The California Golden Bears will be embarking on their third big sporting search in three years this winter (and possibly spring). Cal hired a new football coach in 2012-13, hired a new basketball coach in 2013-14, and will now have to deal with finding a new athletic director in 2014-15.
Jon Wilner has some new candidates for us to consider (Wilner isn't exactly the most plugged in, but let's go with it). Let's take a quick look at each of them.
Cal interim athletic director Mike Williams: I really don't know much about Williams because he doesn't have any formal experience in athletic administration, but it feels like the longer this process drags out, the better his chances get. Williams seemed to be disinterested in the job at the beginning, but he has changed tune and wants serious consideration.
I also get the feeling that if Nicholas Dirks had his way, this would be the hire. I'm not sure if this is good or bad in any way, just how things would add.
Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson: In terms of experience, it doesn't get much better than Anderson. He has plenty of familiarity with Cal, having been here as an assistant A.D. in the mid-90s. Those were not great times for Cal sports, so I'm not sure how I feel about him.
Anderson is a polarizing figure in Terp circles. On one hand, he helped leapfrog Maryland from the ACC into the more profitable Big Ten and has made some solid non-revenue coaching hires. The Terps also have cemented a strong relationship with Under Armour, even if it means less than desirable uniforms. On the other, his football hire wasn't great and he cut several non-revenue sports (sound familiar?). I guess this is the best of the high profile names on the list.
Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen: The former San Jose State A.D. did make a solid hire in Mike MacIntyre and did a good job turning around academic . He was a fundraiser at Cal from 2000 to 2002, which were again, lean years. I don't really see the appeal of Anderson and Bowen really--Cal did not have great athletic seasons when those two were part of the department.
UCF athletic director Todd Stansbury: The cultures here are just very different. Want to pick a school that is least like Cal? Pick UCF. Stansbury might have plenty of time at Oregon State, but are the Beavers renowned for their fundraising? I don't see this happening.