Comments from Head Coach Jeff Tedford, Athletic Director Sandy Barbour and Chancellor Robert Birgeneau
Dec. 6, 2004
The following are selected quotes from Cal head coach Jeff Tedford's Monday press conference announcing agreement to a new five-year contract with the Golden Bear football program.
Head Coach Jeff Tedford
First off, I'd like to express my appreciation to Chancellor (Robert J.) Birgeneau, (Athletic Director) Sandy Barbour and (Associate Chancellor) John Cummins. This is a tremendous opportunity. I would also like to thank my players and coaches for making this possible, because we have a tremendous staff, tremendous players and tremendous character kids. When Chancellor Birgeneau speaks of student-athletes, it has always been my goal to build a strong program here at Cal that integrates academics and athletics. I'm very proud of our young men, and I feel very, very fortunate to have the opportunity as we move forward to play a role in this program here at Cal.
When we came here three years ago, we had high expectations. While we have accomplished some of those, we are not finished yet. I want to thank all the fans and supporters for what they have provided us over the last three years - the platform to be able to work our craft and the platform for our players to be successful, both on and off the football field. There is much more to this job than just X's and O's. We have tremendous characters kids and we will continue to do our best as a staff to make sure our kids reach the full person and the full potential that they can be - athletically, academically and socially.
I know that yesterday was a tough day for us. As we were very disappointed in yesterday, today we are very pleased of the future of the program. I couldn't be more encouraged with the new administration, with the supporters and the direction which this football program is going. When we came here three ago, we said that our job was to consistently compete for a Pac-10 championship at a national level. We are on our way to do that and we look forward to continuing to do that. You have my word that my staff and I will work tirelessly to make sure that we uphold that.
On whether Tedford's contract contains stadium renovation clauses:
Absolutely. I had tremendous confidence and have been encouraged by the direction that the stadium project is heading in. It is a long process, but I have tremendous faith and trust what this is going to be all about. It's a team effort. This is a `we-we' situation. I'm in it with this university. We're together in reaching our goals in a lot of different areas and one of them being the stadium project, which I'm willing to work very, very hard with as a team to get that accomplished.
On what, specifically, those stadium-renovation clauses are:
It has something in there that says something about getting the stadium started. But it's not significant. It's not something that I'm really paying attention to. I know the direction that we're heading as a program and what the administration has led us to believe and know that it is going to come true because of the tremendous support we've had from the alumni, our fund-raising program. I have tremendous trust that we're moving forward with that.
On other coaching offers Tedford may have received:
We did not entertain any other offers. As we worked through this process, I made it very clear that I was the head coach at Cal and was not interested in hearing anything else. My allegiance to Cal has grown. That's natural. An investment in Cal has been made. There have been many, many long hard hours, a lot of blood, sweat and tears from the players and coaching staff and I see Cal as a top institution in the country academically. We can be very competitive at the level that we need to be at to challenge for those things I mentioned earlier.
Not being able to get the Rose Bowl, does that take away from how special this season has been?
No. Absolutely not. As yesterday's news came across, there is no question that there was disappointment. We had a tremendous year and I think the players are to be commended for that. It's about celebrating a great year and we're going to move forward, play in the Holiday Bowl and hopefully be successful. To be 11-1, stay in the Top 5 or possibly move into the Top 3 would be a tremendous year for this group, especially for the kids that were here three years ago on the team that went 1-10. They have realized so many of their dreams come true. I'm very encouraged by what this group did and very proud of this group. However, there are other things out there that we need to continue to work for and we're going to do that.
On the timeline of the extension:
It was important that we get this done in a hurry. I didn't want to entertain anything else. I'm 100 percent dedicated and devoted to this program, and I'm very happy that everything worked out and I'm really looking forward to the future. It'll help us in recruiting. We get asked the question everyday if we're going to stay here. The news travels fast. We had a call from one of our top recruits already, and I think it will benefit us in recruiting and answer a lot of speculation that has been out here and I'm very pleased with that.
On when the extension was proposed:
As you know, during the season, I don't have a lot of interaction with people. I'm in my cave most of the time. In my dealings with the chancellor and with Sandy, I can't tell you how impressed with the type of people they are, the values they have and the vision they have for this program. Not a lot of talk had gone back and forth until last night. It was the first time we had chance to sit down and talk about specific terms. As far as I'm concerned, I know that behind the scenes, there was a lot of work done. I'm not naive to think that this thing got put together in 12 hours.
Have you made the announcement to your players?
I have not. My last meeting with the players was yesterday. I will tell you that I'm as happy as I could possibly be. When you look those young men in the eye and you make commitments to them in recruiting and you see what they do every single day and the commitment that they put into the program, it will be great to look them in eye, hug them, and let them know that we're in this thing together for the next five years. We have a lot of work to do, but we're going to get it done together.
What does your family feel about this situation:
My family is very excited. My wife loves it here. She has become a Bear through and through, as well as my boys. This gives us a tremendous opportunity for them to finish high school here. We've enjoyed every minute of our experience at Cal. I can't tell you how fortunate and thrilled we are to have the opportunity to further that. It is a family affair. My wife and kids are very involved in my job and we're very proud, as a family, to be apart of the university.
How much did yesterday's news play into your decision?
That definitely plays into it. As a rule, you try to stay driven no matter what the circumstances are and we will continue to do that. We're very fortunate to have a staff that is very committed to what's going on. If it is true that we were dealt a bad break this year then we need to work harder. We can control our own destiny. We do have one loss on our record. So we're going to try to stay away from that and get that loss off of there.
Athletic Director Sandy Barbour
I am pleased to announce that Jeff Tedford has signed a new five-year agreement to continue as the head football coach at Cal. This is in recognition of his tremendous efforts, the tremendous job that Jeff and his staff have done, and in recognition of Jeff as an asset to the university and the entire community. Cal has made a commitment and an investment in coach Tedford and, in turn, he has made a commitment to Cal. In my short time here, I have been witness to the fabulous job that Jeff and his staff and our student-athletes have done in raising the Cal football program to the level that we find ourselves today. However, I have been most impressed in that short period of time and most proud of the influence that coach Tedford has had on these young men and their lives outside of the football field and the influence that he and his staff and the success of the program have had on our entire university and entire community.
I cannot tell you how pleased I am to make this announcement today and how pleased I am that we have a great, great future ahead of us with coach Tedford at the helm of our football program.
How does this benefit the university and the program in the future? I think we're seeing right now how powerful a successful program can be for an institution, and that's why we've chosen to make the investment in not only Jeff Tedford the coach, but Jeff Tedford the person, and his staff.
On how the deal was done and how the stadium renovation project will be impacted:
This has been in the works for several weeks in recognition of all of the things we've talked about. It was certainly independent of any result yesterday or here at the tail end of the season. This was made possible by the chancellor's athletic discretionary fund that has been privately funded. I would like to thank those that have made that possible. In terms of facilities, prior to my taking this job and in my research, the stadium has an impact on a number of our programs. It will directly impact 13-14 of our programs and indirectly impact each and every one of them. I look forward to us moving on that as a part of the chancellor's advisory committee. I was a part of the recommendation that's gone forward and I look forward to that coming to fruition.
Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau
We'd like to recognize the accomplishments of our football coach and his staff and the entire football team. I'd like to say, personally, as the chancellor of the University of California, I could not be more proud of the way that coach Tedford, his staff and our football team conducted themselves this entire season. I think, for those of you who had the privileged of watching the game on Saturday night and hearing Jeff interviewed on Sunday, know that he is a great representative of the University of California-Berkeley and typifies what we believe we stand for.
We couldn't think of a better person on the football front to lead us than Jeff Tedford.