Tedford was the coach at Cal for 11 years, and he will leave as the program's all-time winningest coach.
That said, the Golden Bears finished 3-9 this season season, went 7-6 in 2011 and 5-7 in 2010, so obviously the powers that be felt a change needed to be made.
This is a pretty prestigious coaching vacancy, and it has to be filled by the right person. BearTerritory.net is reporting that the school has a certain criteria that it will be using to make this decision:
According to sources close to the team, the new hire will likely be comparable to the appointment of Mike Montgomery in basketball. The administration and alumni will be after a coach with enough experience and acumen to immediately turn around the program, but also a splashy name that will help sell those high-priced alumni section seats.
While Cal will undoubtedly want to find a head coach that can turn things around on the field, a new coach and a new direction can be a huge momentum changer in the realm of recruiting as well.
Here are five potential candidates for the Cal job that would bring a big boost to Golden Bears recruiting:
Note: h/t to BearTerritory.net for their insider breakdown of potential candidates.
Willie Taggart has been the head coach of the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers for three seasons now, but needless to say, Cal can offer him quite a step up in the coaching world.
Taggart is a young coach—he's only 36 years old—and that will play a factor in recruiting.
He would bring a youthfulness and energy to the head coaching position that is bound to resonate with recruits. He also served as the Stanford running backs coach from 2007-09, so he has experience in the Pac-12.
Taggart would be a fresh, young face with immense potential, and that could very well spark recruiting.
At the very least, he's worth a look.
Ron Rivera is a California alum, which makes him a very credible hire.
That, plus the fact that he has a ton of NFL experience as both an assistant, a coordinator and head coach would give him a ton of credibility with recruits with NFL aspirations as well.
The only problem with Rivera is that he's still the coach of the Carolina Panthers (it is worth noting that they are in the midst of a 2-8 season though and the Panthers' general manager was fired last month) and he doesn't have any collegiate coaching experience.
That said, his ties with the university are a huge plus, so expect Rivera to be a coach on Cal's radar.
Mark Helfrich is currently the offensive coordinator at Oregon, so he's the man responsible for running the offense that's currently scoring 51.1 points per game.
If bringing him in as the head man of the program doesn't impress recruits—especially offensive ones—then I don't know what will.
He would need a few years to recruit the personnel that would fit his system, and he also doesn't have any head coaching experience, so those are two negatives with this potential hire.
He would bring a ton of hype to the program though, and that's a big plus.
If Chip Kelly stays at Oregon (rumors regarding the NFL have surfaced), look for Helfrich to be an option for Cal.
Hue Jackson would be a recognizable name, especially in Pac-12 country, because of his stint as head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2011.
He also has a plethora of experience at the college level, especially in the Pac-12.
Jackson was the offensive coordinator at Cal in 1996 before going to USC, where he spent four years as their offensive coordinator. He's since spent the rest of his coaching career in the NFL.
In Jackson, the Golden Bears would be getting a coach that has a ton of experience at both levels, and that would be a huge selling point for many recruits.
Jackson knows what it takes to be successful in college, but he also has a clear understanding of what you need to do to make it to the NFL.
That plus his past experience in the Pac-12 would make Jackson a great choice for the job.
Chris Petersen has been an integral part of making Boise State a nationally relevant program and he has an 82-8 record as head coach of the Broncos.
He would be a big-time hire that would instantly attract many recruits and he would arguably be the most prolific hire the Golden Bears could make, if only because of his success at Boise State.
Before his time at Boise State (starting off as offensive coordinator), Petersen was a wide receivers coach at Oregon, quarterbacks coach at Portland State (1993-94), quarterbacks coach at Pittsburgh (1992) and was the head freshman coach and then receivers coach at his Alma mater, the University of California, Davis from 1987-91.
Petersen obviously has a ton of experience in the college ranks, and his success speaks for itself.
If Cal can convince Petersen that the Pac-12 is a much better option than the Big East, the conference Boise State is soon joining, then perhaps they can get him to think about a change of scenery.
He'd be the best hire for Cal, and he'd create a huge buzz with interested recruits.