Jeff Tedford spent 11 seasons at Cal from 2002-12 and became the winningest coach in school history during his tenure before being relieved of his coaching duties on November 20, 2012.
Tedford offered the following statement after he was relived of his duties.
"I want to thank the University of California for the opportunity to be a part of this great university and community. I am so grateful to all of the coaches, players and support staff for playing such a vital role in making Cal Football relevant while enjoying winning seasons nine of 11 years. All involved can feel a great sense of pride with their sacrifice, contributions and commitment that have made it possible to have the winningest tenure in Cal Football history. We all can be very proud of helping to build a renovated Memorial Stadium that will have a positive impact on many athletes, fans and staff members for years to come. I will never forget the most gratifying part of these last 11 years, and that has been the relationships with the players I have had the special opportunity to watch grow academically, physically, socially and spiritually. To watch this process and be a part of their growth and development has been a blessing. The Tedford family is blessed to have built so many great relationships and create memories that will last a lifetime. I am most proud that through the sacrifices we have made over the last 11 years, my wife and two sons are the foundation and joy of my life. We wish the university much success - Go Bears!"
In his 11 seasons at the helm, Tedford established the Golden Bears as one of the elite football programs in the Pac-12 and lifted the team into the national discussion on a consistent basis. He led the Bears to tied for the third-most victories by a Pac-10 team over his first decade, final rankings among the nation's top 25 four times and spots among the top 10 at some point of five seasons.
Cal posted a school-record run of seven straight bowl appearances from 2003-09 and played in a bowl game eight times in his last 10 campaigns. The Bears were 5-3 in the postseason under Tedford, including a school-record string of four consecutive bowl wins from 2005-08, making him the only Cal mentor with more than two postseason victories. Cal also won enough games to be bowl eligible with a seven-victory season in his first campaign in 2002 but were ineligible for a bowl. In addition, the Bears put together a school-record-tying eight consecutive winning campaigns from 2002-09 and added a ninth in 10 seasons in 2011. Cal twice posted a school-record-tying 10 wins under Tedford, the sixth and seventh times in school history, in 2004 and 2006. Tedford posted a career record of 82-57 (.590) in a school-record 139 games at Cal, having set the school's win mark when he recorded the 75th victory of his career vs. Presbyterian at AT&T Park on Sept. 17, 2011. He is also the school's all-time leader for victories in road wins (26) and conference victories (50). To top it off, he was 7-4 in the Big Game, equaling Pappy Waldorf's school record of seven wins against Stanford.
In the 10 NFL Drafts that took place following Tedford's first game as Cal's head coach, the Bears had 40 players selected. Cal's 32 former players on NFL rosters as of Nov. 20, 2012, ranked second among Pac-12 schools. The 25 former players that Cal had on active 53-player NFL rosters (does not include players on the injured reserve and physically unable to perform lists) at the start of 2012 is ninth among all schools in the country.
All of this at the head of a program that won just one game in 2001, the year prior to his arrival, rates the Cal football renaissance during the Tedford era as one of the most impressive turnarounds in college football history.
Tedford also earned a reputation as a strong recruiter, with his last three classes in 2010, '11 and '12 being ranked as high as No. 11, No. 13 and No. 15 nationally. Prior to the 2011 campaign, Sporting News bestowed the honor of the Pac-12's best recruiter on him.
But Tedford's teams not only got it done on the field, they got it done in the classroom. His players were recognized as conference All-Academic honorees 103 times in his first 10 seasons (2012 still to be announced). Of the 202 seniors who played for Tedford in his first 10 campaigns, 178 (88%) earned their college degrees and/or went on to NFL careers.
Tedford's success with the Cal program resulted in local devotion and national attention. Cal averaged more than 57,000 fans per contest for seven consecutive seasons from 2004-10 before moving to the 45,000-seat AT&T Park in 2011 while Memorial Stadium underwent an extensive renovation and retrofit prior to reopening for the team's 2012 home contests. The seven-year stretch included a string of 43 consecutive games in front of at least 50,000 fans at Memorial Stadium (Sept. 11, 2004 - Nov. 20, 2010). In 2006, the Bears set school records for average fans per home game (64,318) and overall spectators (450,223). The following year in 2007 Cal established a school record with 41,366 season-ticket holders. The team's seven games in 2012 in the renovated Memorial Stadium drew 391,130 fans for an average of 55,876 per game, including a sellout crowd of 63,186 for the season opener against Nevada.
Nationally, Cal had multiple Heisman Trophy candidates under Tedford's tutelage, with J.J. Arrington (2004), Marshawn Lynch (2006), DeSean Jackson (2007) and Jahvid Best (2009) among top candidates for the prestigious honor at some point in the season, and Arrington finishing eighth in the final voting. Keenan Allen was on several lists of preseason Heisman Trophy candidates prior to the 2012 campaign.
Other national recognition has come the Bears way in recent years. Alex Mack was the winner of the 2008 Draddy Award (often referred to as the Academic Heisman), while Mike Mohamed was one of 16 players across the country in the National Football Foundation's Scholar-Athlete Class of 2010 and a finalist for the prestigious honor won by Mack now known as the William V. Campbell Trophy. Giorgio Tavecchio was a semifinalist for the same honor in 2011. In 2006, the Bears had a pair of players collect national awards. Jackson was the recipient of the inaugural Randy Moss Award as the top returner in the country, while Daymeion Hughes earned The Lott IMPACT Trophy, given to the nation's top defensive player to equally recognize his athletic performance and personal character.
Tedford developed a relentless drive as a young football player at Warren High School in the Southern California city of Downey. After a solid prep career, the undersized quarterback went on to a standout two-year stint at Cerritos College (1979-80) before a record-setting two-year stay at Fresno State (1981-82). During his days as a Bulldog, he established several school passing records, including career marks for passing yardage (4,872) and touchdown passes (35), while earning honorable mention All-America notice in 1982 when he set single-season Fresno State standards for passing yardage (2,993) and TD passes (24).
After receiving a bachelor's degree in physical education from Fresno State in 1983, Tedford played professionally in the Canadian Football League for six seasons with Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg. He appeared in the league's championship game (Grey Cup) with Hamilton in 1984.
Tedford has used his own signal-calling experience to build a reputation as a quarterback guru. During more than 20 seasons of collegiate coaching career at Cal (2002-12), Oregon (1998-2001) and Fresno State (1992-97), Tedford has been integral in the development of six quarterbacks that became first-round picks in the NFL Draft - Kyle Boller, David Carr, Trent Dilfer, Joey Harrington, Aaron Rodgers and Akili Smith.
Rodgers, an under-the-radar junior college transfer like Tedford, ranked No. 8 nationally in pass efficiency in 2004 when he completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 2,566 yards and 24 touchdowns with only eight interceptions for the Bears. He put up similar numbers the previous season when he completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 2,903 yards and 19 touchdowns with only five interceptions. After being drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft, Rodgers has become one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and followed his first Pro Bowl selection in 2009 by earning Super Bowl XLV MVP honors the following season after leading the Packers to a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2011, he was named the NFL's MVP and earned his first All-Pro honor from the Associated Press.
"As far as a gameday coach, he was incredibly demanding in a way that pushes you to strive for perfection," Rodgers said of Tedford. "I think we're both perfectionists, we like things to look a certain way, we're both fierce competitors. I loved how he got our offense into a rhythm with his play-calling and I loved his energy. That second year there was a fun year ... he and I still have a special friendship and bond."
Dilfer was selected sixth overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1994 NFL Draft and played for five teams over 14 NFL seasons in a career that was highlighted by leading the Baltimore Ravens to a win in Super Bowl XXXV following the 2000 campaign.
"I believe Jeff's one of the finest minds in all of football," said Dilfer, who currently serves as a football analyst for ESPN after a 14-year NFL playing career from 1994-2007. "He's certainly the finest coach I've ever been around. He's a great leader and great teacher. He has very high expectations for himself and the people around him. And he will work tirelessly to meet those expectations. Jeff taught me more about toughness and the game of football than any coach I've ever played for, and I've had some awfully good coaches."
In addition to his success with quarterbacks, Tedford's teams at Cal featured balanced attacks and become notorious for their ferocity on the ground. In nine of his 11 seasons at Cal, Tedford had at least one running back post a 1,000-yard rushing season, including a string of seven consecutive years with a 1,000-yard rusher from 2002-08 and then again in 2010 and 2011. In 2004, Arrington broke Chuck Muncie's single-season school record with 2,018 yards, which led the country (168.2 ypg) as Arrington rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his 12 contests. In 2007, Justin Forsett's 1,546 rushing yards were briefly the second-best in Cal history, but Best's four-game flourish (814 yards) at the end of 2008 gave him 1,580 for the year to move past Forsett. Lynch had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2005 and 2006, while Adimchinobe Echemandu (1,195 yards in 2003), Isi Sofele (1,322 yards in 2011), Shane Vereen (1,167 yards in 2010), and Joe Igber (1,075 yards in 2002) also reached the mark under Tedford. In addition to the 1,000-yard rushers, Cal has also been known for having two strong running backs every year with with the top two backs combining for 1,500 or more yards each of Tedford's last 10 seasons.
While offense was Tedford's forte, Cal's defense toughened considerably during his reign as well, allowing an average of just 22.7 points per game during his first 10 seasons, second-best in the Pac-10/12 over that period. His 2004 team ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 16.0 points per game. In 2005, the Bears led the Pac-10 in scoring defense, giving up only 21.2 points per contest. In 2008, Cal led the Pac-10 in the two key categories of red zone defense (68.2%) and takeaways (34). The Bears were second in the conference in rush defense (112.0 ypg) in 2009. Cal then had a stellar season on defense in 2010 in their first year under former Super Bowl coordinator Clancy Pendergast, leading the league and ranking among the top 25 nationally in sacks (2.83 spg, No. 13 NCAA), total defense (319.08 ypg, No. 18 NCAA) and pass defense (187.0 ypg, No. 21 NCAA). In 2011, Cal again led the Pac-12 in total defense (332.92 ypg) and pass defense (204.23 ypg), ranking 25th and 37th nationally. Cal also continued to make big plays on defense in 2011 as the Pac-12's top team in tackles for loss (7.69 tflpg, No. 7 NCAA) while ranking third in the conference in sacks (2.62 spg, No. 19 NCAA). In addition, the Bears led the Pac-12 in opponents' first downs, allowing only 17.4 per game.
Prior to his arrival in Berkeley, Tedford was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Oregon, serving in that role for four seasons, including the 2001 campaign when the Ducks finished with a No. 2 national ranking.
Tedford played an integral role in the rise of the Oregon program during his tenure in Eugene - a period in which the Ducks posted the Pac-10's best record (38-10) while finishing progressively better each year (8-4 in 1998, 9-3 in 1999, 10-2 in 2000 and 11-1 in 2001). During his first season as offensive coordinator in 1998, Oregon set school records in passing yards, total offense and points scored. Tedford's passing acumen was clearly evident in the rapid development of Smith, who earned Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year accolades as he finished second in the nation in pass efficiency and was later chosen third overall in the 1999 NFL Draft by Cincinnati.
Duck quarterbacks A.J. Feeley and Harrington combined to pass for 3,131 yards and 24 TDs on the Sun Bowl champion team that ranked 13th nationally in scoring in 1999, while the 2000 club tied for the Pac-10 crown and defeated Texas in the Holiday Bowl. Tedford's last Oregon squad in 2001 showcased one of the nation's premier quarterbacks in Harrington, who won Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year honors and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting.
In 1992 as the quarterbacks coach at Fresno State, Tedford began honing the skills of Dilfer. Under Tedford's guidance, the Bulldogs' quarterback earned first-team All-WAC honors for an offense that led the nation in scoring (44.2 ppg), ranked second in total offense (541.9 ypg) and beat USC in the Freedom Bowl. A season later, Tedford became the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator, and Fresno State ranked third nationally in scoring and total offense while earning an Aloha Bowl invitation. Dilfer ranked first nationally in passing efficiency (173.1 rating) and won the WAC Offensive Player of the Year award. He was later chosen by Tampa Bay with the sixth overall selection of the 1994 NFL Draft.
Tedford's coaching career began with two seasons as volunteer assistant at Fresno State (1987-88) before he joined Calgary of the CFL for three seasons (1989-91), including the 1991 team that advanced to the Grey Cup title game.
Despite his success as a coach and mentor, Tedford still followed a basic philosophy.
"We tried to focus on one game at a time and reach our full potential," he said emphatically.
And he still valued each and every member of his football team.
"Whether it is the guys who are suited up, the guys who are going to play 50-60 plays or the guys who aren't going to play at all, I want them all to understand that they are very important to the success of the program," he said. "Their contributions are invaluable."
Tedford's hard work and dedication not only inspired his players, it has also made him a role model to the young men in the Cal program.
"Coach Tedford wasn't just a coach, I think of him as more like a father figure," said Desmond Bishop, an All-Pac-10 linebacker and key member of the Green Bay Packers' Super Bowl XLV winning squad. "He taught us lessons about life. He taught us to have integrity, to have character. He prepared us to be men."
COACHING AT CAL
Led the Golden Bears to a school-record seven consecutive bowl games (2003-09) and another in 2011, with the Bears posting enough victories to be bowl eligible in nine of his 11 years.
Led Cal to a school-record-tying eight straight winning seasons (2002-09) and again in 2011.
Was 5-3 in bowl games and the only Cal coach with more than two bowl victories.
Was 7-4 in the Big Game after inheriting a seven-game losing streak in the series, equaling Pappy Waldorf's school record for victories over Stanford.
Had 14 wins over ranked teams in his first 10 seasons, compared to Cal's seven in the 10 campaigns prior to his arrival.
Had Cal among the nation's final top 25 four times, in the top 25 at some point on seven occasions and reaching the top 10 five times.
Had his players honored 103 times on the Pac-10/12 All-Academic football teams in his first 10 seasons (2012 yet to be announced).
88 percent of his seniors (178 of 202 student-athletes) in his first 10 seasons earned their college degrees and/or went on to NFL careers.
Twice named Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2002 and '04.
Set single-season school marks in 1982 for passing yards (2,993) and TD passes (24).
Accumulated a 54 percent completion rate in six seasons in the CFL.
CAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS UNDER JEFF TEDFORD
Enjoyed a six-win increase from the previous season, tying for the biggest one-year turnaround in the nation and the second-largest about-face in school history (the 1947 club went 9-1 after a 2-7 season in 1946).
Led the Bears to victories over three nationally ranked teams (Michigan State, Washington and Arizona State) in the same season for the first time in 52 years.
Scored three road wins over nationally ranked opponents in the same season for the first time in school history.
Halted a 12-year victory drought in Sun Devil Stadium, mowing down Arizona State, 55-38.
Set a modern-day school record by scoring 427 points (broken in 2003) with a 35.6 points per game scoring average that tied for 10th-best in the nation.
Defeated Washington to snap a 19-game losing streak to the Huskies.
Capped the season by registering Cal's first Big Game win over Stanford in eight years, a 30-7 throttling of the Cardinal.
Set single-season school marks for total offense (6,061) and first downs (321), as well as a modern-era record for scoring (457).
Led the Pac-10 in rushing for the first time in 45 seasons with 2,356 yards and a 168.3 yard per game average.
Posted first bowl win at Cal in 10 years, defeating Virginia Tech by a score of 52-49 in the Insight Bowl.
Set single-game school bowl records for most points (52), total yards (530), passing yards (394), completion percentage (77.1, later broken), TDs (7) and rushing TDs (5, later tied).
Beat a team ranked as high as No. 3 nationally for the first time in 52 years with a 34-31 victory in three overtimes over No. 3 USC at Memorial Stadium.
Defeated Washington in Berkeley for the first time in 28 years, with the 54-7 win the widest margin of victory by a Cal team in a conference game in 81 years, setting Cal's single-game record for total offense with 729 yards in the contest.
Reached Cal's highest national ranking (No. 4) in 52 years.
Posted school's best regular-season record (10-1) since 1950 club was 9-0-1 in the regular season.
First perfect home record (5-0) in 55 years since the 1949 team was 6-0 at Memorial Stadium.
Most road wins (5) in school history.
Earned first back-to-back bowl trips since 1990 and '91 seasons.
Set single-season school record for total offense (492.4 ypg), ranking No. 1 in the Pac-10.
Broke single-season school mark for yards per play (7.0), almost one yard better than old standard of 6.1 in 2003.
Led Pac-10 in rushing (256.8 ypg) for second straight year, which were the first two times since 1958.
Allowed fewest points per game by a Cal defense since 1968, ranking eighth nationally at 16.0 ppg.
Recorded first back-to-back defensive shutouts in 36 years (38-0 at Arizona, 27-0 vs. Arizona State).
Finished the season ranked ninth nationally with 235.3 rushing yards per game to mark the Bears' second straight season as one of the nation's top-10 rushing teams (sixth in 2004).
Won fourth straight Big Game for the first time since the 1936-39 campaigns and again at Stanford, marking Cal's first two straight road victories in the series since winning six straight on The Farm from 1937-51.
Recorded a fourth straight season with at least eight victories.
Named a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, which honors the coach who best exemplifies responsibility and excellence on and off the field of play.
Led Cal to its fifth straight Big Game win for the first time since the club won five in a row from 1919-23.
Led Bears to a perfect home record (7-0) for the second time in three years.
Beat Washington for the fifth straight time after having previously dropped 19 straight in the series.
Six players selected in the 2008 NFL Draft - a school-record for the seven-round version of the draft.
Tailback Justin Forsett rushed for 1,546 yards - the third-most in school history.
Opened the year with a thrilling 45-31 victory over No. 15 Tennessee on national television.
Also defeated No. 11 Oregon on the road with the ESPN Gameday crew in attendance.
Directed Bears to a No. 2 national ranking - their highest since 1951.
All 13 of Cal's games were televised - the first time in program history that every contest was telecast.
Posted a winning record for the seventh straight campaign.
Posted a 7-0 home record to mark the third time in five seasons Cal had been unbeaten at home.
Finished No. 25 in coaches' poll to mark fourth top-25 finish in five years.
Tailback Jahvid Best rushed for 1,580 yards - the second most in school history - to extend the school record of consecutive years with a 1,000-yard rusher to seven.
Produced Draddy Trophy (now known as the William V. Campbell Trophy) winner Alex Mack.
Equaled Cal's modern-era record for victories (67) and the school's record for Big Game wins (7) with a victory at Stanford on Nov. 21 in his 100th game as head coach.
Became one of only three Cal football coaches to reach the 100-game mark.
Led Bears to back-to-back wins in consecutive weeks over nationally-ranked teams for the first time since 1950, beating Arizona at home and winning at Stanford.
Featured a defense that led the Pac-10 and ranked in the top 25 nationally in sacks (2.83 spg, No. 13), total defense (319.08 ypg, No. 18) and pass defense (187.00 ypg, No. 21), recorded five first-half shutouts, held its opponents to 10 or more total points on four occasions - highest total since the "Bear Minimum" defense limited seven opponents to 10 or fewer points in 1968 - and held opponents below 200 yards of offense three times.
Scored 50 or more points on three occasions (UC Davis, Colorado, Arizona State).
Led Cal to victories in each of its first four home games at Memorial Stadium and played the final game at the venue until 2012 when the stadium reopens following an extensive renovation and retrofit.
Opened the season with three consecutive victories, including a hard-fought 36-33 overtime win at Colorado.
Featured Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Mychal Kendricks and fellow first-team all-conference selections Keenan Allen, Bryan Anger and Mitchell Schwartz.
Led the Pac-12 in total defense (332.92 ypg), pass defense (204.23), tackles for loss (7.69 tflpg) and opponents' first downs (17.4 fdpg).
Finished the regular season with a 4-1 record in their temporary home venue of AT&T Park.
Defeated Utah and Colorado (non-conference game) in their first season as members of the Pac-12.