By Jonathan Okanes
Thursday, January 1st, 2009 at 9:25 pm in off-season stuff.
It will be interesting to see if Jeff Tedford’s new contract extension finally will silence the seemingly endless speculation that he ultimately will wind up somewhere else.
What’s interesting here is that Tedford didn’t get any more money out of this extension. His base salary and annual talent fee will remain exactly the same. It’s clear Tedford was being pursued by at least one other suitor. If that’s the case, one could hypothesize that he could have used it as leverage to get a pay raise. The fact that he just wound up with more years could be one the strongest signs yet that he wants to remain at Cal.
“This wasn’t about making more money,” Tedford said. “This was about longevity by me and by the school.”
Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour confirmed that the impetus for this extension was because Tedford’s services were being sought elsewhere. Without getting specific, Tedford said he wanted the extra years as a form of stability, to know he wasn’t making a mistake when other teams come calling.
He seemed genuinely pleased with everything about his situation when I spoke with him on the phone today. ”There’s no place I’d rather be,” he said. Tedford cited all the friends he’s made during his time here, the alumni, the appeal of the Bay Area, the quality of life, the fact that his wife, Donna, loves it here as many of the reasons he isn’t interested in moving on. When I asked him if he could see himself spending the rest of his coaching career at Cal, he said “I definitely could see that.”
Of course, he also pointed to the beginning of construction of the Student-Athlete High-Performance Center as another reason he is so encouraged to remain at Cal (Barbour, by the way, said things continue to progress. The water line currently is being put in — that’s the reason for the construction currently going on along Piedmont Ave.)
In other news, Tedford said he still wants to take a look at a handful of candidates as replacements for departed offensive line coach Jim Michalczik. He didn’t want to put a timeline on the hire because he said he wants to make sure the make the best hire possible.