Memorial Stadium icon Bud ‘Dog’ Turner dies at 84

Photo of Bud Turner
Cal Athletics/Courtesy

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On Thursday evening, Bud “Dog” Turner, a beloved member of the Cal community, died at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek at the age of 84.

Known for his positivity, fist bumps and his greeting “It’s a great day to be a Bear,” which he dispensed with generosity from his seat outside Memorial Stadium’s North Tunnel, Turner began his association with the Cal football program in 1970, when he assisted with the field telephones for the public address announcer during home games. He worked as a soil engineer and was part of the U.S. Army before his time with the blue and gold.

A Cal Athletics press release states that Turner was “an indispensable, jack-of-all-trades member of the program.” He was a part of the team longer than many players have been alive.

In 50 seasons with the Bears, Turner witnessed 11 head coaches, 273 victories and two conference titles. His official position was a football operations assistant, but his roles were diverse and essential, as he worked with operations staff and in the equipment room in his time with the blue and gold. Turner accomplished all of this with positivity and joy, which is fondly remembered by coaches, administrators and former and current players.

“Dog always said, ‘It’s a great day to be a Bear.’ Indeed it is, Dog, just not as great today,” said Cal football head coach Justin Wilcox in the press release. “We’ll miss you, pal, but we’ll always remember you and love you. Go Bears.”

Jasper Kenzo Sundeen covers football and is the deputy special issues editor. Contact him at [email protected].