UC Berkeley fired its football coach, Jeff Tedford, on Tuesday after the Bears fizzled out to close a forgettable 2012 season.
California concluded its season 3-9, which was Tedford’s worst record in his 11-year stint as head coach. The Bears had a strong optimistic outlook on the season, with the newly renovated Memorial Stadium that cost the Bears $321 million.
UC Berkeley’s season didn’t look so bad seven games into the season, when it stood with a 3-4 conference record that included a 43-17 thrashing of then-No. 25 UCLA, who has since gone on to win the South Division of the Pac-12 conference and taken the No. 15 spot.
The Bears proceeded to fall in their final five games, outscored 212-74 over that stretch. Oregon State put the Bears out of their misery with a 62-14 win to conclude the disappointing 2012 Bears campaign. California closed the season 2-7 in conference with a 3-9 record overall.
This was the second of only two losing seasons for the Bears under Tedford, contributing to California’s 23-27 record over the past four years.
On Tuesday, University of California Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour announced Tedford’s dismissal, indicating a change of direction for the Golden Bear football program.
Tedford maintained an 82-57 record from 2002-11 and is the winningest coach in UC Berkeley’s history. His five bowl-game wins, 139 games coached and 50 conference victories are all school records.
Under Tedford, the Bears finished the 2004 season — Aaron Rodgers’ final season at California — with a No. 9 final AP ranking and a 10-2 (7-1) record, while finishing 10-3 (7-2) in 2006 earned them a share of the Pac-10 conference title and a No. 14 final AP ranking.
Players such as Marshawn Lynch and DeSean Jackson are a couple of the bigger names that went through the UC Berkeley football program under Tedford.
Tedford is still owed $6.9 million for the final three years of his contract, which consisted of a $2.3 million salary per year. Tedford was the highest-paid employee of the entire UC system.
The disappointing season for the Bears closed on Saturday, and California will look for someone else to lead the team into the next era playing on the new Memorial Stadium at UC Berkeley.
— Matthew Yuen