Sunday, September 21, 2008

Forever under the direction of Robert O. Briggs

I have been completely overwhelmed and unable to write since Bob's passing. Words just don't seem enough to express how much Bob meant to me and to the Cal Band and Alumni Band communities which are so dear to all of us. Bob was such a special person in so many ways.

Bob was not only my Cal Band mentor, but he was also my good friend. I marched 3 seasons under "Old Bob" and was Drum Major for the Ex-Comm which brought in "New Bob" in the fall season of 1995. I had the pleasure of orchestrating Bob Briggs's last Spring Show (which was my excuse why it was 3 hours long!!!), including a photo slideshow at the end which I am trying to find (does anyone know?).

While I experienced defining moments with Bob while I was in band, I would say we became much closer friends after I left the Cal Band and entered the alumni world. We kept close as my husband Mark (trombone '92) and I would invite him to birthday shindigs, Memorial Day BBQs, and holiday parties - and he would ALWAYS be the first person to arrive, right on time, usually with sangria in tow. He attended many gatherings, forever being the oldest person there by many years, but somehow fitting in exactly right.

He nurtured my love for Cal and the Cal Band, paying for my husband and I *twice* to attend CAA's black tie "Charter Gala", knowing that we didn't have the money but that we should absolutely be there. We seemed to be on Bob's short list for extra basketball tickets, football tickets, or those illustrious Hall of Fame Room pre-game passes. I believe he was instrumental in me attaining my current job with the California Alumni Association, and he was always so proud and felt it was so "right" for me to work there. In the past 4 1/2 years, Bob would stop by my office regularly just to say hi and "talk shop" - and I will dearly miss that.

Without a doubt, Bob is absolutely the reason why I love Cal and the Cal Band so wholeheartedly to this day. I will forever thank him for instilling this spirit in me and teaching me the values of Cal tradition.

With the help of my wonderful sister Amy, we have put together a very short photo montage with music that I would like to share with you. The sound is important. If you see a horizontal blue bar, please wait for the pictures to load.

Once a Cal Bandsman, Always a Cal Bandsman.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rest in Peace, Robert Orlando Briggs

Bob and me at the Cal Band Alumni reunion in 2006

Robert Orlando Briggs passed away this morning at UCSF Hospital after battling an infection for 2 months from gall bladder surgery. Bob was mentally sharp and focused throughout, and spent most of his days resting or visiting with friends. I know that Bob greatly appreciated everyone who came, sang, and sent pictures & well wishes - and the staff of UCSF said they had never before seen so many visitors express their love for a patient of theirs!

There is no need for flowers, and donation instructions will be handled with the memorials. If you would like to hear more information about the memorial being planned, or would like to read or tell your story about Bob, we have an email list set up. Please send an email to:

(Nothing specific needs to be in the subject line or body of the message. The important part is that you send your email FROM the email address you want subscribed, which should be the same email you want to use to SEND email to the list. For this list, I would not use any "forwarding" email address you might have.)

My husband wrote:
Bob was a fixture of University of California spirit for decades.

Erin & I were in the Cal Band together when Bob retired and had maintained a close friendship since then by performing in his community band, serving in the alumni band association together, and (of course) attending many, many events together. He was also a regular guest at our own parties (guaranteed to arrive exactly on time) as he loved being around young people and talking about campus activities, college athletics, music, and his wonderful collection of vintage cars in his retirement just as he had done for so many years in his career. At our wedding, Bob drove us from Alumni House to our reception in one of those vintage cars.

His passing was sudden and unexpected but his life seemed to be everything that he wanted it to be at all times and he was healthy and active up until his final days. Please remember him with us, raise a glass, and sing a "Toast" as he had done himself so many times for so many others.

* * *

Every time I sit down to write something about Bob, I don't know where to start. He was such an instrumental part of the Cal Band, which is such an instrumental part of my life, that Bob's passing leaves a big hole in my life, as well as the lives of many others.

As I work on campus, Bob would always come by and see me and enjoyed taking me out to lunch at the Faculty Club. I think I was his "inside source" for Cal and Cal Band information, and there were neverending Cal things to talk about. Before I started to work at CAA, he knew how important it was that Mark and I attend Charter Gala, so he paid for us to attend. Many a time Bob would have extra tickets or special passes for a Cal game and he would think of me.

I am eternally thankful that I got to spend my first 3 fall seasons under the direction of Robert O. Briggs. I was the Drum Major of his last Spring Show and got to play in full uniform for his retirement party. All of these things are so incredibly special and memorable to me, but nothing can really say what a wonderfully sweet and giving person he was to everyone he met. He was truly one of a kind and will be sorely missed.

Our Sturdy Golden Bear, is watching from the sky - Rest in Peace, Bob. I miss you with all of my heart.

* * *

20 August 1927 - 17 September 2008

Robert O. Briggs, Director Emeritus of the University Of California Band, has passed away at the age of 81 after complications developed following routine surgery.

Bob Briggs was director of the Cal Band from 1971 until his retirement in 1995. Bob's association with the Cal Band extend much further than his time as director, however. Bob joined the Cal Band as an entering freshman in the Fall of 1947, and continued his association for the next 61 years. Even in retirement, Bob served as a resource for the current Cal Band, sharing his expertise and experience with successive generations of Cal Band members.

Because Bob's years as an undergraduate coincided with the "Glory Years" of Cal Football under Pappy Waldorf, Bob was fortunate enough to march in three successive Rose Bowls. In late 1958, as Cal was preparing for yet another (and to date its last) Rose Bowl, Bob Briggs was invited to march with the Band in order to help fill out its ranks. He thus gained the unique distinction of being the only member of the Cal Band in its 117 year history to have marched in four Rose Bowls.

In 2004, Bob recalled, "I marched in some Rose Bowls -- in fact 4 of them -- '49,'50,'51 as a student member and '59 as an invited alum. I am the only Cal Bandsman to have done that many. It was always my goal to conduct at one of them, and we almost did after the '75 season. But UCLA went!!!"

Bob Briggs was born in Modesto, California, on 20 August 1927. He attended public schools in Modesto, graduated from Modesto High School, and briefly attended Modesto Junior College.

At Cal, Bob played cornet in the Band, and took up the study of the French horn. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music in 1951. Bob served in the U.S. Army for two years after his time at U.C. Berkeley. During his service in the Army, Bob played in the Army Band at Fort Ord in Monterey, California, and at other postings. Bob graduated from the U.S. Army Music School. He continued his musical studies, receiving a Master of Arts in Music at San Francisco State University.

Bob became band director at Armijo High School in Fairfield, California in 1955, and continued in that position until 1967 when he returned to the University of California in the capacity as assistant Band Director as he pursued doctoral studies. He served under James Berdahl until 1971 when Berdahl took an extended leave of absence to work in Japan. Bob served as acting director for two years until he was formally appointed director of the Cal Band in 1973.

During Bob's time as director of the Cal Band, the Band made an extensive national tour in honor of the Bicentennial of the United States in the Summer of 1976. The Cal Bands opportunities to perform at bowl games improved during his tenure as well, as the fortunes of Cal Football improved; in 1979 the Cal Band performed at its first bowl game since the 1959 Rose Bowl, the Garden State Bowl in New Jersey. During Bob's time, the Cal Band would march in three more bowl games and make an appearance at a conference game in Tokyo.

Because of the unique organization of the Cal Band as a student-run University activity, Bob Briggs had to balance the dynamics of a vigorous and youthfully demanding student government with the requirements and politics of the larger university administration. In a position fraught with potential conflicts and burdened with competing and often contradictory demands, Bob's non-confrontational style served the Cal Band and the University well.

In his earlier days as director, Bob was more formal and reserved in his relationship with band members. He was most often addressed as "Mr. Briggs." In later years, Bob developed a more casual style and later generations of Cal Band members know him best as simply, "Bob."

Upon his retirement in 1995, at the recommendation of Chancellor Tien, President of the University Peltason appointed Bob Director Emeritus of the University Of California Band. In retirement, Bob remained active in music, helping to organize the Solano Winds, a community musical ensemble, and serving as its conductor for the past 13 years. In 2005, Bob celebrated his fiftieth year as a director with a special Solano Winds concert.

On December 1, 2006, the Cal Band Alumni Association presented Bob with its Tony Martinez award in recognition of his many contributions to and accomplishments with the Cal Band during his long association.
Bob was an avid enthusiast of automobiles, both the classics and more modern creations. He often used one or another of his antique sedans to transport Cal Band brides and grooms to their wedding ceremonies, acting as chauffeur, a role he relished.

In his six decades of association with the Cal Band, Bob touched thousands of lives. He will be long remembered by generations of Cal Band members and Cal Band fans.

-Jamie Rawson, Bass '77

Friday, September 5, 2008

Live Feed of Memorial Stadium Trees

Cal vs. MSU Highlight video - neat!!!

Check it out... so cool!

Go Bears!!!!!!!!

WSU Update - haha!

From through Steve Harris:

News today wasn't great for the D, though. Defensive tackle A'i Ahmu, the Cougars best interior lineman, turned himself in to the WSU Police Department on Wednesday after a warrant for his arrest was issued because he missed a court date on a minor-in-possession of alcohol charge, according to the Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times reports today that Ahmu will miss the second half of Saturday's game, though it wasn't clear which half he would miss. His replacement is senior walk-on Adam Hainline.

WSU Coach Wulff said projected starting wide receiver Jeshua Anderson (hernia surgery) has been ruled out for Saturday along with second-stringers Jason Stripling (an outside linebacker with a sprained toe) and Toby Turpin (a defensive tackle with torn thumb ligaments).
And guard Brian Danaher is probably going to play after sitting out several practices this week due to an injured butt, er, strained glute. See? It's tough to play in Pullman for everyone, even the home team!

How thin is Washington State's experience going into this weekend's game?
12 starters (including 2 walk-ons) have 2 or fewer games of experience for the Cougs going into this weekend's game against Cal. And given all those injuries you've read about this week, they can't have much depth.

Thanks Steeeeve!

Cal vs. WSU Facts from


Cal-Washington State Series
Jeff Tedford is 3-1 vs. the Cougars during his tenure as Cal head coach since 2002, including three straight wins ... Tedford is 7-1 against the Cougars if you add his tenure as offensive coordinator with the Oregon Ducks from 1998-2001 ... overall, the Bears lead the all-time series with Washington State, 39-25-5, since 1919.

Last Five Meetings with Washington State
11/3/07: W 20-17 (Berkeley) - Justin Forsett has 44-yard run to ice the victory
10/14/06: W 21-3 (Pullman) - Marshawn Lynch rushes for 152 yards, 2 TDs
10/22/05: W: 42-38 (Berkeley) - Joe Ayoob throws TD in final minute to lead Cal
9/28/02: L 38-48 (Berkeley) - Jason Gesser tosses 4 TDs to lead the Cougars
9/22/01: L 20-51 (Pullman) - WSU scores 17 points off of Cal turnovers

Cal-Washington State Connections
Cal senior linebacker Anthony Felder (Seattle) and freshman DT Trevor Guyton (Woodinville) are the only Washington natives on the Golden Bear roster ... defensive coordinator Bob Gregory played defensive back and linebacker at Washington State - he graduated from WSU in 1987 ... offensive line coach Jim Michalczik lettered for three years at guard with the Cougars and earned all-conference and All-America honors his senior season - he graduated from WSU in 1988. San Jose State, 48-21.


"Inside the Huddle" book on sale

Check out the new coffee table book Inside the Huddle created by two Cal Football Players! Last season two injured players (former QB Cory Smits and our injured kicker Tom Schneider) chronicled all aspects of Cal Football. Inside the Huddle offers true Cal fans a chance to see Cal football through the players' eyes. They photographed lifting, conditioning, the locker room, position meetings, meals, travel, home games, away games (the locker room after the Oregon victory), class, and much more. Also a portion of the proceeds go directly back to the program in the form of a scholarship fund for walk-on players!

Please take a look at the Jonathan Okanes Contra Costa Times article featuring the book .

To purchase the book and support the program please buy on the website

Go Bears!

Steve Harris post - WSU

Hello and Go Bears! It’s Washington State week!

Game 2: Cal (1-0, 0-0 Pac-10) v. Washington State Cougars (0-1, 0-0 Pac-10)
Date/Time: Saturday, September 6, 3:30 p.m. PST
Location: Martin Stadium (37,600 capacity, grass), Pullman, WA
TV/Radio: Comcast Sports Net West (Comcast Channel 400; DirecTV Ch. 698; Dish Ch. 409)/FSN Northwest/KGO 810 AM/XM Satellite Radio (Chs. 193-95), also basic cable 99
History: Cal leads 39-25-5, won last three, won in Pullman in ’06 (first time since ’79)
Point Spread: Cal by 13-1/2
Opposing Team Colors: Crimson and Grey

Sagarin computer ratings on Cal and various opponents:
National rank Team
1 $C
19 Cal (yup, down 5 spots even though we won; dissed Mich. State, no?)
47 Maryland
51 stanfurd (enjoy the Axe while you can!)
66 Washington State

Inconsistent Cal led by 10, senior reserve quarterback Nate Longshore (6) was abysmal (2 interceptions!), a Cal game broke out, but Cal won, 38-31. What happened? This:
Ø Offense: sophomore quarterback Kevin Riley (13) started and completed 17 of 24 passes for 202 yards and 2 TDs, two running backs ran for over 100 yards (redshirt freshman Shane Vereen (34) had a scintillating 81-yard touchdown run!), and the offensive line was great. Improvements: the wide receivers dropped too many catchable passes!
Ø Defense: run defense was fabulous against the nation’s top senior running back and lots of pressure on the quarterback. Improvements: allowed 202 yards to a wide receiver and yielded 300 yards passing. No sacks. Another opponent scored over 30 points (albeit 7 were due to a Longshore’s last interception returned for a TD! UGH!).
Ø Special teams: GREAT: Blocked punt for a TD (first since 2004 – Washington) and punter was fabulous! BAD: Cal couldn’t get a punt off due to a bad snap. HORRIFYING: kickers still can’t get the ball inside the 10-yard line. Punt team committed a STUPID roughing the kicker when Cal was up 10 points. Let them kick it!

PREVIEW OF WASHINGTON STATE (lost to Oklahoma State 39-13 last week)
Cal overall concerns: Catch the ball + no more Longshore = another Cal victory. WSU lost 8 scholarships (failed to meet NCAA Academic Progress Rate standards), 25 arrested players in 18 months, a new coach, injuries, and an early season date with Cal. But it’s Pullman, Cal hasn’t won 2 straight there since 1969 and 1971, so expect another close one!

Cal’s Offense: run at will and get those receivers comfortable!
Ø WSU starting cornerback Alfonso Jackson was hurt and won’t play this week. The Cougar secondary now boasts three sophomores and a redshirt freshman. Throw early and often… and hope Cal’s receivers hold onto the ball!
Ø Chances are WSU will stack the line of scrimmage to stop Cal’s run game and force Cal to pass. Fine. Use more screen passes and throw to senior wide receiver Sean Young (88) and junior Cameron Morrah (5), Riley’s favorite targets last week. Or welcome freshman wide receiver Michael Calvin (84), who was injured last week.

Cal’s Defense: Stop the one good wide receiver and pressure the quarterback!
Ø WSU will throw a no-huddle, spread offense at Cal, far different from the plodding, running back heavy offense Michigan State used last week.
Ø Senior wide receiver Brandon Gibson is the only Pac-10 caliber player WSU has for now. Double cover him and dare the quarterback to beat Cal in other ways.
Ø Keep up the pressure on the quarterback! WSU’s offensive line has three new starters and experienced a lot of pressure last week. The QB is a fifth-year senior but a first-year starter. He can be rattled! Get after them Bears!

oh, stanfurd…. a ½-full stadium, notwithstanding that insipid money back “sort of guarantee even though it’s only guaranteed if you ask for your refund before the $c game” guarantee. stanfurd won only because Oregon State lateralled the ball into its own end zone for a safety and fumbled the ball through the end zone on a tying touchdown drive. This week’s game at Arizona State will tell if the Grade Inflateds are a pretender or a contender. For now, stanfoo are definitely more competitive… losers.

So what’s going to happen: Why Cal could lose the game: Riley channels Longshore into his psyche and throws four interceptions, Best and Vereen suffer injuries, and the defensive line falls apart. Why Cal could win the game: Riley has another strong performance, Best and Vereen run for 100 yards each, and the relentless defense gives WSU fits all day. Even with the 10-point WSU advantage for playing in the middle of the middle of nowhere, 25 arrests in the last 18 months, combined with a new coach and a new system, and an early scheduled game, means Cal moves forward (albeit with some growing pains). ESPN blogger Ted Miller thinks Cal will come out FLAT for this game… OPEN CHALLENGE TO THE TEAM: PROVE HIM WRONG! Expose the Cougs for the cellar dwellers they are in the first half! Cal 37, WSU 24.

Steven Harris ’93 (; just knew that a Cal game would break out at some point Saturday. Note to the student section: don’t serenade the other side and tell them they suck with 3 minutes to go… Cal games don’t work that way. See three zeros on the clock? The ref’s off the field with the ball? THEN celebrate… skeptically! #1 Cal Fan Jeremy Harris will be 3 years old on Wednesday! Your parents love you very much! It was great to hear the cannon go off again after so many months of silence! Rust is inevitable, but I’m sure any kinks in the execution will be fixed by Colorado State! Keep up the good work and Go Bears!

New Tedford Blog post

"I really have to thank our fans for their own performance on Saturday. It was another great atmosphere and exactly what we need for every home game. We are really showing that Memorial Stadium is Bear Territory and giving opposing teams another factor to think about when coming here. With a loud environment, it makes it very difficult for the players on the field to communicate, and I hope we have the same type of enthusiasm for our next home game against Colorado State."

Go Bears! Beat the Cougars!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Construction Can Begin at UC Berkeley Stadium Site


From a few different sources:

Daily Cal:

By Will Kane
Daily Cal Staff Writer
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Category: News > City > ourts A

California Appellate court in San Francisco said today that it will not issue an injunction banning construction at the site of proposed development near UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium. The decision by the three-judge panel allows the campus to begin the construction they have been seeking to begin since December 2006. "The petition for (an injunction), mandate and/or prohibition and the related requests for an immediate stay and a 20-day stay are denied," the ruling from the court reads. While the campus could theoretically begin construction at the site this afternoon, Dan Mogulof, the campus's executive director of public affairs, said the campus has yet to decide when construction will begin. Three groups-including the city of Berkeley-sued the university seeking to prevent the construction of a proposed athletic center near the stadium. The case was heard by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller, who issued her final ruling in the case last week. Mogulof said he was ecstatic. "It's a great day," he said. "It took us over 20 months and now two courts have been heard from. We're delighted." When asked to comment, Stephan Volker, an attorney for the California Oak Foundation-one of the two plaintiffs in the appeal case-said he had not yet seen the ruling from the court.

Bear Insider:
"The petition for a writ of supersedeas, mandate and/or prohibition and the related requests for an immediate stay and a 20-day stay are denied. (McGuiness, P.J., Siggins, J., and Jenkins, J.)"


The following transaction has occurred in:California Oak Foundation et al. v. The Regents of the University of California et al.Case: A122511, 1st District, Division 3 Disposition date (YYYY-MM-DD): 2008-09-04Disposition description: Petition summarily denied by orderDisposition status as of 2008-09-04: Final Notes: On August 26, 2008 the Alameda County Superior Court filed an "Order after Hearing" (Exh. 26) and "Respondents' Amended Judgment," which was "effective and enforceable immediately." (Exh. 25 at 281:10-11.) The following day appellants filed a Notice of Appeal. (Exh. 27.) In prior briefing respondents represented that if appellants filed their Notice of Appeal and contemplated Petition for a Writ of Supersedeas and Request for an Immediate Stay within two business days they "will continue to take no further action to implement the Southeast Campus Integrated Projects until the Court of Appeal rules on any such immediate stay request." (Exh. 20 at 246:7-13.) Appellants objected to what they characterized as the respondents' attempt to substitute a voluntary stay in lieu of a court-ordered stay. (Exh. 24.) On August 28, 2008 appellants filed a Petition for Writ of Supersedeas, Mandate, Prohibition or Other Appropriate Relief and supporting documents. The petition prays for inter alia an immediate temporary stay of the University's threatened construction-related activities, an immediate 20-day extension pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1094.5, subdivision (g), and the issuance of a writ of supersedeas. On September 3, 2008 respondents filed an Opposition to Request for Immediate Stay and to Petition for Writ of Supersedeas, etc. and also moved that we take judicial notice of six volumes of exhibits previously filed in conjunction with an earlier writ petition, California Oak Foundation v. The Regents of the University of California, A122172. By operation of law an automatic 20-day stay goes into effect if "a stay is in effect at the time of filing the notice of appeal." (Code Civ. Proc. sec. 1094.5, subd. (g).) In the context of this statute, "stay" refers to a judicial stay, not respondents' promise to refrain from further activities. (Ibid. ["the court in which proceedings under this section are instituted may stay the operation of the administrative order or decision"; "no such stay shall be imposed or continued if the court is satisfied that it is against the public interest."].) Because there was no judicial stay in effect when the notice of appeal was filed, the statutory 20-day stay is not in effect. The motion that we take judicial notice, pursuant to Evidence Code sections 459 and 452, subdivision (d)(2) of the six volumes of exhibits previously lodged with this court in conjunction with Case Number A122172 is granted. The petition for a writ of supersedeas, mandate and/or prohibition and the related requests for an immediate stay and a 20-day stay are denied. (McGuiness, P.J., Siggins, J., and Jenkins, J.) For more information on this case, go to:

For opinions, go to the following web site:

Court of Appeal opinions are generally available on the web site by 5 p.m. on the disposition date. Unpublished opinions are generally available on the web site by 5 p.m. on the disposition date or by 5 p.m. on the court workday following the disposition date.