A sometimes spectacular, other times maddening era in Cal football under Head Football Coach Jeff Tedford has come to an expected end this morning as Athletic Director Sany Barbour announced the dismissal of Tedford to Cal athletic supporters.
"This morning I met with Coach Jeff Tedford as we continued conversations about the state of Cal football and how we can, collectively, as a football program, an athletics administration and a campus community, redirect both our competitive and academic performance," said Barbour.
"Throughout the course of the conversation, it became evident that there was not a clear, direct or expeditious path to reversing worrisome trends. Therefore, I informed Coach Tedford that I have decided the time has come to seek new leadership for the Cal football program. This decision was not made lightly, or easily, and comes only after careful consideration and complex evaluation of our football program. After weighing all of the variables and extensive consultation with Chancellor Birgeneau and Vice Chancellor Wilton it is evident that this level of change is what is needed and is in the best interest of Cal."
Tedford took over a program that was arguably at an all-time low, taking a team that went 1-10, with their only win against winless 0-11 Rutgers and immediately made them a player in the Pac 10, going 7-5 and immediately trouncing Baylor in their season opener, 70-22 as well as whipping a ranked Michigan State team on the road, 46-22 and ending Washington's 26-season win streak in a 34-27 victory in Seattle, not to mention ending a 7-game losing streak to Stanford in the Big Game and starting a 5-game win streak of their own in the heated battle.
However, since mid-2007, when a 5-0 Bear team on the verge of the #1 ranking in the country was upset by Oregon State in Memorial Stadium, a clear downturn in the program began, including finishing 7-6 that year, his first losing record in 2010 at 5-7 and culminating in this season's 3-8 mark.
Under Tedford, the program accomplished what many thought was impossible in the complete retrofitting and major remodeling of Memorial Stadium as well as construction of the Student Athlete High Performance Center -widely considered amongst the most impressive collegiate training facilities in the country.
Many felt the stage was set for a resurgence in the program's fortunes as the team moved back into their new facilities this year following their 7-6 mark in 2011 but the stark contrast between those expectations and this season's results, starting with the Bears' stunning season-opening loss at home to a pedestrian Nevada team was the first indication amongst many this year that a different direction was likely needed in leadership of the program.
"This should not be seen as a refutation of Coach Tedford’s passion, commitment and skills. I believe he still has the same set of extraordinary personal and professional tools that allowed him to compile an unbelievable record of accomplishment during his 11 seasons at Cal – his near miraculous resurrection of a program in a state of collapse; two-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year; Pac-10 conference championship; eight bowl-game appearances; and more wins than any coach in Cal history. Additionally, I can’t even begin to quantify what his patience and perseverance meant to our campus community as we endured repeated delays on the way to a new Memorial Stadium and modern training facilities. Jeff has earned a permanent place in the legacy of Cal football. However, as we have all seen sports, there comes a time when the needs of a team or a program no longer align with the tangible and intangible attributes of a particular head coach, no matter how talented and committed he may be."
A press conference has been called at 3 pm today to elaborate on the details of the move.
Stay tuned for more, including video from the event later today.