Just a day after California missed out on a trip to the Rose Bowl, coach Jeff Tedford vowed to try again for five more years.
Tedford, the architect of the Golden Bears’ swift transformation from a laughingstock to a national contender, agreed to a lucrative contract extension Monday that could keep him at Cal through 2009.
With other schools already inquiring about Tedford’s availability for the third straight year, the coach and athletics director Sandy Barbour headed off any rumors by quickly reaching a new deal that’s worth as much as nearly any other school could offer.
TEXAS LB WINS NAGURSKI TROPHY: Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the best defensive player in college football. Johnson tied an NCAA record by forcing eight fumbles this season, leading the sixth-ranked Longhorns to a 10-1 record and their first trip to the Rose Bowl. The Big 12 defensive player of the year had 128 tackles, 19 for loss, and an interception.
STANFORD CANDIDATES: Stanford will talk to Southern California offensive coordinator Norm Chow and Pittsburgh coach Walt Harris this week about the Cardinal’s head coaching vacancy.
Chow, a former offensive coordinator at N.C. State, told reporters in Los Angeles that he would go to Stanford on Wednesday, where he will meet with athletics director Ted Leland.
CLEMSON COACH FIRES THREE: Clemson coach Tommy Bowden fired three assistant coaches, including offensive coordinator Mike O’Cain and defensive coordinator John Lovett. O’Cain, the former N.C. State coach, had been with the Tigers for four seasons, although this was his first as offensive coordinator. Thielen Smith, a linebackers coach who had been with Bowden for eight seasons, also was let go.
BLUE-GRAY CANCELED AGAIN: The Blue-Gray All-Star Classic has been called off for the second time in three years because officials couldn’t find a corporate sponsor for the Christmas Day showcase for aspiring NFL players. Organizers had attempted to move the game from Christmas Day to Jan. 8 after the bowl games were completed.
Blue-Gray Association President Mahlon Paulk said ESPN2 had agreed to air the game on Jan. 8, but had to find alternative programming when Blue-Gray officials were still unable to find a sponsor to play the game.