California fires coach Jeff Tedford, who had job for 11 seasons | College football
California fired coach Jeff Tedford, who guided the Golden Bears for 11 seasons and had an 82-57 record.
BERKELEY, Calif. — Jeff Tedford made a downtrodden program relevant as coach at California, putting out competitive teams for a decade, developing dozens of NFL players and spearheading a facilities upgrade.
When he was unable to match his early on-field success in recent years, he was let go after 11 seasons as coach.
Cal fired Tedford on Tuesday, ending a tenure that began with great promise and ended with a disappointing run of mediocrity capped by his worst season as coach.
Tedford, 51, was 82-57 and took eight teams to bowl games. But this year's squad was 3-9 and lost its last five games by a combined 212-74. The two-time Pac-12 coach of the year is owed $6.9 million over the final three years of his contract, but athletic director Sandy Barbour said the sides are working on a settlement.
Barbour said no state funds or student fees will be used to pay Tedford or his replacement.
Of the firing, Barbour said, "This was a difficult decision made after considerable thought and analysis and reflection. Jeff Tedford is a good man who has brought great success and celebration to his university and deserves to occupy a place of honor in the Cal family. His legacy is unquestioned."
Tedford engineered an impressive turnaround for the Golden Bears after taking over a one-victory team after the 2001 season. He won 10 games twice in his first five seasons.
"All involved can feel a great sense of pride with their sacrifice, contributions and commitment that have made it possible to have the winningest tenure in Cal football history," Tedford said in a statement.
When Tedford informed the team of his dismissal, players gave him a standing ovation.
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Rutgers joined the Big Ten Conference, leaving the Big East behind and cashing in on the school's investment in a football team that 10 years ago seemed incapable of competing at the highest level.
The expected move came one day after Maryland announced it was leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference to compete in the Big Ten starting in 2014.
This week's additions give the Big Ten 14 schools and a presence in lucrative East Coast markets.
Rutgers has been competing in the Big East since 1991.
• Redshirt freshman Max Wittek will start at quarterback for USC on Saturday against top-ranked and unbeaten Notre Dame because senior Matt Barkley has a sprained right shoulder.
In a radio interview, Wittek said, "I'm going to play within myself, within the system and we're going to win this ballgame."
Barkley said he doesn't regret forgoing the 2012 NFL draft to stay at USC.
The Associated Press, San Jose Mercury News, Bloomberg News and Los Angeles Times.