Cal dumps Tedford after 11 seasons

Jeff Tedford has been relieved of his duties as Cal football coach. Yes, he has been fired.

That’s something a lot of Cal fans have been waiting to hear. Tedford brought respectability to the program, but when winning is the end game, he wasn’t getting the job done.

After two losing seasons in three years, it was time for Tedford to go. A 3-9 record in 2012 was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Despite having accumulated the most wins in the history of the Cal program, and leading the Bears to a 5-3 record in bowl games, Tedford had lost his mojo.

After reviving a doormat program in 2002, his program has sputtered over the last three seasons. Stanford, Oregon, UCLA and Oregon State have all passed the Bears in the last few years. Cal has lost three straight Big Games to their arch-rivals from Palo Alto, including two in Berkeley.

Tedford’s recruiting abilities weren’t cutting it anymore. According to Rivals.com, he hadn’t landed a Five-Star recruit since 2010.

With the renovations to Memorial Stadium completed before the 2012 season, it was expected that it would help recruiting, but right now, Cal’s 2013 recruiting class ranks 52nd on Rivals.

And it didn’t help when Tedford’s defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi took a job with Washington over the winter and a number of Cal’s prized commitments backed out of their commitments. And never found that next great quarterback after Aaron Rodgers left for the NFL.

By all accounts, Tedford was a good guy, but that only gets you so far. When you’re being paid $2.3 million, better results are expected.

Two weeks ago, San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami wrote about possible replacements. A couple of names on his list of coaches he doesn’t think Cal can convince to come to Berkeley interest me:

  • Charlie Strong – Louisville’s head coach: Before taking the Louisville job, Strong was the defensive coordinator at Florida when they won National Titles in 2007 and 2009.
  • Chris Petersen – Boise State’s head coach: Doubt he leaves Boise but he’d be great. If they can convince him to test his coaching skills in the Pac-12, it would be a great hire. He could build an offense to compete with Oregon.

  • Kirby Smart – Alabama’s defensive coordinator: There are probably sexier jobs out there for him (Tennessee), but he’s built a monstrous defense in Tuscaloosa.

Kawakami believes that less sexy names like 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, San Jose State head coach Mike McIntyre and Oregon offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich could be the leading candidates.

Kawakami’s colleague Jeff Faraudo has Louisiana Tech’s Sonny Dykes at the top of his list of possible replacements. Dykes was an offensive coordinator at Arizona and is signed with LaTech through 2017. But his team led the nation in offense this year, so he would bring a certain sexiness with him that could attract recruits.