Fresno State Football

It’s official: Fresno State hires Jeff Tedford as new football coach

Jeff Tedford is the new Fresno State head coach

Here are some highlights from the former Bulldog's resume.
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Here are some highlights from the former Bulldog's resume.

Jeff Tedford was confirmed Thursday as the new football coach at Fresno State, with an introductory news conference scheduled for Friday.

“Jeff possesses all the qualities we were looking for in a head coach,” athletic director Jim Bartko said in a news release. “First and foremost, integrity, plus a great football mind and the ability to come in and hit the ground running. When you have the opportunity to hire someone who knows this Valley and is Bulldog Born, Bulldog Bred, there is not a better choice.”

Tedford, 55, had an 82-57 record at Cal from 2002-12. A former quarterback and assistant for the Bulldogs, he takes over for Tim DeRuyter who was fired midway through his fifth season. Offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau is serving as interim coach this year.

Jeff Tedford will be introduced as Fresno State’s new football coach at 12:30 p.m. Friday at Save Mart Center. The Bulldogs (1-8, 0-6 Mountain West) are on a bye this week.

“I can’t think of a better place to lead a group of young men onto the football field,” Tedford was quoted in the university release. “Coming to Fresno State is coming home for myself and my family. To have this special opportunity to return to my coaching roots is truly a dream come true. Our mission will be to grow and develop young people to reach their full potential in all areas … academically, athletically, socially and spiritually … to complete at high levels in the classroom and on the field while doing so with great character and high integrity.

“I look forward to reconnecting with all the past players and supporters to help bring the program back to prominence.”

Coach put me in a great position to play my best ball there and then to move on and have an opportunity in the NFL.

Green Bay and ex-Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Tedford

In his 11 seasons at Cal, the Golden Bears produced eight first-round NFL draft picks and had 40 players selected overall. The list of first-rounders includes quarterbacks Kyle Boller and Aaron Rodgers. The list of 1,000-yard rushers includes J.J. Arrington, Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett and Jahvid Best.

“Coach Tedford is one of the finest minds that I have ever been around,” Rodgers said. “I felt that right away when I got to Cal, and I was very fortunate to be able to spend two years working together.

“The first time I met him was when he came and visited my junior college and he was recruiting myself and our tight end, Garrett Cross. I just remember being excited that someone was looking at me, and once I got down to Cal, I really learned a lot about the quarterback position.”

Academics and athletics will continue to rise together and our best days for Bulldog football, and for Fresno State, lie ahead.

Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro on the hiring of Tedford as the Bulldogs’ new football coach

Tedford in 2014 was hired as offensive coordinator of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers but had to leave the team during the preseason to undergo a heart procedure. He spent a year as coach of the BC Lions in the Canadian Football League. Under Tedford, the Lions went 7-12 with a loss to the Calgary Stampeders in the playoffs.

This season, he has been an offensive analyst at Washington, which is 9-0, ranked fourth in the nation in both major polls and ranked second in the nation in scoring offense at 48.3 points per game and 18th in total offense at 499.4 yards per game.

“Jeff Tedford is a terrific coach and has been great for us and our staff,” Washington coach Chris Petersen said. “There’s no doubt he’ll get Fresno State back to playing at a high level.”

Tedford’s coaching career started as a volunteer assistant Fresno State for the 1987-88 seasons. He went on to the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL, a league in which he played quarterback for six seasons after his collegiate career at Fresno State. He returned to Fresno State in 1992 as the quarterbacks coach, then served as offensive coordinator for five seasons under Jim Sweeney and Pat Hill.

He was a great Bulldog player and excellent assistant coach that has gone on to great things.

Kevin Sweeney on the hiring of Tedford, a fellow former star quarterback for Fresno State

“I am pleased to welcome Coach Tedford – a very special former Bulldog – back home to join our exceptional campus team,” Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro said. “Academics and athletics will continue to rise together and our best days for Bulldog football, and for Fresno State, lie ahead.”

Tedford was offensive coordinator at Oregon (1998-2001) before taking over at Cal.

A graduate of Warren High-Downey, Tedford played at Cerritos College for two seasons before becoming the Bulldogs’ quarterback in 1981.

“I am excited to have Jeff Tedford back in Fresno,” said Kevin Sweeney, who followed Tedford in a stellar line of quarterbacks that has since included Mark Barsotti, Trent Dilfer, Billy Volek, David Carr, Paul Pinegar and Derek Carr. “He was a great Bulldog player and excellent assistant coach that has gone on to great things and I am thrilled to have him back in the Bulldog family.”

Tedford and his wife, Donna, have two children, Taylor and Quinn.

Contract details have not been released, but it was expected that Tedford will be among the highest paid coaches in the Mountain West. That spot is now held by Colorado State’s Mike Bobo, who is in the second year of a five-year deal worth $1.45 million this season and rising to $1.75 million by 2019.

DeRuyter is still owed $3.1 million by Fresno State for the final two years of a five-year contract signed in 2014 after guiding the Bulldogs to back-to-back conference championships. Fresno State has clinched a third straight losing season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tedford by the numbers

Year

School

W

L

Pct

AP preseason rank

AP high

AP post

Bowl

2002

Cal

7

5

.583

23

2003

Cal

8

6

.571

Insight Bowl-W

2004

Cal

10

2

.833

12

4

9

Holiday Bowl-L

2005

Cal

8

4

.667

19

10

25

Las Vegas Bowl-W

2006

Cal

10

3

.769

9

8

14

Holiday Bowl-W

2007

Cal

7

6

.538

12

2

Armed Forces Bowl-W

2008

Cal

9

4

.692

21

Emerald Bowl-W

2009

Cal

8

5

.615

12

6

Poinsettia Bowl-L

2010

Cal

5

7

.417

2011

Cal

7

6

.538

Holiday Bowl-L

2012

Cal

3

9

.250

Totals

82

57

.590

Recent Fresno State coaches

Years

W

L

T

Pct

Bowls

W

L

Jim Sweeney

1976-77, 1980-96

143

75

3

.654

7

5

2

Pat Hill

1997-2011

112

80

0

.583

11

4

7

Tim DeRuyter

2012-16

30

32

0

.484

3

0

3

Source: sports-reference.com

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