A five-game, season-ending losing streak and a 3-9 overall record this year led to the downfall of University of California football coach Jeff Tedford, who was fired Tuesday.
Athletic director Sandy Barbour announced the decision in a press release.
"This was an extraordinarily difficult decision, one that required a thorough and thoughtful analysis of a complex set of factors," Barbour said. "Ultimately, I believed that we needed a change in direction to get our program back on the right track."
Tedford, 51, spent 11 years at the school, and he compiled nine winning seasons. The Bears reached bowl games eight times in his tenure.
Tedford took over a program that was coming off a 1-10 record in 2001, and Cal went 7-5 in his first year. He took the team to a 10-2 mark in his third season, when the Bears finished No. 9 in the country.
But Cal went just 9-18 in conference play in the past three seasons, including a 2-7 mark in the Pac-12 this year. They were outscored 121-31 in their final two games to the Oregon schools.
The hunt for the next coach could include a local candidate, Mike MacIntyre, who has led San Jose State to a 9-2 record this season. The Oakland Tribune and the Los Angeles Times both mentioned MacIntyre on their lists of potential replacements for Tedford.
Both papers also mentioned Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes and Utah State coach Gary Andersen.
The Tribune's list of top candidates also included former Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson, now the defensive backs and special teams coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. Jackson served as Cal's offensive coordinator in 1996 before serving for three years in the same capacity at USC.
Cal alumnus Ron Rivera, the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, also was cited by the Tribune as a possible Tedford replacement. The Panthers have the worst record in the NFC (2-8), raising speculation about Rivera's job security.
The Times' candidate list included Boise State coach Chris Petersen, Louisville coach Charlie Strong and Oregon offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.
A move to hire Helfrich would be a bit of deja vu: Tedford served as the Ducks' offensive coordinator before taking over in Berkeley.