Football: Coaches Tour

Cal had a strong turnout last night for its annual Coaches Tour, this time at AT&T Park. In each of the first two years of the Coaches Tour, athletic director Sandy Barbour and the coaches actually went on the road, hitting a few stops in Northern California as well as Southern California to meet and greet with Cal fans.

But with the recent announcement that Cal will be playing its 2011 home games at AT&T Park, the athletic department decided to use the Coaches Tour not only as a way to get out into the Cal community, but to continue to showcase and promote the venue for 2011.

Wednesday’s event was held at the Field Club Lounge inside the stadium, which incidentally will serve as the lounge for club ticket holders in 2011. There was about an hour of schmoozing before Barbour, football coach Jeff Tedford and men’s basketball coach Mike Montgomery each formally spoke. Then the threesome took questions from the crowd.

The highlights:
–Tedford kidded Montgomery that every year the basketball coach downplays his team, telling people how bad they are going to be. “So I’m coachable. We have a lot of bad players and we’re not going to be very good,” Tedford said.

–Tedford, on the football program’s temporary facilities that have been constructed near Witter Rugby Field while Memorial Stadium undergoes renovation: “It’s sad when your surge facilities are better than your regular facilities. We have bathrooms and running water now. We’re getting spoiled.”

–While talking about how his team showed character coming back from an early 14-0 deficit in the Big Game, Tedford said: “How many of you were saying, ‘uh-oh’?”. …And then Tedford proceeded to raise his hand.

–Tedford said he has more incoming freshmen with a chance to contribute right away than he ever has.

–On possible Pac-10 expansion, which could include Texas joining the Pac-10: “I’d like another shot at Texas after they screwed us out of the Rose Bowl.”

–During the question-and-answer session, a young boy asked Tedford “if Kevin Riley was still playing quarterback.” Tedford said “They always get the little kid to ask the question about the quarterback.” Then, after a slight pause, Tedford joked, “Yes, Kevin is still playing quarterback” without saying he is the starter. Tedford went on to say what he has been saying since the end of the season. Riley has an edge because of experience, but the competition will continue through training camp.

–Tedford said redshirt freshman quarterback Allan Bridgford, recovering from shoulder surgery, started throwing this week and is on pace to be ready for fall camp.

–Tedford said cornerback Darian Hagan is “doing very well.” Hagan sat out most of the spring to focus on academics and Tedford said his grades turned out fine after the spring semester.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.