Ruey Yen: The best Christmas gift that Cal Athletics can give me would be a nice deep run by Cal Men's Basketball to Sweet 16 and beyond. Despite a bit of an uneven pre-conference season, Cal's got enough talent to make a deep run in March. I hope this is the year when we get to see the Bears play into the 2nd weekend and beyond.
To get a bit greedy, I certainly would love to see the Bears win national championships in swimming (both men and women), crew (both men and women again), rugby (15s and 7s), and the first NCAA women's tennis championships all in the winter/spring of 2017. So 7 more team national titles this school year, is that too much to ask? Women's water polo, men's tennis, softball, and baseball (in a rebuilding year, unfortunately) can hopefully make a deep run into their respectively postseasons.
As for my gift to Cal Athletics, I hope that my weekly non-revenue columns can raise enough awareness to help all the Cal teams to raise enough money to not just survive but thrive for the foreseeable future. I hope more "Cal fans" can see how Golden Bears have done a great job, in general, with limited resources in many non-revenue sports and be inspired by the great work both on and off the field by our student-athletes.
Piotr Le: I think I would like a little more clarity in regards to the way Cal is funding itself. We have had too many unexpected financial issues coming up with athletics as well as with the rest of the budget.
boomtho: In no particular order, here are the gifts I'd like to get from Cal.
(1) A new football coaching staff, paid in the upper 1/2 to 1/4 of the conference, with a track record of success and at least two plus recruiters on staff.
(2) A sensible plan to contain Athletics costs, which could involve some of the following measures: cutting or fully endowing sports (10+ years), an agreement with the university to reimburse out of state athletes at a rate lower than full tuition, and a realistic plan to re-engage students and alumni for our main revenue sports (football, men's basketball) to drive revenue and lessen the stress of the stadium payments.
(3) A goddamn Rose Bowl. It's about time
In return, here's my wishlist for Cal to receive (sadly I cannot control this!):
(1) A commitment from the state of California to maintain, or increase, budgetary support
(2) A burying of the hatchet between professors and athletics to lessen the tension between the two (powerful) groups
(3) A megabucks donor, in the Phil Knight or Red McCombs or T-Boone mold.
Berkelium97: I'm looking forward to a gift of a new defensive coordinator during 2017 (unless we get a surprise announcement before the end of the year), although my optimism is tempered by the failures of Dykes' previous two picks for defensive coordinator. Assuming we win around 4 games next year, we'll probably have a new head coach by this time next year. That is what I'm really looking forward to in the next year.
Like boomtho, I'm hoping we decide to make a significant investment in the next coaching staff. To help pay off the Memorial Stadium renovations sooner, it would help to get butts in the seats. We've already spent about $400 million on renovations, so it's clear the university is committed to football success. At the very least, we've put ourselves into a position where we're financially compelled to have a successful team to help pay off our debts. If we're willing to spend the money necessary to get a proven winner at the P5 of NFL level, we should have no trouble filling Memorial Stadium at capacities not seen since the middle of the Tedford era. That would be a fine gift from Cal.
1. A defensive coordinator that will make me hopeful for the 2017 football season, of course!
2. One NCAA Tournament win for the men's basketball team.. I want Jabari and Ivan to go out with a bang. Of course, a lot of work to be done to get off the bubble for the mens basketball team, but I think they can do it.
3. Finally, the womens basketball team realizing their potential in Pac-12 play. It was a great start to the 2015-2016 as the womens team impressed in non-conference play... but stumbled to a 4-14 conference record. So, as great as the big start for the team is this year, conference play is going to be TOUGH. Let's get it started right with wins in Arizona next week.