Football: Exclusive interview with Jeff Tedford


Jeff Tedford believes athletic director Sandy Barbour already had decided to fire him as Cal football coach before the Bears’ 3-9 season ended with a 62-14 loss at Oregon State.

In an exclusive interview with this newspaper — the only one he has given since being dismissed on Nov. 20 — Tedford said there was almost no give and take during a 30-minute meeting with Barbour the day after the season finale.

“Her decision had been made and there wasn’t really anything I could say,” Tedford said.

Barbour met with Cal’s administration afterward, held a conference call with Tedford and chancellor Robert Birgeneau a day later and gave him her decision.

“It was very cut and dried. No explanations,”

Former Cal coach Jeff Tedford. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff file)

he said. “After it was all said and done, I think their minds were made up a couple weeks before.”

Tedford said he doesn’t believe Barbour made the decision on her own. “I think the chancellor had a lot to say about it,” he said.

The winningest coach in Cal history, Tedford displayed no lingering sense of bitterness after working 11 years at the university. He believes the program’s poor recent academic record was a factor in his firing and acknowledged his responsibility.

“I didn’t do everything right,” he said. “Made some mistakes. But always with great intentions.”

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Jeff Faraudo

  • rotfogel

    Kind of like a relationship that run it’s course, it got weird towards the end there. But like the song Poison, “every rose has it’s thorn”, or better yet, like the song from Motley Crew “Girl, don’t go away mad, just go away”. Always will think fondly of Jeff Tedford the bear.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    I would like all future articles on JT that mention him as being “the winning-est coach in Cal history” to also mention that he is “the losing-est coach in Cal history” too.

    And yes, Sandy’s mind may very well have have been made up before the osu debacle. But who’s mind wasn’t made up by that point? My mind was made up after 2009, or was that 2007?

    Adios Jeff, thanks for the memories, distant as they are…

  • Juancho

    Not all of my memories of Tedford are positive. I think he did some bad things. Did some good things. Like all of us.

  • Crawford

    JT did a lot of good things at CAL. Half the people on here and fans around the Bay Area are CAL fans again because of what he did to bring respectable football back. He did more good than bad, at the end of the day just couldn’t get to the Rose Bowl

  • Juancho

    I grew up a Cal fan because of the University first, and because of sports second. Who on here is a fan of Cal b/c of Tedford ?

    Let’s go ahead test this theory.

    I’ve been a fan since 1992. That’s before Tedford.

  • covinared

    Tedford made Cal football relevant again. For that I am grateful.

  • ScottyBear

    Personally I don’t think it’s the head coaches job to be responsible for player graduation. He should be focused on winning football games. Have you ever noticed the dozens of people in the Cal Football gameday program who work for the football team and athletic deptartment? Those dorks should be the ones resposible for players dropouts and keeping them eligible. Our head coach has enough to focus on. I played baseball at Cal in the 70’s and even back then there were several employees in the athletic dept. whose jobs were to stay on us to make grades. Coaches never knew until you were close to probation.Blaming the head coach for low grad rates is BS. Reflects more poorly on Sandy. Let Sonny just win baby!!

  • Juancho

    Scotty if you’re theory is right, and it very well may be, then the compensation for those Dorks who keep them academically eligible needs to go up, and the compensation to the coaches needs to go down.

    Because at that point you are transferring responsibilities.

  • ScottyBear

    My point is the grades and graduation of football players should fall also under the academic advisor dept. since the players are students first, just like the other 30,000 undergrads. It’s not the head coaches responsibility if a senior decide he’s finished before graduating. Why is it the responsiblity of the head coach?? His job is to coach football and win games. Sure, he is involved in the responsibility but there are compliance and academic counselors, tutoring and football operations advisors and director of player development. All those paid employees don’t have the responsibility of coaching, just doing their jobs. Just win Sonny!!

  • Juancho

    Because those kids are on full scholarships for football that’s why.

    They aren’t treated like every other student. They have to practice 6 hours a day or whatever it is, and also take a full course load, and hopefully graduate.