Interim Cal athletic director Michael Williams said publicly for the first time Monday he would like to keep the job on a permanent basis.
“I have not offered, they have not asked,” Williams said. “My understanding is they want to get further into the process.
“If they come to me and say, `Is this something you’re interested in?’ Sure.”
The search committee, in a news release Monday, said it has met and is impressed with the number and quality of interested potential candidates. The timetable for hiring a new AD remains late April, the news release said.
Williams, a Cal grad who served in volunteer campus roles for a dozen years, said in June he intended to take the AD assignment on an interim basis, presumably not for more than a year. But he has warmed to the job and received favorable feedback from Cal Chancellor Nicholas Dirks.
“I’ve been doing this now for eight months. There was a much different feel to things in June than there is today,” he explained. “I’m actually doing the job – I’m hiring, I’m firing, I’m evaluating. I’ve had the experience with the student-athletes. I’ve had the experience with the recruits.
“There are things in this job you can get nowhere else.”
Cal’s chain of command was altered after Sandy Barbour was fired as athletic director, and Williams now reports directly to Dirks. He said the two have a standing weekly meeting.
“So he’s pretty up-to-date on what’s going on here,” Williams said. “I don’t have a sense that the chancellor is disappointed in how the department is being run.”
Williams was a wrestler at Cal, graduating in 1982. He served as an executive with Barlays Global Investments before retiring. With Cal, he is vice chair of the UC Berkeley Foundation and was a member of the Chancellor’s Task Force on Academics and Athletics.
“Unlike any place I know, Berkeley continues to be a place that changes lives,” Williams said. “Changes lives for the students, changes lives of their familes. And changes lives of communities. I just want to be a part of that.”