BERKELEY, Calif. -- California coach Jeff Tedford has agreed
to a four-year contract extension that will keep the two-time
Pac-10 coach of the year with the Golden Bears through 2013, The
Associated Press learned Tuesday.
The UC Board of Regents was scheduled to discuss the deal at a
closed meeting Tuesday, and athletic department spokesman John
Sudsbury said approval is expected Thursday.
Tedford is 43-20 in five seasons, leading the Bears' longest
sustained period of excellence in a half-century. He led Cal to a
10-3 record, a Pac-10 co-championship and a victory over Texas A&M
in the Holiday Bowl in the just-completed season.
With his offensive acumen and impressive success at a relatively
low-profile football school, Tedford annually appears on the
coaching wish lists of big-school athletic directors and NFL
general managers. This winter alone, he was linked him with
openings at Alabama and with the Atlanta Falcons.
But Tedford seems comfortable at Cal, where he has transformed a
once-struggling program into a West Coast power with burgeoning fan
support and new facilities on the way.
The Bears have reached the top 10 in three straight seasons
while appearing in four consecutive bowl games -- winning three --
for the first time in school history. Cal's share of the Pac-10
crown this season was its first conference title since 1975, and
Tedford also has beaten archrival Stanford five straight times.
After Tedford's 2004 club went 10-2 and reached a No. 4 national
ranking, he received a five-year contract that will be worth $2
million per season if he collects a retention bonus for staying the
length of the deal. Financial terms of his proposed extension
weren't immediately available, but should be public record when the
deal is approved.
Tedford is best known for his acumen in tutoring quarterbacks,
both at Cal and during his time as an offensive coordinator at
Oregon and Fresno State. The former Canadian Football League
quarterback has sent Trent Dilfer, David Carr, Akili Smith, Joey
Harrington, A.J. Feeley, Kyle Boller and Aaron Rodgers to the NFL.
Tedford's teams have generated record attendance and enthusiasm
that has helped the school to pay for an extensive renovation of
Memorial Stadium and the construction of a large training complex.
And the Bears will return with a talented team this fall led by
quarterback Nate Longshore and receiver DeSean Jackson despite the
absence of Pac-10 rushing leader Marshawn Lynch, who skipped his
senior season to enter the NFL draft.