Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Cal interim AD Williams jumps into new role

By
From page B8 | August 22, 2014 |

BERKELEY — Michael Williams makes it clear: The word “caretaker” is not the description for how he sees his role as interim athletic director at California.

In a little more than a month since officially replacing Sandy Barbour, Williams has hired coaches, negotiated contracts and put in countless hours already, building relationship with athletes and coaches.

“I’m here to do the job. I’m doing the job,” he said during a recent interview in his office. “I am here to do the job for as long as I’m in the seat.”

Williams has committed to staying in this role through next June, when Cal hopes to have a permanent successor to Barbour in place. His most high-profile role in that time just might be evaluating second-year football coach Sonny Dykes.

Dykes won just one game is his debut season at Cal, rankling alums who have waited more than a half-century for a return trip to the Rose Bowl, and contributing to Barbour’s departure in June.

Williams has traveled with Dykes as the two try to build a rapport, and he attends football practice almost every other day. A longtime Cal fan and season-ticket holder, Williams described his new role as a critic who wants to make sure the program is headed in the right direction after winning just four games the past two seasons.

Williams said he believes Dykes has the program on the upswing, citing a stronger commitment to academics after years of embarrassingly low graduation rates, and a changed culture that has produced a stronger work ethic.

“I don’t have a number of wins and losses, although I do expect to see wins this year,” Williams said. “I think the campus will be OK with a few wins if Sonny has the right type of player and academic performance. He’s doing that. We also want to see a more competitive team on the field. The way the season ended last year was a bit of a downer.”

Making the recent struggles on the field and in the classroom more painful at Cal is what Williams describes as “Stanford envy.” While the Golden Bears have fallen to the bottom of the Pac-12, their Bay Area rivals at Stanford have made four straight trips to BCS games while dealing with perhaps the toughest academic requirements in major college football.

It’s a far cry from just a decade ago when Cal was challenging USC for dominance in the conference and the Cardinal were bottom dwellers before Jim Harbaugh turned the program around. Williams said that example shows a turnaround is possible with the right coach and the right commitment from the school as a whole.

While overseeing the football program is the highest-profile task for Williams, it is not the most crucial. Williams said his three main priorities are helping Chancellor Nicholas Dirks develop a sustainable financial model for college athletics, improving the college experience for student-athletes, and restoring the focus on academics in the athletic department.

Most of Cal’s teams in the Olympic sports do an admirable job graduating athletes, but the football and men’s basketball teams have lagged far behind. According to numbers released last fall by the NCAA, Cal’s 44 percent graduation rate for football players who entered school from 2003-06 was the lowest of any major conference team. The 38 percent rate in men’s basketball was fourth worst among major conferences.

Dirks put together a task force to address those issues. Williams was a member even before he took on his new role as interim AD. The report will be released by the end of next month.

“I think he will be disappointed, I think the campus will be disappointed and I think Berkeley alums and the Berkeley community will be disappointed if we don’t see bold recommendations,” Williams said.

Williams wouldn’t discuss specifics, but said getting athletes more involved with the rest of the student body and making sure all students have access to classes they need for their majors were high priorities.

The department had already increased support services for athletes and has seen improved results. The football team had a 969 out of 1,000 in the Academic Performance Rate for 2012-13 released by the NCAA in May, and players have had strong grades ever since Dykes arrived.

“I’m very focused on academics and we were before I took over,” Williams said. “We have already made changes and will make more.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 40 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo youth wins county spelling bee

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Searchers find 84-year-old missing nearly a day

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Symphony opportunity, scholarships available

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Music teachers receive program grants

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Vallejo woman hit, killed by vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

Workshops offer information on child support process

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Fairfield police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Suisun City police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Man struck by car, injured

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

.

US / World

 
 
3D print technology provides ‘robohand’ to 7-year-old girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Family: Man dead at Hollywood Hills home is Andrew Getty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Tuskegee Airman Leslie A. Williams dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend after salsa argument

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Dress-wearing man killed by NSA police had lengthy record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Defense rests in 1st phase of Boston Marathon bombing trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Nigerian troops prevent Boko Haram attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Iran nuke talks extend past deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

Transportation strike shuts down Argentina

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Relief program paid millions for ‘flawed’ work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Buhari defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigerian election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: April 1, 2015

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
Should we sent wedding invitations to relatives we know can’t come?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

Dressing up spring asparagus with an easy brown butter sauce

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Olympic champ Gabby Douglas’ family to get reality show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Randle sets record, leads Stanford past ODU in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vanden’s Orme strikes out 16, tosses no-hitter

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep boys golf preview: All 4 city teams are young

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1

 
Short-handed Miami rallies to beat Temple 60-57 in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Barry Zito’s scoreless streak ends; A’s beat Angels 13-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn’t disturb fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lincecum pitches into 6th in Giants’ win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP’s Run to the Roses: Mubtaahij No. 8; Dortmund still No. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michigan State title would be worth $1 million to Vegas man

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
University of North Dakota begins campaign to find nickname

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky’s platoon system gives way to traditional rotation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chris Mullin returns home to coach St. John’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Soccer player at center of search killed crossing LA freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Frozen Four will be old home week for BU coach David Quinn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Olympic tickets go on sale despite football uncertainty

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tiger Woods plays practice round at Augusta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US gives up another late goal in 1-1 tie at Switzerland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR finds Ryan Newman’s race team for manipulated tires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots owner: Aaron Hernandez told me he was innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders release DT Antonio Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee hires former Texas coach Rick Barnes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Thunder star Kevin Durant has bone graft surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey showing off versatility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Many trucks being driven beyond designed top speed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Buffet expected to buy dealerships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

San Bruno supports higher fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Google to release their cheapest laptop yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Several charged in Medicaid shoe fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 4 Comments

 
Fast food organizers expand their campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Online craft retailer Etsy preps for IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Obituaries

Gordon Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carlos Penados

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7