AND THE NEWS HAS BROKEN! Jeff Tedford has been let go.
BERKELEY - Jeff Tedford, who has overseen the Golden Bear football program for the past 11 seasons, has been relieved of his duties as head football coach at the University of California, Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour announced Tuesday.
“This was an extraordinarily difficult decision, one that required a thorough and thoughtful analysis of a complex set of factors,” Barbour said. “Ultimately, I believed that we needed a change in direction to get our program back on the right track. Cal football is integral to our department and our university, and its influence can be felt well beyond the walls of Memorial Stadium. The program clearly serves as an important part of the connective tissue that binds our community together, and it is imperative that Cal football be recognized as a leader in competitive success, academic achievement and community engagement.
Jeff Tedford 2002-2012. Head Coach of California Football Team.
For many fans, the decision to let go of Tedford has been a long time coming, but for others they cling on to those wonder years. The years that brought Cal out of the dark ages, brought us Aaron Rodgers, 3 more bowls games than all the years between our last Rose Bowl appearance to 2002, and even a Co-Pac 10 Championship. So long, to the man with the most wins in Cal history with 82. He brought light to many current NFL players (40+ players) who could not be where they are at without him. Oh and did I mention all those Big Game wins that we pretty much never had a chance before Tedford?
He has always been considered a caring man. He took care of as many players as he could and brought a family atmosphere to those who didn’t have one. He found one of the greatest football players ever in Aaron Rodgers, while recruiting a TE at the same community college. He developed Kyle Boller and even Nate Longshore (before he broke his ankle); everyone called him the Quarterback Guru. Cal was even #2 in the nation in 2007. However, his momentous ship hit an iceberg.
After the 2007 debacle against Oregon State, the Cal team wasn’t the same. 2007-2009, Cal was ranked at least once but never fulfilled its potential. Tedford had lost many of his former assistant coaches and he started to bring in offensive coordinator after offensive coordinator. However, nothing worked for him. From 2008-2012, he went on to take the team to two bowl games, but did not win either. Throughout that bad run from ’08-’12 he kept changing things around like assistant coaches, administrative workers, and even practice times. He just failed to realize that he needed to change to a game that changed beyond him.
The biggest blow, of course, was the year 2012. He lost his best recruiter and Defensive Line coach Tosh Lupoi to Washington. Though it could be easily argued that Lupoi backstabbed all of us including Tedford, it was crazy how players were dedicated to a single assistant coach and not a program. He was about to pull in a top 10 recruiting class, but that immediately fell apart with the departure of Lupoi. Lupoi took the money and many have said he disliked Tedford for throwing him under the bus for Injury-Gate.
In the fall, Tedford welcomed back Cal fans to Memorial Stadium with a shocking loss to Nevada and then fell apart to end the season at 3-9. The painful decline of Cal football could not continue while other teams like UCLA, Oregon State, ASU, Arizona, and of course of rival Stanfurd was thriving. Athletic Director Sandy Barbour had to do something and she did. She relieved Tedford of his head coaching duties November 20, 2012.
But we will never forget his legacy. His major turn around of the program and the high expectations he brought forth. Unfortunately, these high expectations were a major factor to his release.
Let’s thank Tedford for everything he has done for us and what his legacy will mean for the future of Cal Football. Go Bears.