Multiple sources have confirmed to us that Jeff Tedford will not be returning to Cal. A press conference is expected later this afternoon.
During Tedford's reign, the Bears managed one Pac-10 conference championship, seven of eight Big Games, three straight years of top 25 finishes, eight bowl games in nine seasons, an average of about eight wins a year, and eight straight winning seasons. That type of consistent success has risen expectations of Cal football from it's dreary depths, and the Bears now strive for that excellence Tedford made almost routine.
There's so many great memories. Tedford put together an offense that allowed playmakers like Aaron Rodgers, Marshawn Lynch, DeSean Jackson, Justin Forsett, Jahvid Best, Shane Vereen, Alex Mack, Craig Stevens, Lavelle Hawkins and so many more to flourish. The defense became more dominant during the final years of his tenure, producing ballers like Desmond Bishop, Brandon Mebane, Dante Hughes, Tyson Alualu, Zack Follett, Cameron Jordan, Chris Conte, Mike Mohamed, Mychal Kendricks and more. One of Tedford's enduring legacies still lives on on Sundays, as Rodgers still remains one of the greatest players in the NFL.
Tedford stuck at Cal when he had his pick of NFL jobs in 2004. He pushed for renovating a decaying stadium and getting modern athletic facilities for his players, and had to wait far too long (and sadly too late) to get a chance to utilize both of them.
Obviously the ending wasn't fun, but are they ever? There was so much good to override the bad, and what Tedford has done for Cal football goes well beyond just wins and losses. The Bears have the structure and the facilities in place to attract the best coaches and players to Strawberry Canyon, and it wouldn't have been possible without his sacrifices and dedication to make Cal the best possible program it could be.
It's been a fun ride coach. Thanks for the memories.
More coverage is coming of the end of Tedford's run at Cal. For now, discuss in the comments.
UPDATE, 10:40 AM: Official statement from Cal Athletics:
"This was an extraordinarily difficult decision, one that required a thorough and thoughtful analysis of a complex set of factors," Barbour said. "Ultimately, I believed that we needed a change in direction to get our program back on the right track. Cal football is integral to our department and our university, and its influence can be felt well beyond the walls of Memorial Stadium. The program clearly serves as an important part of the connective tissue that binds our community together, and it is imperative that Cal football be recognized as a leader in competitive success, academic achievement and community engagement.
"For many years, under Jeff Tedford's leadership, our program represented all that and more," Barbour added. "Coach Tedford deserves credit for the extraordinary effort he undertook to turn this program around and bring us to the heights of a Pac-10 co-championship in 2006. He has served his University admirably, and I will forever be indebted for his commitment and expertise, as well as the positive impact he has made in so many young men's lives over the years."