Cal Athletics begins search for Athletic Director

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This week, UC Berkeley began the search for the athletic department’s next athletic director, who will take over after the tenure of current athletic director Mike Williams. Williams announced his retirement in August 2017 and will step down in May 2018.

To assist in the search, Cal has retained executive search firm Witt/Kieffer.

“We have plenty of time given that there is so much awareness of and interest in the position,” said campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof in an email. Mogulof added that Witt/Kieffer will work from a deep talent pool.

Cal has less than four months to find Williams’ replacement.

“This is a truly important leadership recruitment for our university,” said Chancellor Carol Christ in a statement. “The opportunities as well as challenges in college athletics today are significant. We have had very productive conversations with the consultants at Witt/Kieffer on our objectives and aspirations for our intercollegiate athletics program; about our dedication to our student-athletes and department employees, and about our unique institutional mission and culture.

Witt/Kieffer isn’t a traditional hire when it comes to searching for an athletic director for a major athletics school, and it is better known for handling smaller schools and academic searches. Yale, Columbia, Bucknell and West Chester University are among the schools who have utilized Witt/Kieffer’s services. Greg Santore, head of the firm’s Sports Leadership practice, will lead the recruitment.

“I am confident that our next (athletics director) will be ready and able to lead the program into a new era of excellence consistent with the standards and values of our extraordinary University,” said Christ in the statement.


Justice delos Santos is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jdelossantos510

A previous version of this article cited an SF Gate article that misquoted campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof discussing the hiring of Witt/Kieffer.

A previous version of this article also may have implied that a list of candidates will be released. In fact, Mogulof stated the campus typically does not release such lists.