall product. There are still too many people outside of Bear Territory who don't know that Berkeley and Cal are one and the same, and that is a significant branding issue that the new AD will have to address.
So what do you think? Where should the future new AD's priorities lie?