Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Breaking News...

AP NewsBreak: Cal's Tedford to get contract extension
By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer
January 16, 2007

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- 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.

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