The Athletic Director's Excellence Fund is used at the discretion of the Athletics Director for the department's most pressing needs. This includes investing in new projects, opportunities, and unforeseen needs to improve and enhance the student-athlete experience and ensure Cal Athletics maintains excellence throughout the department.


The 24th Director of Athletics

Jim Knowlton


On May 21, 2018, Jim Knowlton began his tenure as the 24th Director of Athletics. Throughout his nearly 20 years as an athletics administrator, Jim has focused on and successfully fostered programs that place a premium on leadership and character development among student-athletes, coaches, and staff. He has demonstrated an unfailing commitment to high achievement, both in athletics and academics, has a proven track record as a fundraiser, and has shown a consistent ability to take on complex challenges and develop strategic solutions to meet them. 

AD Excellence Circle

Cal Athletics is proud to announce the newest initiative to support the development and advancement of the student-athlete experience and Cal Athletics department, the Athletics Director's Excellence Circle

Members of the AD Excellence Circle will play a pivotal role in providing a world-class experience to our more that 850 student-athletes by allowing Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton to invest in opportunities and projects that bolster the foundation of Cal Athletics and ensure the needs of our student-athletes are met on an annual basis.

AD Excellence
AD Excellence Circle Gift
CAF Member Benefits Package
Access to
Special tickets,
and Events
AD Excellence
Fund Annual
Impact Report
Cal Athletics
Annual Report

AD Excellence Circle Benefits

Circle benefits begin at $50,000+ gifts.


Every gift to the AD Excellence Fund makes an impact on the lives of our student-athletes and ensure they are able to compete for championships and academic success in the classroom.


Benefits of the AD Excellence Circle begin with annual gifts or pledges of $50,000 or more. For more information about the AD Excellence Circle, contact the Cal Athletics Fund at (510) 624-2427 or

Gifts or pledges of $1 Million will be able to craft your own experience!

AD Excellence Fund Impact Report

View the most recent impact report and how your generosity helped enhance the student-athlete experience!

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