UC Berkeley Web Feature
|(Steve McConnell photos)
Tedford signs 5-year contract to remain at Cal
BERKELEY–Coach Jeff Tedford, credited with turning around the Golden Bears' football fortunes, will stay on at Cal under a new five-year contract that nearly doubles his base salary to $1.5 million a year, Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau and Athletic Director Sandy Barbour announced at a press conference today (Monday, Dec. 6).
"Cal has made a commitment and an investment in Coach Tedford and, in turn, he has made a commitment to Cal," Barbour said. "I cannot tell you how pleased I am today."
The agreement replaces an existing contract through 2007 for Tedford, who has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years, most recently bringing the Cal Bears (10-1) to the brink of going the Rose Bowl. Despite being ranked fourth in several polls, Cal finished fifth in the final BCS standings behind the University of Texas, Austin, ending the team's dream of playing in the Rose Bowl. Instead they will play Texas Tech in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30 in San Diego.
"Re-signing Coach Tedford signals my commitment to achieving the kind of excellence in athletics that UC Berkeley already exhibits in academics," Birgeneau said. "I could not be more proud of the way in which Coach Tedford, his staff and our entire football team conducted themselves this entire season. It's not just that they won games, but they won games with dignity."
"My allegiance to Cal has grown. There has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears from the players and the coaching staff."
Today's announcement puts to rest the increasing chatter in recent months that Tedford, with his winning record and reputation for drawing out untapped talent from quarterbacks, could be lured away to another football program.
"I am 100 percent devoted to this program," Tedford said. "It has always been my goal to build a strong program here at Cal that integrates academics with athletics and I'm very proud of our young men.
"We came here three years ago with high expectations. While we have accomplished some of those, we are not finished yet," he said.
| Tedford at Cal
December 2001: Tedford arrives at Cal after serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Oregon, where the Ducks finished ranked No. 2 nationally in 2001.
2002 season: In the wake of a dismal 1-10 season in 2001, Tedford leads the Golden Bears to a fourth-place tie in the Pac-10 with a 4-4 record. The team's improvement over the previous year ties Ohio State for the largest one-year turnaround in NCAA Division 1-A football for the season, and is the second biggest turnabout in school history. Tedford becomes the third Cal coach to be named Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
2003 season: Cal improves to a 5-3, third-place showing that included victories over No. 3 ranked USC, Arizona State and Washington. It's the best conference record by a Cal team in 12 years, and the Golden Bears' 8-6 overall mark was the most victories by the school since 1993. California caps the season with the Bears' first bowl win in 10 years, 52-49 over Virginia Tech.
2004 season: Cal dominates the season with a 10-1 record, losing only to top-ranked USC and posting the first 10-win regular season since Pappy Waldorf's team in 1949. The team has its first perfect home record (5-0) in 55 years and places more players (8) on the All-Pac-10 Team than any other school. The Golden Bears will play Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30 in San Diego. Tedford is named Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the second time.
Source: Cal Athletics
It's hard to overstate Tedford's popularity with die-hard, long-suffering Golden Bears' fans. Tedford arrived at Cal in December 2001 after the team had a dismal 1-10 season and has brought it charging onto the national stage. In his first two years, Tedford won more games (15) than any Cal football coach in more than 50 years. He has been named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year twice in three seasons and has posted the school's best record in 55 years.
"Jeff has made so many remarkable contributions to our program, to our community and to our entire university," Barbour said. "We view this commitment as an important step in reaching our current and future goals for the football program, as well as for the athletic department as a whole."
Inevitably, the subject of Cal's missing a slot in the Rose Bowl came up, but Tedford said he was "already over it."
"I know yesterday was a tough day for all of us," he said. "There's no question there was disappointment but we've had a tremendous year. I've very encouraged by what this group did."
As part of the agreement, there is contract language about improvements to Memorial Stadium getting underway, Tedford said. There are currently various plans being considered to upgrade football offices, team meeting rooms, the locker room, weight-training and medical facilities.
"I have tremendous faith and trust" that plans are moving ahead on the stadium, Tedford said.
Barbour said there would be more information about the stadium plan in the near future, without elaborating. Proposals are currently moving from a stadium committee to the chancellor for consideration, she said.
"My allegiance to Cal has grown," Tedford said. "There has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears from the players and the coaching staff."
He added that he was looking forward to telling the students he had signed the new contract.
"It will be great to look them in the eye, give them a hug and tell them that we're going to be in this together," Tedford said.