Michael Williams didn’t want the athletic director’s job at Cal for more than a few months when he took over on an interim basis last June, but he said a series of up-close exchanges with football player Austin Clark last fall changed his perspective.
“After every game, Austin would give me the biggest, sweatiest, bloodiest, nastiest hug,” Williams said. “You don’t get that anywhere else.”
Williams’ interim tag was officially removed from his athletic director title Friday after a search that took more than 10 months but ended where it began.
Football coach Sonny Dykes and basketball coach Cuonzo Martin were in attendance at the campus news conference for Williams’ formal introduction as athletic director, and both coaches said they were pleased the choice.
Williams said he is excited about the arc of the school’s two most visible sports programs.
“Sonny has told me the third year is the great year in the Sonny Dykes system, so I’m looking forward it. No pressure,” Williams said, chuckling. “Cuonzo has brought something to Cal we haven’t had in years and years and years. (Through recruiting) he’s made Cal basketball relevant in the months of April and May.”