The whole entire community at California Golden Blogs, SB Nation and Vox Media all mourn the loss of beloved Bud ‘Dog’ Turner, who passed away at 84 this weekend.
Known by just about everyone in the college football world, you should consider yourself honored if you had the privilege of fist-bumping Dog upon entering California Memorial Stadium. And honored if he told you ‘it’s a great day to be a Bear.’
Turner passed away on Thursday night, at the age of 84, due to a heart failure.
“Dog embodies the spirit of the Cal fan,” said former Cal quarterback J Torchio, who played at Cal from 1980-83 and spoke to Turner by phone Thursday morning. “Everyone that touched him became more positive about being a Cal fan than they already were. You couldn’t be around the man without knowing the kind of exuberance he had for Cal. He’s part of the culture. I don’t think there will be another Dog like that.”
Turner had been around the Cal football program for the greater part of 50 years, and to be honest, there aren’t many people living that know Cal football before Turner.
“I literally don’t know many people alive that remember Cal football before Dog,” said Cal Assistant Athletic Director for Football Administration Andrew McGraw, who has worked on Cal’s football staff for 22 years. “If you calculate the hours he’s given to the program, it’s incredible. Over the course of 50 years, if you could find anybody who has had a negative interaction with Dog, it would be shocking.”
“Dog Turner was a part of Cal football for longer than many of us have been alive,” Cal head coach Justin Wilcox said. “He was such a kind and genuine person, and I will miss the welcoming smile he gave to everyone who entered California Memorial Stadium. It’s really hard to imagine going to lunch and not seeing him in the football offices, heading to practice and not getting a fist bump from him, or entering the locker room after a game and not seeing him standing there beaming with pride for his team.
Turner had a variety of roles at Cal including working the field phones for the PA to the equipment room and eventually with the operations staff. Nevermind his job title, however, he’ll be remembered for his interactions with everyone. Everyone knew Dog. And Dog certainly knew everyone.
“Dog always said, ‘It’s a great day to be a Bear,’” Wilcox said. “Indeed it is, Dog, just not as great today. We’ll miss you, pal, but we’ll always remember you and love you. Go Bears.”
Turner passed away with his wife, Joan, of 55 years by his side. Funeral services are said to be pending.
Everyone around Cal will miss you, Dog. We’ll always remember it’s a great day to be a Bear.