Following the end the worst season in his tenure with the school, the California Golden Bears have decided to fire head coach Jeff Tedford.
Cal's Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour gave her reasoning for Tedford's firing at a news conference on Tuesday (via the university's official press release):
This was an extraordinarily difficult decision, one that required a thorough and thoughtful analysis of a complex set of factors. Ultimately, I believed that we needed a change in direction to get our program back on the right track.
Tedford, who spent 11 years at Cal, was widely regarded as one of the best offensive coaches in the nation as recently as three years ago. Considered a quarterback guru, Tedford is largely responsible for the development of former first-round picks Aaron Rodgers, David Carr and Trent Dilfer, among others.
However, recent seasons saw the Bears' offensive efficiency take a nosedive. Though highly touted, current Cal quarterback Zach Maynard has seen his development plateau since taking over as a starter.
Without a great signal-caller under center, the cracks in Tedford's coaching style have become apparent. The 51-year-old suffered his first losing season at the school in 2010, barely scraped to 7-6 in 2011 and this year, the team has been an absolute train wreck.
With a 3-9 overall record, including a 2-7 mark in the Pac-12, the Bears have continually struggled to show any of their offensive firepower of years past. In fact, Cal's biggest highlight of the 2012 season was a near-victory over still-undefeated Ohio State.
Left with a vacant coaching post for the first time since 2002, Cal will now wade into uncertain waters. While it's an attractive job, there will be plenty of other vacancies out there this season, as changes are expected at high-profile schools like Tennessee and Auburn. Considering the Bears' absence from the national consciousness lately, it may be harder than expected to bring in a big-name replacement.
As for Tedford, he should be just fine. With a respected reputation and track record of previous success, Tedford should have at least a few schools jumping through hoops for his services.
Nonetheless, this is an unfortunate end to what can only be deemed a long and mostly fruitful relationship between Cal and Tedford.