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Cal alum and ESPN announcer Roxy Bernstein highly critical of Mike Williams

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What’s Bear Territory looking like?

Cal athletic director Mike Williams

Play-by-play broadcaster for ESPN, the Pac-12 Network and California Golden Bears alum Roxy Bernstein recently sat down with to talk with Mercury News’ college sports reporter, Jon Wilner, on his "College Hotline" podcast to discuss the current state of Cal Athletics and the myriad of changes the department has faced recently. These types of challenges are not new, as Bernstein points out, "there's always something with Cal…It's not easy." Although, he does think Cal is at a "critical juncture" with these changes; the change in Chancellor and new coaching staffs for both the Football and Basketball programs.

Regardless, Bernstein appears optimistic in regards to the hiring of Justin Wilcox and Wyking Jones. Here are some of the highlights from the chat:

  1. He thinks Jones is inheriting an “OK Situation” (Although this interview took place before the loss of Charlie Buckets
  2. It is “critical that he assembles a good staff” – He was pleased with the hiring of Tim O’Toole.
  3. He thinks the goal for his first year should be to make the NCAA Tournament.
  • On Justin Wilcox: His only regret regarding Wilcox is that Cal’s decision to “let Sonny Dykes go and to hire Justin Wilcox” didn’t happen earlier.
  • On Both New Coaches:Bernstein thinks that the connection Wilcox and Jones both have with California should be used to strongly pursue potential recruits from the area to "Keep that top talent home." He emphasizes the importance of donors to both programs and argues that "They [Wilcox and Jones] need to get the donors involved.”

Bernstein saved his strongest criticism for Athletic Director, Mike Williams. Roxy made his ambivalent attitude toward the A.D. and his performance record while at Cal abundantly clear.

  • While he shows some sympathy for Williams and claims that he has the “toughest A.D. Job in the Pac-12,” he goes on to say that he doesn’t think “his strength” is dealing with the donor community or “running sports.”
  • He agrees that Williams is “very good at navigating the campus,” but that “somebody who is going to the be A.D. at Cal…has to be versatile and be able to handle a number of things instead of being good in just one specific area.”

Ultimately Bernstein thinks the Administration, Regents, the Chancellor and the AD are not on the same page and that something needs to change or Cal risks the possibility of having to “cut sports.”

Take a listen and let us know what your thoughts and takeaways from the podcast are.