As a head coach who had only been on the job for one season, Jeff Tedford was still looking to endear himself to boosters in 2003. So when he went to speak at an appreciation lunch in San Francisco designed as a thank you to athletic donors, Tedford did the natural thing -- he asked them for more money.
Not that he wanted to. But Tedford had just found out from then-athletic director Steve Gladstone that a project to install Momentum Turf in Memorial Stadium was getting the ax. Tedford desperately wanted the new turf, so instead of thanking the boosters for their support of the program, he asked for more.
"I didn't want to, but it worked," Tedford said.
Tedford said he raised "about $300,000 on a napkin that day." That was enough to convince university decision-makers to restore the project, and it was ready to go by Cal's season-opener that year.
As Cal gets ready to play its final game at Memorial Stadium in its current configuration, Tedford said getting that turf installed in the facility is one memory that sticks out during his nine years as coach.
"It almost didn't happen," Tedford said. "I got a call from Steve Gladstone saying we're not doing it. I was so upset. The thing has meant so much to all the programs. It has been such a revenue producer, but it's afforded us a place to practice and prepare over the last eight years."
But Cal's players also remember well last year's game at Washington. The Bears went to Seattle winners of two in a row against ranked teams and ranked No. 19 in the country. They were eyeing a 10-win season.
Instead, the Bears were routed by quarterback Jake Locker and the Huskies, 42-10.
"They had a couple things going in their favor," Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan said. "This year, they are on our home turf and it's our last game, our seniors' last game and everybody's last game in this stadium the way it is now. That means a lot to the team."
Locker completed 19 of 23 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns against the Bears last year and also rushed for 77 yards. That performance helped move him up NFL mock draft charts, and some believed he would be the No. 1 overall selection in last spring's draft.
But Locker decided to return to Washington for his senior season, and he hasn't been as productive as expected. Locker is seventh in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency, passing yards per game and total offense.
"You see a guy who's very explosive," Tedford said. "Jake is a dangerous guy, there's no doubt about it and we've seen plenty of times when he's hurt you. He's hurt us. Last year he did. It's going to be very important to try to keep him corralled a bit."
Washington (4-6) at Cal (5-6), 12:30 p.m. CSNCA