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,”
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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