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Dr. Saturday

Jeff Tedford becomes the latest casualty of firing season

(US Presswire)

It was August when Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour gave a ringing endorsement of coach Jeff Tedford and said he was not on the hot seat this season.

Oh, how a 3-9 season changes things.

Tuesday, the university announced it was cutting ties with Tedford, who had amassed an 82-57 record in 11 seasons.

"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."

When Tedford took over in 2002, the Bears were coming off a 1-10 season and hadn't had a winning season since 1993. That quickly changed as Cal was 7-5 in 2002 and reached 10 wins in both the 2004 and 2006 seasons.

But recent history hasn't been as kind to Tedford.

Even though the Bears have had winning seasons in four of the past five years, this year's subpar record did little to inspire confidence that the Bears were ever going to be one of the conference elite on a consistent basis.

Cal ended the season on a five-game losing streak, though some of that could be contributed to the loss of star receiver Keenan Allen and quarterback Zach Maynard to injuries.

Cal also noted in its release that academic progress rates had declined under Tedford this past spring.

But the one thing Tedford did do for Cal is make it a worthwhile program to lure another coach. Names already being thrown out as possible replacements include Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera, Cincinnati Bengals defensive backs coach Hue Jackson, Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes, San Jose State coach Mike MacIntyre and Utah State coach Gary Anderson. All of the college coaches on this list have turned their programs around from tough situations.

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