BERKELEY, Calif. — Jeff Tedford made a downtrodden program relevant as coach at California, putting out competitive teams for a decade, developing dozens of NFL players and spearheading a facilities upgrade.
When he was unable to match his own early on-field success in recent years he was fired after 11 years as coach.
Cal fired Tedford on Tuesday, ending a tenure that began with great promise and ended with a disappointing run of mediocrity capped by his worst season as coach.
Tedford engineered an impressive turnaround for the Bears after taking over a one-win team following the 2001 season. He won a school-record 82 games, churned out numerous NFL prospects and was a major factor in a $321 million stadium renovation.
But after winning 10 games twice in his first five years and taking a share of the 2006 conference title, Tedford was unable to keep the Bears near the top of the Pac-12 conference anymore.
The program bottomed out this season, losing the final five games to finish 3-9 for Tedford’s worst season. The Bears lost to rival Stanford for the third straight season and the year was capped by the most lopsided losses of Tedford’s career, a 59-17 home loss to Oregon followed by a season-ending 62-14 loss at Oregon State.