Cal AD Knowlton Signs an Extension Through 2029

Jim Knowlton arrived in 2018 and looks to remain for more than a decade

Per his monthly notes:

Chancellor Christ and I have finalized an agreement that will allow me to remain as your athletic director through 2029. I am so grateful for the Chancellor's trust and confidence. I love our Cal family and the direction we are heading, and I am excited to spend the rest of my career here in Berkeley.

Earlier this year AD Knowlton was interviewing for the Northwestern AD position. There is a chance that this spurred the administration to extend the AD. Personally, I think is a warranted extension due to the way he has handled the Cal athletics finances. From him and Chancellor Christ convincing the academic senate to give the athletic department $25 million in direct support in the midst of the Covid-19 FY2020. This move was not done at UCLA where the athletics department recorded a $21.7 million shortfall, Wisconsin recorded a $35 million shortfall. Both schools would have a much easier time getting their academic senates to help with the revenues declines, yet only Cal was able to gain support and come out with a $3.2 million surplus.

Additionally, he presided over the creation of the Travers Family Head Coaching endowment, the Aaron Rodgers Locker Room, the Cameron Institute, and a $35 million fundraising goal year. Some of these might’ve been in the work beforehand but from my experience in public finance, millions don’t exchange hands unless the person leading the receiving party is a good one in charge.

There are of course issues with the handling of the Men’s Basketball coaching and performance. The hiring of Mark Fox was a questionable one since day 1 and ever since he has not done much on the basketball court nor in recruitment (8th 2021 class in the Pac-12 per 247).