Embattled Cal football coach Jeff Tedford has one of the NFL's biggest stars in his corner.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said his former coach deserves to keep his job.
"They would be losing the greatest coach in their history if they make a change," Rodgers said Thursday in a phone interview with this newspaper.
The Bears (3-8) close their season Saturday at Oregon State. Tedford, the winningest coach in school history, is scheduled to meet with athletic director Sandy Barbour on Sunday to discuss his future.
Rodgers, who starred for the Bears in 2003 and 2004, said he and Tedford contributed to the momentum that got Memorial Stadium renovated, and Tedford now deserves the chance to reap the benefits.
"He's been through a lot, all the stuff they had to go through just to get that stadium finished up," Rodgers said. "I was a part of bringing that fan base back and take a lot of pride in that. He deserves an opportunity to recruit to those new facilities."
Rodgers led the Bears to a 10-2 record in 2004 and the brink of a long-awaited Rose Bowl bid. "I'm still upset about that," he said.
He remains the most successful of many professional players Tedford's program has developed, having led Green Bay to the Super Bowl title after the 2010 season, then winning league MVP honors in 2011.
Rodgers, recruited by Tedford out of Butte Community College in Oroville, said Tedford was a key figure in his development.
"I know personally I owe a lot of my success to him," he said. "I talk to him in the offseason and look forward to coming to Berkeley every year to visit."
Rodgers said the new facilities -- renovated Memorial Stadium and the year-old high-performance training center -- finally put Cal on even footing with its conference rivals.
"I'd say give him an opportunity to recruit with the kind of facilities we have now," Rodgers said. "They've been talking about the facility at Cal since I was recruited there in the winter of 2002.
"It's different when you can bring in recruits and show them a 100-yard weight room and the kind of stadium we've created now with the (premium-seat) boxes and the fan level."
Rodgers said he has not talked with Tedford about his job status.
"I wouldn't. This is not something he's spending time thinking about," Rodgers said. "He's so focused on getting his guys ready and prepared each week.
"Obviously, the whole program's disappointed they're not going to a bowl game this year. I think the picture looks bright and it's going to be brighter with coach Tedford there."
Follow Jeff Faraudo at twitter.com/CalBearsBANG.