Home Sports College Hotline podcast: Cal athletics with Roxy Bernstein (on Wilcox and Jones, Williams and the donors, the budget issues and more)

College Hotline podcast: Cal athletics with Roxy Bernstein (on Wilcox and Jones, Williams and the donors, the budget issues and more)

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Many Hotline readers and listeners might know Roxy Bernstein from his first-rate work on ESPN and the Pac-12 Networks.

But he’s also a Golden Bear (class of ’97) who keeps close watch on Cal sports and is in contact with many Cal constituents.

There’s no shortage of important developments in Berkeley these days, on and off the fields/court of play.

It’s not often, after all, that a school brings in new football and men’s basketball coaches in the same astronomical season.

We chatted for about 35 minutes — I asked Bernstein what he would do if appointed chancellor; he fielded a few questions from fans — and the conversation could have gone much longer.

Cal is a fabulous school. It’s also an incredibly complicated place that, I believe, must establish an athletic identity before the university’s potential can be maximized by its major revenue sports.

The depth of the conversation (link below) and Bernstein’s understanding of the topic made it one of the best Hotline podcasts to date.

A few of his many key insights:

*** AD Mike Williams must reach out to frustrated donors, who will be the financial lifeblood of a basketball practice facility (and other future endeavors, whether it’s capital projects, contract buyouts, sports endowments, etc).

Bernstein was refreshingly frank, and spot on. Donor outreach is absolutely vital.

*** He’s encouraged by the early signs from football, particularly with the staff Justin Wilcox has assembled, but believes patience will be crucial.

Wilcox isn’t merely implementing new tactics, he’s overhauling the culture, philosophy and roster.

*** Wyking Jones is a wait-and-see hire, in part because he’s never been a head coach, in part because of external factors that have created headwinds for the basketball program.

In summation, Bernstein said: “There’s always something with Cal. It’s not easy. You’ve got to want it.” .

*** Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline

*** The Hotline podcast is available on iTunes.

 

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