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Cal athletic director Mike Williams press conference open thread

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Cal Athletics

Here's part of the official statement from Cal Athletics.

Williams brings a comprehensive knowledge and a deep understanding of the university and its community through a range of perspectives, from a member of the wrestling team as an undergraduate to nearly 15 years of volunteer service for a variety of campus initiatives and programs, and most recently as interim director of athletics since June 2014.

“I am honored to accept the offer from Chancellor Dirks to serve as Director of Athletics at my alma mater, an institution that means so much to me and my family,” Williams said. “At UC Berkeley, we can offer a world-class education with an incredible athletic experience. My belief in that ideal has only strengthened over these past 10 months as I have been able to both lead and witness first-hand the extraordinary abilities and dedication of our student-athletes, coaches and staff.

“Ultimately, our goal is to build the strongest intercollegiate athletics department possible while furthering the right conditions for success,” Williams added. “Our priorities are to support our teams in their quest to compete for and win championships; continue to improve our student-athletes’ everyday experience and find more ways to better integrate student-athletes and staff with the campus. We will also keep our focus on building and growing the department in the right direction. My expectations are high and I expect nothing short of a strong, positive and collective effort from everyone involved.  We have the opportunity to coach, teach and mentor a world-class, amazing group of student-athletes and make sure they are well prepared to face and change the world following their experience here at Cal.”

More on Williams.

Williams's biggest priorities will be fundraising and alumni outreach to bring Cal Athletics revenue more in line with the other major California programs like USC, UCLA and Stanford. With major changes coming to college sports likely in the next decade, it'll be important for Cal to fill their coffers for the uncertain future.