Dec. 20, 2002
BERKELEY - The University of California has reached a new five-year agreement with Head Coach Jeff Tedford through the 2007 football season, Athletic Director Stephen C. Gladstone announced today.
Tedford, who won 2002 Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year honors in his first season at Cal, had originally signed a four-year contract through the 2005 season. That contract has been voided and replaced with this new five-year agreement, Gladstone said.
"We certainly recognize that Jeff Tedford did a remarkable coaching job this past season and has become one of college football's hottest coaches," said Gladstone. "We also know that Jeff is extremely committed to establishing a winning program at California. Today's announcement should indicate that we share Jeff's commitment, not only towards building a successful football program but also towards Jeff and his great coaching staff."
"I want to thank Chancellor (Robert) Berdahl, Vice Chancellor (Horace) Mitchell and Steve Gladstone-as well as my players and coaches-for making this possible," said Tedford. "While we accomplished some of our goals this past season, we still have some work to do to truly achieve greatness as a football program. Our loyal fans and alumni deserve it. I appreciate the commitment that our administration has made, and we will do everything possible to reward them for their support."
Rising from the ashes of a 1-10 season in 2001-the worst record at Cal in 104 years-Tedford's first year at the helm produced a 7-5 overall mark and fourth-place tie in the Pac-10 with a 4-4 record. The team's 5.5-game improvement from last year tied Ohio State for the largest one-year turnaround in NCAA Division 1-A football this season, and it represent the second biggest turnabout in school history.
In posting their first winning season since 1993, the Golden Bears rang up road victories over three nationally ranked teams (Michigan State, Washington and Arizona State) for the first time in 120 years of Cal football. Tedford also became the first Bear coach to score a Big Game victory over Stanford in eight years, beating the Cardinal, 30-7, at Memorial Stadium.
The 41-year-old Tedford, who arrived in Berkeley after serving as offensive coordinator for the nationally No. 2 ranked Oregon Ducks in 2001, became only the third Cal coach to earn Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors in school history. Joe Kapp won the award in 1982, while Bruce Snyder shared co-coach of the year accolades with Washington's Don James in 1990.
A native of Lynwood, Calif., Tedford has gained a reputation as one of the bright young minds and developers of quarterbacks in college football today. During his 15-year coaching career with Cal, Oregon (1998-2001), Fresno State (1992-97) and the CFL's Calgary Stampeders (1989-91), he has seen such quarterbacks as Trent Dilfer, Akili Smith, Joey Harrington and David Carr blossom into high first-round NFL draft picks. Under his one-year tutelage at Cal, Kyle Boller passed for 2,815 yards, 28 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions as one of the nation's most improved quarterbacks.
In a remarkable turnaround, the 2002 Bears tied USC for the No. 1 scoring offense in the Pac-10 this past fall, averaging 35.6 points per game. Cal also led the conference in turnover margin (+18), kickoff returns (24.5 avg.), kickoff coverage (17.3 avg.) and fourth-down conversations (62.5%).
A consummate winner, Tedford has been associated with teams that have carved out a 28-8 record since the start of the 2002 season. His Oregon teams reeled off 11-1 and 10-2 marks in 2000 and 2001, respectively, while Cal went 7-5 this past year.