Cal has hired Air Force athletics director Jim Knowlton to the same post, the Bears announced Monday.
Knowlton had been Air Force’s AD since 2015, and prior to that held a similar post at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Division III school in Troy, N.Y., from 2008-15.
“By virtue of his experience, values and personal attributes, Jim stood out in what was a large and deeply talented pool of applicants,” Cal Berkeley chancellor Carol Christ said in a statement. “He is an excellent communicator who thrives on challenges, and shares my commitment to excellence, integrity and diversity. I am certain he will be the thought partner I sought, and the leader our campus needs at this pivotal time so that we can, together, usher in a new era of excellence for Cal Athletics.”
Prior to working in college athletics, Knowlton spent 26 years of service in the U.S. Army. He taught in the civil and mechanical engineering department at West Point, headed a battalion of 750 soldiers in Iraq, and left the Army as a colonel. He also worked as an assistant AD at Army.
“I am thrilled to join the University of California, Berkeley family!,” Knowlton said. “I am thankful for the trust and confidence of Chancellor Christ, and am extremely impressed with her vision along with the passion, commitment and dedication of the entire search committee. I look forward to connecting with our exceptional student-athletes, faculty, coaches and staff on campus, along with our alumni, supporters and the Berkeley community.
“Cal has all the ingredients to be incredible on and off the field and I’m excited for the challenge to have our athletic teams and student-athletes win the right way at the highest levels. We will excel in the classroom, on our campus and in our community, and incorporate dignity and respect in all we do.”
He takes over a football program that went 5-7 in head coach Justin Wilcox‘s first season.
Knowlton will officially take over on May 21.