Athletic Director John Kasser resigns
Will move to new position with Pac-10 at end of year

By D. Lyn Hunter, Public Affairs


John Kasser Jeff Wason photo.

06 December 00 | After seven years as Berkeley's athletic director, John Kasser has resigned his position and will step down at the end of December.

Kasser will become the new executive director of Pac-10 Properties, the licensing and marketing arm of the Pacific-10 Conference and Fox Sports Network.

Associate Athletic Director Robert Driscoll will serve as interim athletic director while a nationwide search for Kasser's replacement is conducted.

"This was a difficult decision and not one made just in the last week or two," said Kasser during a Nov. 30 press conference at Haas Pavilion. "It took six months for me to come to this conclusion."

Kasser lauded the support of Chancellor Berdahl and Vice Chancellor Horace Mitchell during his tenure, praised the talent of his coaches - he hired 14 while at Berkeley - and commended the commitment of his staff.

"Everyone fits together very well, and they're all on the same page," said Kasser. "I'm leaving the department in good stead."

Upon his arrival from UC Santa Barbara in 1993, Kasser embarked on an unprecedented fund-raising drive for the athletics department, raising more than $100 million.

One of his biggest and most successful efforts was the planning and construction of Haas Pavilion, Berkeley's 12,000-seat basketball arena, which was completed last year.

He also oversaw the renovation of Edwards Track and Memorial Stadium's conversion from astroturf to grass.

"If you seek his monument, just look about you," said Bedahl of Kasser's many achievements. "We will look back on your years here as ones of great accomplishments."

Kasser's focus on students was praised by Mitchell; "The philosophy John instilled in his department was that the welfare of the athletes was of the utmost importance."

Mitchell, who oversees athletics, said the recruitment effort for athletic director will move swiftly. The hope is to have a finalist within the next several months. In the interim, Driscoll, who has been with Cal athletics for 14 years, will provide continuity as "an active manager and leader, not just a caretaker," said Mitchell.

"John created a culture in our department based on mutual respect," said Driscoll. "I will work my tail off to make sure we continue what he set forth." When asked what he'll miss the most about Berkeley, Kasser cited "the energy" of the university. "It scares me a little to think I won't be part of that anymore."







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