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Jeff Tedford, The Man Who Rebuilt Cal Football

Jeff Tedford will forever be known as the man who made the California Golden Bears into a program worth respecting once again.

Jeff Tedford leaves a legacy at Cal bigger than a giant whale trophy.
Jeff Tedford leaves a legacy at Cal bigger than a giant whale trophy.
Cal Bears Online

What will be Jeff Tedford's legacy at Cal? What will you remember the most about his tenure?

Avinash, California Golden Blogs: See here.

Ohio Bear, California Golden Blogs: A long time ago, on a Michigan blog of all places, I read Cal being referred to as "the Indiana of the Pac-10." The reference was meant as compliment to Jeff Tedford, who was seen as a guy who did the impossible: take a football program out of the dumpster and make it a conference championship contender. Basically, that is how I will remember Coach Tedford. I will not forget where Cal was when he took over and what he did with the program in a short period of time. In my mind, he did the hard part: turning the program around, generating enthusiasm, and creating expectation. Yes, I will also remember that he was a victim of what he created. But when all is said and done and we have moved on to the next coach(es), I will remember most the fact that Coach Tedford made Cal relevant in college football.

And, oh yeah: I'll fondly remember winning the Big Game 7 out of 8 years from 2002 to 2009. Because, sadly, I don't expect another run like that in my lifetime.

ragnarok, California Golden Blogs: Tedford turned Cal around from a national afterthought, where you thought the football team might never overcome significant institutional disadvantages to compete consistently at college football's highest level, to a consistent winner that could raise the program's profile to the point where a major facilities upgrade was possible. Whatever else happened, that has been his lasting legacy. Oh yeah, and he did it with a program initially saddled with probation for an academic scandal, something that we haven't seen the likes of since he arrived.

What will I remember most? Baylor 2002. Stanford 2002. USC 2003. Insight Bowl 2003. USC 2004. Tennessee 2006. Oregon 2007. And yes, Stanford 2009.

Berkelium97, California Golden Blogs: As disappointing as the past few years have been, I will immediately remember the good times under Tedford's tenure. Winning five straight Big Games, sharing the Pac-10 title, twice coming within a hair of reaching the Rose Bowl. He was a once-in-a-generation coach who helped bring us out of the basement and lay the foundation for years of success in the future. Of course, the biggest legacy of the Tedford era will be the Memorial Stadium renovation and the construction of some 21st century facilities.
Tedford has done far too much for this university for his legacy to be tainted by a few bad seasons at the end of his tenure.

LeonPowe, California Golden Blogs: I prefer to remember the successes rather than the failures. Cal's all time most winningest coach. Brought about a serious culture change on campus raising the importance of football, while trying to keep academics as a central selling point of the University. We haven't had very many bad player behavior incidents over the past 10 years, while delivering quite a lot of fantastic memories, players and games. A whole list of players who have played for the program in the last ten years have made me very proud be a Cal grad. And while Tedford gets criticized for his robo-coach demeanor, I have appreciated his usually calm and non-controversial approach in dealing with the media and his on the field demeanor (except for a few instances).

Tedford ultimately set the expectation level very high and unfortunately has failed to live up to his own standards. But I hope Cal fans and alums everywhere really appreciate what he has done and more importantly the difficulty of doing it at a school like Cal.

Kodiak, California Golden Blogs: Jeff Tedford's legacy will be in resurrecting a dormant football program and returning it to relevance. He is the man that brought us a share of the Pac-10 title, to the brink of the Rose Bowl, and got the SAHPC built along with the renovations to Memorial Stadium.

Sadly enough, the Iwo Jima photo in my mind that summarizes the era would be the sight of Tedford throwing his clipboard down to the ground in 2007. So close...and yet...

I prefer to remember that first amazing, crazy, spine-tingling halfback option against Baylor. Or the sheer bliss of seeing Frederickson's field goal beat 'sc in triple OT. Or any of several Big Game victories, especially '02 and '09.

After 30+ years of Cal fandom, I've seen a lot of bad football and several bad coaches. Despite the past few years, Jeff Tedford was one of the good ones. Although I understand and agree with the reasons, I'm sad to see him go. Thanks for everything, Coach. I wish you and your family the best.

solarise, California Golden Blogs: Triple OT 34-31 over $C. F$&@ Mack Brown. Rose Bowl was ours 2004. I
don't think I am out of line to call Jeff Tedford the savior of Cal football. He brought us back from the abyss. He made Saturdays in Strawberry Canyon relevant again. That's how I will remember Coach Tedford.