The teddy bear planted in the middle of Bulldog Stadium, captured by the Fresno State football Twitter account on Wednesday night, meant just that for the Bulldogs: the return of a trainer called “Teddy.” Jeff Tedford, of course.
Tedford, after a two-year absence from training due to heart problems, is back at the helm after being reintroduced as head football coach on Wednesday morning.
Reactions to his return have poured in – from former players to those who once wore the Bulldog uniform like him. Here are some notable reactions from those who took to social media and those who spoke with BarkBoard about Tedford’s second stint with Fresno State.
AARON RODGERS, GREEN BAY PACKERS, FORMER CAL QB UNDER TEDFORD
One of the most important voices of Tedford’s comeback was, arguably, his greatest quarterback discovery in his Cal years: Aaron Rodgers.
Super Bowl XLV winner and perennial All-Pro Rodgers reacted to Fresno State enticing Tedford through an online clip posted by former Barkboard contributor Addison Van Patten.
– Addison Van Patten (@AddisonVnPatten) December 9, 2021
“Yeah, I’m so excited for him,” Rodgers said when asked about Tedford. “I haven’t had a chance to talk to him yet. But when I saw that Fresno’s coach (Kalen DeBoer) had taken on another job, I also heard that Jeff’s name was back in the mix. I started to think, ‘Dude, if he’s healthy I bet he can’t wait to get back to training because he’s a ball coach. He really is. So, I’m excited for him. He loves this school.
STEVE MOOSHAGIAN, HEAD COACH OF VENTURA COLLEGE, FRESNO STATE ALUM
Mooshagian and Tedford have had a long friendship – including the time the two were wide receiver and quarterback at Fresno State, respectively.
And “Coach Moose” posted a photo from their FS years, with the following caption:
“Welcome Coach Tedford. #BulldogBornBulldogBred ”
– Steve Mooshagian ™ ????? (@CoachMoose) December 8, 2021
RON RIVERS, FORMER BROKER OF THE STATE OF FRESNO AND FATHER OF RONNIE RIVERS
The legendary Bulldogs running back, whose name is engraved on the Bulldog Stadium’s ring of honor, was another who was glued to who FS would bring as an alum, a Bulldog parent and as the father of the 2023 FS Devon Rivers verbal pledge.
Rivers tells BarkBoard he’s thrilled to see the man who coached Ronnie back from 2017 to 2019 return.
“All I can say is, we have a great coach and leader. Coach of a player for sure, ”said Rivers.
TONY GATES, REEDLEY HIGH HEAD COACH AND FORMER FS WIDE RECEIVER
Gates played at Fresno State while Mooshagian was the receivers coach, Tedford was the offensive coordinator and Jim Sweeney was the head coach.
Gates, who has since gone 19-8 overall at Reedley High by MaxPreps, likes the fact that his college alma mater gives Tedford another stint.
“I think it’s fantastic. I am biased because I played for Coach Tedford and saw firsthand his offensive genius. But I think for the situation we’re in, given the chaos of the current situation, we’re extremely lucky to be able to get it back, ”Gates told BarkBoard. “He brings instant stability, knowledge of the school and the Valley and he knows how to win.”
NIKKO MOTTA, ASSISTANT TO SANGER HIGH FOOTBALL AND FORMER FS DEFENSIVE LINER
Motta not only played at Fresno State, but managed to help train two future Bulldogs named Aron Mosby and Jalen Cropper.
Motta is convinced that there could be more future Apaches Sanger who would become Bulldogs.
“I mean for me personally, I love the rental. I know he’s recruited a lot of these guys on the roster now, ”Motta told BarkBoard. “So for him to walk away, I’m sure it was very difficult. But if you’re talking about non-Power-5 trainers. I think we have one of the best. And as far as Sanger is concerned, it’s great to have that relationship with Coach Tedford knowing what kind of kids Sanger comes from and how successful they’ve been for the Dogs. The coach will have confidence in our players and our program when it comes time to recruit the next Sanger Apache.
“The next year I knew I was going to get into football. It’s in my blood, it’s who I am, I’m a football coach. I like to think of myself as a youth leader. . I have been re-energized and re-engaged. The Lord just created this position again. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I’m just lucky it’s that. ”
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