In a move that surprised next to no in college football, Cal announced on Tuesday morning that they’d fired head football coach Jeff Tedford.
The news was first reported by CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman.
Tedford leaves the school with a unique resume as both Cal’s all-time winningest coach with 82 wins, but also missed in his final few seasons. Cal finished the 2012 regular season at 3-9 last weekend, the second time in three years the Golden Bears will miss the postseason.
Although Cal became a school which produced a handful of quality NFL running backs like Marshawn Lynch, Jahvid Best and Justin Forsett during Tedford’s time on campus, his fate will probably best tied to the years he coached current Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers at Cal. In their two years together, Rodgers and Tedford combined to win 20 games, and in 2005 the duo had Cal on the verge of a Rose Bowl appearance, until Texas was awarded the bid at the last minute instead.
And even though Tedford had successful years after Rodgers left (including 10 wins in 2006) he wasn’t able to maintain the success long-term. In his last six years Tedford has had just one nine win season and hasn’t finished with more than seven wins since 2009. Cal hasn’t won a bowl game since the 2008 Emerald Bowl.
Now, the attention will turn to the next coach at the university. Early on names like San Jose State’s Mike MacIntyre, Louisiana Tech’s Sonny Dykes and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin have been thrown around as potential successors for Tedford. Boise’s Chris Petersen- as he is every year- remains a long-shot.
What will also be interesting is to see are the finances the school has to work with in pursuit of their next coach. Cal’s athletic department was struggling financially as recently as just a few years ago, but seems to have found much more stable footing since the Pac-12 signed its new TV deal however.
At the same time, it has been reported that Tedford’s buyout could cost the school as much as $7 million.
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