In August, Sandy Barbour called Jeff Tedford an icon. Three months later, she fired him. Or at least she was forced to by University of California Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, according to Tedford.
Speaking to the media for the first time since his November dismissal, the former Golden Bears head coach told the San Jose Mercury News, “I think the chancellor had a lot to say about it,” regarding his firing.
Tedford said he was called in for a meeting with Barbour on Nov. 18, the day after his team had concluded its 3-9 2012 campaign, for what turned out to be a one-sided conversation.
“Her decision had been made and there wasn’t really anything I could say,” Tedford said.
The next day, Tedford was on a conference call with Barbour and Birgeneau where he learned of the administration’s decision.
“It was very cut and dried. No explanations. After it was all said and done, I think their minds were made up a couple weeks before,” Tedford concluded.
Tedford’s firing was announced on Nov. 20.
Tedford is by far the most successful Cal coach in the modern era, but the aforementioned 3-9 season combined with stalling enthusiasm for a program playing in a renovated stadium and a graduation rate at the bottom of the Pac-12 ultimately doomed his 11-year tenure in Berkeley.
Still just 51 years old, Tedford plans to take the 2013 season off and get back into coaching with a fresh perspective and new ideas.
“This whole thing is going to give me a chance to reflect on things I can do better and differently.”