Nov. 30, 2001
BERKELEY - Athletic Director Steve Gladstone answered questions Wednesday regarding the status of the football coaching search. Below are select comments from Gladstone.
As I've said before, it's a broad national search, being very thoroughly executed. We've got great resources both in the college ranks and in the pros, which obviously we won't disclose. Our sense is that the search is progressing on schedule and we're pleased but not surprised with the quality of candidates that we've contacted.
On the attractiveness of the Cal head coaching job~
One would be foolish not to present what's here thoroughly. And what's here is very good. Football people understand that. This is a great conference. The quality of players is exceptional. I don't think that's an opinion, it's obvious. Another factor that's particularly appealing is the seven different (conference) champions in the last seven years. Dramatic, for example this year, Washington State was last in the league last year and is now a nationally ranked team. So there is an opportunity for the right man to come here and make a substantial contribution and a substantial mark. It's a very, very good job.
On the timeline of the new hire~
We are committed to hiring the very best candidate for this job. And that is the prime consideration. If the announcement of that candidate (as coach) can be made before Christmas, that's ideal. If the announcement of that candidate has to be made at a later date, and that person is the best candidate, it won't deter us from hiring the best person for the job.
On the compensation package for the new coach~
We will pay at the very top end of what's required within our conference to land the right person, if that's a requirement. Clearly, within the college ranks, there are limitations. However, within the Pac-10, we will pay the competitive range within our conference without question. We certainly are sensitive to the current financial climate in this state-which effects all campuses of the UC system-but I know that Chancellor (Robert) Berdahl shares our view that hiring the right head football coach is a smart investment for the university.
We have people that we feel strongly about and we're pursuing them. But I think it's premature to talk about "a list" or "the list" at this point. Ultimately, what we do want as this comes to a conclusion is to probably have anywhere between three to five people come to campus.
On the qualities sought in the new coach~
Without question, leadership is the key element, the key characteristic that we're looking for in this candidate. All the things you read in books about leadership is a question about vision, it's a question of how to implement the vision. And I've said this on a number of occasions that the key piece - and I've been a coach myself for thirty-some odd years myself - is the stamina and emotional durability to stay the course. Stamina and emotional durability along with those other characteristics. If you look at the exceptional coaches in football and in other sports, that is going to be one of the common characteristics in those men.
On how to determine who will be the right candidate for the job~
Those are hard to determine, but that being said, in some ways, my life has prepared me to make decisions of that nature. I've coached for thirty-some odd years and I would hope that I would have the ability to discern that. I also want to add that we have a group of Mark Stephens, Mark Coonan, Jack Clark, and myself that are looking very very carefully at all these candidates. So ultimately, it's my decision, but their thoughts, their impression will weigh in this decision. It is difficult, very difficult. It's hard to quantify. Leaders come as big guys, little guys, quiet men and loud men, and everything in between. If you look historically from the (John) Wooden's to the (Joe) Paterno's, you name it, that's what distinguishes them. That elusively quality that we call leadership. But emotional durability, to be able to stay the course, persist, keep your own personal light burning so that those around you can share in that light and draw strength from you, that's what its about.
On the attitude at the departmental level~
It's tactical and timing is important and that being said, you've all followed football and California football. We want to make sure that we get the best man for this job. We're not going to compromise the thoroughness of the search. That being said it's a phrase used often - the timing is important. My sense is that the man that we hire will see this as an absolute unique opportunity, which it is. It's a very competitive league as I've said before and a real hunger within this community to get it right and to have successful football. We're making it clear to the people we talk to that we're committed administratively in terms of all our constituencies, we're committed to see this program succeed.
On the athletic facilities at Cal
I think there have been discussions in all areas. The facilities, interestingly enough, if you look at them carefully, for example there has been all this talk about indoor facilities and so forth. Why in heaven's name would you have an indoor facility here. The 49er's don't even have an indoor facility, why would you need an indoor facility. Our practice field - Witter Field - is as fine a practice field as there is in the league. Anyone in football would tell you that. They're at the same level or if not above the ones at USC or UCLA.