Jeff Tedford wasn't looking to make more money. What he was looking for was to hear a desirable message, and to have his message heard as well.
That was sufficiently accomplished with the two-year contract extension Tedford agreed to Thursday. The deal now keeps Cal's head football coach in Berkeley through the 2015 season.
Tedford won't receive an increase in base compensation with the new package, just the stability he desired because "when other opportunities come, I want to feel comfortable and not have to entertain thoughts of any other opportunities."
Tedford didn't comment on any specific offers he may have received, but it appears negotiations for an extension were prompted by overtures elsewhere.
"The good news, bad news for us — mostly good — is that Jeff has been really successful and is a highly sought-after coach," Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour said. "There are always going to be opportunities for Jeff because of his success. We know that's going to happen. It would be crazy for us to sit back and wait for that to happen."
This is the third extension Tedford has received since signing his original contract when he arrived in Berkeley before the 2002 season. Tedford has long been rumored to be a desirable candidate for various college and NFL jobs.
But Tedford stressed Thursday that he has no desire to coach anywhere but Cal, that his desire for an extension simply was for stability's sake. He said he also saw it as an opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to Cal, a commitment that was further bolstered when the Student-Athlete High-Performance Center project finally got going in the fall.
"We are here for the long haul," Tedford said. "We're not interested in going some place else. I think this answers the question that I feel good about how they feel about our future here and we obviously feel good about the school as well as the program here. We want to make sure the school knows what my commitment is here, that there's no place I'd rather be."
Tedford's base salary remains $225,000 and his talent fee still stands at $1,575,000 annually. Next Thursday, Tedford will receive a $1 million bonus for his continual employment at Cal through the end of the 2008 season.
Various incentives can push Tedford's income even higher. Barbour said some of the incentives have been tweaked, most significantly the addition of a bonus based on the team's graduation rate. Bonuses remain in place if the Bears reach certain benchmarks such as a Pac-10 title or berths in Bowl Championship Series games.
Tedford earned $2.8 million in 2007.
"We want Jeff to be our football coach for a long, long time," Barbour said. "The fact that we have continued to agree with regularity to contract extensions that keep Jeff at Cal and keep our program going in the right direction is exciting for our university, for our community, and for our football players — past, current or future."
As the contract stands now, Tedford will be 54 when it expires. He said he "definitely" could see himself spending the rest of his coaching career at Cal.
"We've made a lot of good friends here," he said. "All the good friends, alumni, players, the area, the quality of life — we love it here. My wife is real happy. I could definitely see us staying here for the long haul."
Contact Jonathan Okanes at email@example.com.
Football coaches with the most wins in Cal's history:
Coach (years) Wins
Andy Smith (1916-25) 74
James Schaeffer (1909-15) 73
Pappy Waldorf (1947-56) 67
Jeff Tedford (2002-present) 59
Stubb Allison (1935-44) 58
Ray Willsey (1964-71) 40
Mike White (1972-77) 35
Bruce Snyder (1987-91) 29
Bill Ingram (1931-34) 27
Nibs Price (1927-30) 27