Tuesday, January 16, 2007

SF Chronicle: Cal signs Tedford to lengthy contract extension

Rusty Simmons, Chronicle Staff Writer

Jeff Tedford and the University of California have reached an agreement on a contract extension that will keep the Cal football coach in Berkeley through 2013, pending approval by the UC Board of Regents.  Deputy athletics director Steve Holton confirmed the agreement and said approval could come as early as Thursday. Tedford is out of town and couldn't be reached for immediate comment, and athletics director Sandy Barbour is out of the country.  "Sandy has always been very alert to what the future holds. Having seen the success of the program and knowing where it's going, we wanted to make a commitment," Holton said. "To do that, we thought it was smart to keep Jeff as part of the program."  Terms of the new contract were not available. Tedford's previous compensation package was thought to be approximately $1.5 million a year, making him the second highest paid coach in the Pac-10 conference.  Tedford is 43-20 (.683 winning percentage) in five seasons, including leading the Bears to four consecutive bowl games for the first time in school history. He led Cal to a co-Pac-10 championship, a 10-win season, and a dominating win over Texas A&M in the Holiday Bowl this year.  His name is often batted about as a possibility for openings in college and the NFL. Most recently, he was rumored to be getting interest from the Atlanta Falcons, the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers.

Through all the rumors, Tedford has showed that blue and gold blood has begun to pump through his veins.   After a practice late in the season, he greeted a fan and signed a football and a banner as they talked about Big Game viewing plans. After the team's Fan Appreciation Day, security guards tried to pull Tedford away from a drove of fans, but he wouldn't allow it.  "I'm going to stand here as long as they're willing to wait," he said.  Tedford told The Chronicle earlier in the year that he wouldn't entertain a move until his youngest son, Quinn, graduates from high school. He just finished his junior year at Monte Vista High in Danville.   After the 2004 season, in which Cal went 10-2 and reached a No. 4 national ranking, he received a five-year contract that will be worth $2 million a season if he collects a retention bonus for staying the length of the deal. Financial terms of his proposed extension weren't available, but should be public record when the deal is approved.



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