On Nov. 20, it was announced by the California Bears sports website (CalBears.com) that Jeff Tedford has been relieved of his duties as head coach. Tedford concluded his 11th and final season with the California Bears with a 3-9 record. He was 82-57 overall with the team.
The Bears were a 1-10 team when Tedford took over, and the school had not had a winning season in almost a decade. There was an immediate turnaround, with his first team going 7-5.
Tedford only finished with two losing seasons, his second coming this year. The next move isn’t as clear as some would hope, but we expect that these are the five leading names to take over the head position for California.
Mike MacIntyre is one of the rising names in coaching after his amazing turnaround of the San Jose State program. In his inaugural season with the program, the Spartans only won one game. Two years later, they are sitting at 9-2.
This team has all the makings of a quality bowl-winning squad, and the Spartans have MacIntyre to thank for the rise in national standing. If the Bears don’t rip him away, another team will soon enough.
He has had coaching stops in both the NFL and throughout the college game, giving him the experience that Cal will be looking for in their next head man.
The only concern with MacIntyre will be his lack of head coaching experience, but his ability to build a program in two years may be enough to earn him an offer.
Gary Andersen took over as head coach at Utah State in 2009 and has built this program from the ground up in the past four years. After starting 4-8 in two consecutive seasons, Andersen has the Aggies on a winning tear.
The Aggies went 7-6 a year ago and are currently at a 9-2 mark and 5-0 in the WAC. The Utah State offense has been a major part of the surge, but Andersen is a defensive-minded guy who led the Urban Meyer Utah defense from 2004-2008.
With the talent that Andersen could wrangle at Utah State, there is no doubt that he would be able to return the Bears to prominence. He has an impressive turnaround at Utah State on his resume, but that is his only FBS head coaching run.
If the Bears are looking for an explosive up-and-comer, Andersen may be their guy.
At 36 years old, Willie Taggart is one of the youngest head coaches in FBS. He has led the Hilltoppers for three seasons, guiding them to a 15-20 record overall, though he has had two winning seasons since his shaky 2-10 start.
Western Kentucky has been on the rise with Taggart guiding from the top. He was also the offensive coordinator for the Hilltoppers from 2002-2006.
He is cut from the Jim Harbaugh's cloth, as he coached under Harbaugh at Stanford and helped build a powerful offense for the Cardinal. Toby Gerhart was a Heisman-contending running back under Taggart at Stanford.
He is one of three coaches on this list with limited head coaching experience, but his fast rise and impressive coaching pedigree make Taggart one of the hottest names on the coaching circuit.
Chris Petersen has his name pop up in every major university's coaching search. He has built an amazing 82-8 record at Boise State and been offered a number of big jobs, turning them all down over the years.
Petersen appears to be very happy at Boise State, and he has no reason to leave. He makes a cool $2 million a year and is a living legend for the Broncos program.
While it doesn’t look like he is in any kind of hurry to get out of Idaho, Cal is a job that he could be willing to listen to, though it's worth noting that he has turned down high offers from other California schools in the past.
Sonny Dykes has turned heads with his offense at Louisiana Tech. Bulldogs quarterback Colby Cameron has tossed 28 touchdowns and only two interceptions this season for the Bulldogs. He didn’t throw his first picks until last weekend’s loss to Utah State.
Dykes worked under Mike Leach and was the offensive coordinator for Arizona before taking the job at Louisiana Tech.
Since taking over the head job for the Bulldogs, he has gone 22-14 and consistently coached one of the top offenses in the country. Many schools will come calling on Dykes this winter, but Cal may have an early line with the timely firing of Tedford.