BERKELEY (AP) — California announced a change in leadership in the athletic program on Friday, signaling the end of a 10-year run by athletic director Sandy Barbour that featured great success in non-revenue sports as well as recent struggles on and off the field for the high-profile football team.
Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said the department needed a “fresh perspective” and said former Cal wrestler Michael Williams will take over as interim AD while the school seeks a full-time replacement for Barbour.
Barbour arrived in 2004 and oversaw 19 team national championships, 92 titles in individual events, a Pac-10 co-championship in football, the first men’s basketball conference title in 50 years and the first Final Four trip for the women’s basketball team.
“When you have the privilege to do something like this, you think you can do it forever, you want to do it forever,” Barbour said. “There comes a time when there’s an intersection of both organizational and personal that just says it’s time to find out what’s next.”
Barbour raised the expectations of the entire program, setting goals of national and conference championships and Final Four trips that often were not part of the culture at Cal.
The school placed in the top 10 of the Directors’ Cup six times in her tenure, including a high of third place in 2010-11.
“She shaped a winning culture at Cal, while using her platform to promote athletics done with integrity,” women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “Sandy ran a ‘big time’ athletics program, while still genuinely caring about each student-athlete wearing blue and gold.
She is one of the smartest people in college sports, and all of us at Cal benefited from her vision and leadership.”
Barbour also oversaw the construction of a new football facility and a major renovation to Memorial Stadium and made strong hires to bring on Mike Montgomery as men’s basketball coach in 2008 and Gottlieb as women’s basketball coach in 2011.