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It's Official: Jeff Tedford Named Fresno State Head Football Coach Print E-mail
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Written by Matt Burkholder - Fresno State   
Friday, 11 November 2016 00:00
FRESNO, Calif.Jeff Tedford, 55, has been named the next Fresno State head football coach, as announced by Director of Athletics Jim Bartko on Thursday. Tedford is a Fresno State alum and was most recently an offensive consultant for the Washington Huskies.

Tedford will assume the role as the acting head coach at the conclusion of the 2016 season. Interim head coach Eric Kiesau will continue to carry out his duties for the remaining two games.

“Jeff possesses all the qualities we were looking for in a head coach,” said Bartko. “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.

“I have faith that Jeff is just the ticket to bring back the winning tradition of Fresno State football. He will also be at the forefront of ushering in a new era with our Bulldog Stadium modernization project. I look forward to his leadership, on and off the field.”

Tedford, who is a proven winner on the West Coast, comes to the Valley with 11 years of head coaching experience at the Division I level – having led the California Golden Bears to 82 wins from 2002-2012. He left as the school’s all-time winningest coach.

Former Fresno State Qurterback Kevin Sweeney said this of Tedford, "I am excited to have Jeff Tedford back in Fresno. 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’s ties to the Valley and Fresno State run deep. He played quarterback at Fresno State in 1981-82 under Jim Sweeney and coached at Fresno State under Sweeney from 1987-88 and 1992-96, and under a then-first-year head coach Pat Hill in 1997.

“I can’t think of a better place to lead a group of young men onto the football field,” said Tedford. “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."

Tedford’s coaching career started at Fresno State, volunteering as an assistant for the 1987-88 seasons, from there he picked up his first full-time position as an assistant for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League – a familiar 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 and served as the offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs over the ensuing five seasons.

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

Tedford held the same position at Oregon (1998-2001) before he became the head coach at Cal. He was named the Pac-10 coach of the year twice, led the Golden Bears to a school record seven consecutive bowl games and to a conference title in 2006.

Aaron Rogers of the Greenbay Packers and one of Tedford's former quarterback at Cal said this, “Coach Tedford is one of the finest minds that I have ever been around. 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. 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.”

Following Tedford’s stint at Cal, he moved on to the NFL in 2014 as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator. The stop did not last long due to health issues during the preseason that evolved into an indefinite leave of absence which resulted in the two sides mutually agreeing to part ways.

Tedford made his return to the CFL in 2015 as he was named the head coach of the B.C. Lions. At the conclusion of the season, Tedford elected to exercise an option in his contract to resign and pursue opportunities in college football.

He has since been an offensive consultant for the Washington Huskies under head coach Chris Peterson. A relationship rekindled after their time together as assistants at Oregon under then-coach Mike Belotti. Washington's staff also included associate head coach Bob Gregory, who served as Tedford's defensive coordinator at Cal for eight seasons.

Tedford graduated from Warren High School in Downey and attended Cerritos Junior College for two seasons before becoming the Bulldogs’ quarterback in 1981.

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

 

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