Skip to main content

Bud 'Dog' Turner To Be Honored At USC Game Saturday

Dec 1, 2021
Bud "Dog" Turner was a Cal football fixture for a half-century.

BERKELEY – The late Bud "Dog" Turner will be honored Saturday when Cal hosts USC in its season finale at FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium. A large group of Turner's family and friends will be on hand to witness the unveiling of a memorial plaque in his honor on the stadium videoboard during a first quarter timeout.

The plaque will be located at the top of the steps exiting the Cal football locker room near where Turner became a fixture at the entry to the North tunnel. The plaque has a replica of Turner's fist that players can "fist bump" on their way out of the locker room and is emblazoned with his famous words "Great Day To Be A Bear".

When Turner passed away at the age of 84 on Sept. 3, 2020, it marked the end of his half century of service to the Cal football program. He began as a part-time field phone operator for the public address announcer in 1970, and worked in nearly every area of football operations throughout his tenure. He doubled in security and operations during both practice and gamedays up until his death. Turner held a lifetime honorable Big C and was a member of the Sons of California.

Turner saw his first Cal football game on Sept. 27, 1947, when the Golden Bears beat Navy, 14-7, in Berkeley before a crowd of 83,000, which to this day stands as the largest paid attendance for a Cal home football game.

Turner was given his nickname, Dog, by childhood friend Mike White who later became the Cal head football coach (1972-77). White gave Turner the nickname for his tough characteristics that were similar to former Chicago Bears' linebacker Clyde "Bulldog" Turner, who is a member of the College Football and Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"Dog Turner was a part of Cal football for longer than many of us have been alive," Travers Family Head Football Coach Justin Wilcox said in a feature on Turner published earlier this year. "He was such a kind and genuine person. I miss so many things about him, including the welcoming smile he gave to everyone who entered California Memorial Stadium."

The Dog Turner Endowment Fund has been established to create scholarships for future football student equipment room managers. The lead donor is 2011 Cal graduate Shawn Tsao, who served as a football student equipment room manager at Cal and is the co-founder of Caviar (later acquired by Square and DoorDash) and Beluga Capital.