San Jose State Spartans Football
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San Jose State Spartans Football
San Jose State Spartans
San Jose State interlocking logo.svg
First season1893
Head coachBrent Brennan
4th season, 8-29 (.216)
StadiumCEFCU Stadium
(Capacity: 30,456)
Field surfaceFieldTurf
LocationSan Jose, California
ConferenceMountain West
All-time record
Bowl record7–3 (.700)
Conference titles16
RivalriesFresno State (rivalry)
Stanford (rivalry)
Current uniform
San jose state football unif.png
ColorsBlue, White, and Gold[1]

The San Jose State Spartans football team represents San Jose State University in NCAA Division I FBS college football as a member of the Mountain West Conference.


Early history (1893-1972)

The State Normal School at San Jose football team in 1910. Jerseys display a large "N" for "Normal"

San Jose State first fielded a football team in 1893 when the school was called the California State Normal School. The first regular football seasons began in 1898 and mostly consisted of games against local high schools and some colleges and junior colleges.[2]

During the 1930s and 1940s, the Spartan football program was considered a powerhouse, posting 12 consecutive winning seasons and earning eight conference championship titles over an 18-year span. The 1932 and 1939 teams went 7-0-2 and 13-0 respectively, the only undefeated seasons in school history.[2][3] San Jose State first appeared in the national rankings in 1939 when the AP Poll ranked the Spartans #19 in week seven. The team would climb to #18 in week eight.

Spartan Stadium (now known as CEFCU Stadium) was completed in 1933 with a capacity of 18,000. The Spartans won the first football game played in the stadium, 44-6, over San Francisco State on October 7, 1933.

Lloyd Thomas was the first San Jose State player to receive first-team All-America honors. Thomas played as an end on the 1936, 1937 and 1938 teams that fielded a combined record of 27-7-1. As of 2018, SJSU has produced over 70 All-America team members, including five first-team selections.[3]

The San Jose State Spartans football team served unexpectedly with the Honolulu Police Department during World War II. The team had just arrived in Hawaii to play a series of post-season bowl games against Hawai'i and the Willamette University Bearcats when the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. The team was stranded on the islands for a number of weeks following the attack, and players were employed by the local police department to help improve island defenses against a possible Japanese amphibious assault and as guards for military bases on the island.[3][4]

The Spartan football program posted just six winning seasons in the 1950s and '60s, but the 1970s would usher in a string of successful seasons spanning 20 years. SJSU's first win over a nationally ranked opponent occurred in 1971 when the Spartans defeated #10 Stanford 13-12 on November 13. Stanford would go on to defeat Michigan in the Rose Bowl that season.[5] SJSU's second win over a ranked opponent occurred four years later in 1975, when the Spartans defeated #18 Stanford 36-34 in a nationally televised game on September 27.[3]

Winning era (1973-1992)

From 1973 to 1992, San Jose State posted 15 winning seasons, appeared in four bowl games and sent nearly 50 players to the NFL.[6]

During this era, San Jose State had two victories over ranked opponents. The first was a 30-22 win over #10 Baylor in 1980, and the second was a 42-7 win over #23 Fresno State in 1990.[3]

San Jose State appeared in the national rankings in 1975 for the first time in over 30 years when the team was ranked #20 in the AP Poll in week 13.[7] SJSU garnered its first post-season national ranking in 1990 when the Spartans finished #20 in the Coaches Poll.[2]

Two stadium expansions and renovations in the 1980s increased the seating capacity from 18,000 to 30,456.

Decline (1993-2004)

From 1993 to 2004, San Jose State had only one winning season in 2000 when the team finished 7-5. However, the team did garner two wins over ranked opponents during this period. The Spartans claimed a 25-22 victory over #24 Air Force in 1997 and a 27-24 win over #9 TCU in 2000.[3]

By the spring of 2004, the combination of rising costs for the football program and budget cuts from the state led some San Jose State faculty members to advocate dropping football.[8][9]

In 2004, San Jose State defeated the Rice Owls 70-63 in a game that set the NCAA Division I record for total points scored and total touchdowns for a non-overtime game.[10]

Dick Tomey era (2005-2009)

James Jones catches a touchdown pass against Stanford in 2006 at Spartan Stadium

Coach Dick Tomey took over the program in 2005 amid Academic Progress Rate (APR) shortcomings that would result in severe penalties imposed by the NCAA.[11] After showing moderate improvement that year, the Spartans had a breakout season in 2006. It was the team's best season since joining the WAC ten years prior. Tomey guided the Spartans to a 9-4 record, a win over rival Fresno State, and a win over New Mexico in the 2006 New Mexico Bowl, thus ending the team's 16-year bowl drought. The 2006 Spartan squad produced two 2007 NFL draft picks in wide receivers James Jones and John Broussard.

From 2007 through the 2009 seasons, the San Jose State football program was hit with heavy NCAA sanctions for failing to meet APR standards. By the start of 2009 season, the Spartans had lost 57 scholarships over a four-year period. By the spring of 2010, the NCAA penalties were lifted and a full complement of 85 scholarships was restored.[11]

The 2007 San Jose State Spartans football team was not as successful as the previous year's team, with the Spartans finishing 5-7 and 5th in the WAC. The post-season showed a positive result, however, with several players being named to all-star games including Dwight Lowery, Marcus Teland, Matt Castelo, and Adam Tafralis. The Spartans produced another draft pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, in defensive back Dwight Lowery. Lowery was named a 1st-team All-America winner in 2007.

The 2008 San Jose State Spartans football team gave the school its best start since joining the WAC. The Spartans jumped to 5-2 and led the WAC for 3 weeks until losing to Boise State. The Spartans finished the season in 6th place in the WAC with a conference record of 4-4, and a 6-6 overall record. Three players were picked in the 2009 NFL Draft, those being defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert, defensive back Christopher Owens, and defensive back Coye Francies

After playing an unusually tough non-conference schedule, the 2009 San Jose State Spartans finished 2-10 with wins over Cal Poly and New Mexico State. Head Coach Dick Tomey announced in November he would retire at the close of the season, thus ending his legendary coaching career. Tomey's record at SJSU was 25-35.

Mike MacIntyre era (2010-2012)

On December 17, 2009, Mike MacIntyre was formally introduced as Tomey's replacement. MacIntyre was previously the defensive coordinator at Duke University.[12]

San Jose State finished 1-12 in 2010 and 5-7 in 2011 under MacIntyre. In MacIntyre's third season, the 2012 San Jose State Spartans football team finished 11-2 including a win over Bowling Green in the 2012 Military Bowl. The 2012 team earned top-25 post-season rankings in the Associated Press (AP), Coaches and BCS polls. Kent Baer served as interim head coach for the Military Bowl because MacIntyre resigned to accept the head coach position at Colorado.

Ron Caragher era (2013-2016)

Ron Caragher, previously the head coach at San Diego, became the SJSU head coach following the conclusion of the 2012 football season. Caragher's teams finished 6-6 in 2013, including a year-end 62-52 upset of No. 16 Fresno State. However, the team went 3-9 in 2014, 6-7 in 2015, and 4-8 in 2016. On November 27, 2016, Caragher was relieved of his duties as head coach after compiling a 19-30 (.388) win/loss record and only one bowl appearance over four seasons.

San Jose State playing against San Diego State in 2019

Brent Brennan era (2017-present)

Brent Brennan became the SJSU head coach. In Brennan's first three seasons as head coach, the Spartans have a combined record of 8-29, with only four conference wins.

Conference affiliations


Conference championships

San Jose State has won 16 conference championships. From 1969 to 1995, San Jose State earned more Big West Conference football championship titles than any other team in the history of the Big West Conference.[3] The Spartans moved to the WAC in 1996.

Year Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1932+ Northern California Athletic Conference Dudley DeGroot 7-0-2 3-0-2
1934+ Northern California Athletic Conference Dudley DeGroot 3-3-4 2-0-3
1939 California Collegiate Athletic Association Dudley DeGroot 13-0 3-0
1940 California Collegiate Athletic Association Ben Winkelman 11-1 3-0
1941+ California Collegiate Athletic Association Ben Winkelman 5-3-3 2-0-1
1946 California Collegiate Athletic Association Bill Hubbard 9-1-1 4-0
1948 California Collegiate Athletic Association Bill Hubbard 9-3 5-0
1949 California Collegiate Athletic Association Bill Hubbard 9-4 4-0
1975 Pacific Coast Athletic Association Darryl Rogers 9-2 5-0
1976 Pacific Coast Athletic Association Lynn Stiles 7-4 4-0
1978+ Pacific Coast Athletic Association Lynn Stiles 7-5 4-1
1981 Big West Conference Jack Elway 9-3 5-0
1986 Big West Conference Claude Gilbert 10-2 7-0
1987 Big West Conference Claude Gilbert 10-2 7-0
1990 Big West Conference Terry Shea 9-2-1 7-0
1991+ Big West Conference Terry Shea 6-4-1 6-1

+ Co-champions

Bowl games

SJSU home football game at Spartan Stadium

San Jose State has made 10 bowl appearances and the Spartans have an overall bowl game record of 7-3.[3]

Head coaches

San Jose State has had 31 head football coaches. There have been four periods in which the Spartans did not host a team (1894, 1896-1897, 1901-1920, 1943-1945).

Year Coach Pct.
1893-1898 James E. Addicott
1899 Jess Woods .643
1900 James E. Addicott (3​ seasons) .536
1900 Fielding H. Yost (interim) 1.000
1921-1922 David Wooster .250
1923 H.C. McDonald (interim) .000
1924-1928 E.R. Knollin .378
1929-1931 Walter Crawford .348
1932-1939 Dudley DeGroot .736
1940-1941 Ben Winkleman .761
1942-1946 Glenn Hartranft .778
1946-1949 Bill Hubbard .761
1950-1956 Robert T. Bronzan .515
1957-1964 Bob Titchenal .424
1965-1968 Harry Anderson .333
1969-1970 Joe McMullen .231
1970-1972 Dewey King .339
1973-1975 Darryl Rogers .691
1976-1978 Lynn Stiles .529
1979-1983 Jack Elway .634
1984-1989 Claude Gilbert .558
1990-1991 Terry Shea .696
1992 Ron Turner .636
1993-1996 John Ralston .244
1997-2000 Dave Baldwin .400
2001-2004 Fitz Hill .298
2005-2009 Dick Tomey .479
2010-2012 Mike MacIntyre .432
2012 Kent Baer (interim) 1.000
2013-2016 Ron Caragher .388
2017-present Brent Brennan


Fresno State

San Jose State's biggest rival is California State University, Fresno, due in large part to the two schools' geographic proximity and long history of competing in the same conferences.[13]

Fresno is the largest city in the agriculturally-rich San Joaquin Valley. San Jose is the largest city in the metropolitan capital of the high-tech Silicon Valley. The two schools are separated by approximately 150 driving miles. The winner of the rivalry game each year takes possession of the Valley Trophy. The rivalry dates back to 1921. As of 2019, Fresno State leads the football series 42-38-3.[14]


Stanford and San Jose State first played each other in San Jose in 1900.[5] In 2007, following the death of San Jose State alumnus and former Stanford coach Bill Walsh, the near-annual game played between the two schools was renamed the Bill Walsh Legacy Game.[15]

The 2013 game, a 34-13 win for Stanford, was the final scheduled game between the two schools, reportedly due to the two schools' inability to agree on a home-and-home arrangement for future games.[16][17][18]

Stanford leads the series 52-14-1 through the 2019 season.[19]


Utah @ San Jose State at Spartan Stadium - 2009

As of fall 2019, 134 SJSU Spartans have gone on to play in the NFL,[20] and ten former Spartans are actively playing in the NFL.[3][21][22] The 134 players include 118 draftees, six NFL Pro Bowl selections, six first-round draft picks, two MVP award winners, and one NFL Rookie of the Year.[20][21]

SJSU, Dayton, Arkansas, Eastern Illinois and Pacific are the only schools to produce more than one alumnus who has coached Super Bowl-winning teams.[3]

Current Athletes in the NFL

As of October 6, 2019:[23]

All-time record vs. current Mountain West teams

Record at the conclusion of the 2019 NCAA Division I FBS football season.[24]

Opponent Won Lost Tied Percentage Streak First meeting
Air Force 1 4 0 .200 Lost 3 1996
Boise State 0 14 0 .000 Lost 14 1978
Colorado State 4 6 0 .400 Lost 3 1961
Fresno State 38 42 3 .476 Won 1 1921
Hawaii 19 22 1 .464 Lost 4 1936
Nevada 9 22 2 .303 Lost 3 1899
New Mexico 13 5 1 .711 Won 1 1954
San Diego State 19 22 2 .465 Lost 7 1935
UNLV 17 6 1 .729 Lost 1 1981
Utah State 20 18 1 .526 Lost 8 1940
Wyoming 4 7 0 .364 Lost 1 1959
Totals 144 168 11 .463

Notable players and alumni

SJSU Alumnus Bill Walsh and former Spartans Head Football Coach Dick Tomey

Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of October 24, 2019.[52]


  1. ^ San Jose State University Brand Manual. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Football Data Warehouse". 2015. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "SJSU Spartans Media Guide". 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ Marqua, Frank (December 6, 2011). "Seventy years ago, teams from San Jose State and Willamette were in Hawaii for fun and football. Then the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor". The Press Democrat. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ a b Stanford 2013 Football Media Guide, p. 156.
  6. ^ Miedema, Lawrence (April 29, 2007). "All about perseverance". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on May 1, 2007. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ "San Jose State Spartans AP Poll History". SR/CFB. Retrieved 2014.
  8. ^ Bartindale, Becky (March 29, 2004). "SJSU football targeted". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on December 5, 2004.
  9. ^ Bartindale, Becky (April 20, 2004). "SJSU senate targets football". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on May 31, 2004. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ "Teams set D-I regulation scoring record". ESPN. Associated Press. October 2, 2004. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ a b Wilner, Jon (August 15, 2011). "How classroom success saved San Jose State football". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-09. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Durkin, Jimmy (November 5, 2014). "For San Jose State and Fresno State, not just a game on the line". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ "Winsipedia - Fresno State Bulldogs vs. San Jose State Spartans football series history". Winsipedia.
  15. ^ Smith, Michelle (September 12, 2007). "Walsh's legacy all over this game". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2014.
  16. ^ Durkin, Jimmy (September 4, 2013). "Stanford, San Jose State football series coming to an end". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ Kroichick, Ron (September 5, 2013). "Shaw fires back on imminent end of Stanford-San Jose State series". Stanford Sports. Retrieved 2014.
  18. ^ Wilner, Jon (September 12, 2013). "Stanford and San Jose State: The end of the Bill Walsh Legacy Game series (at least for now)". College Hotline. Retrieved 2014.
  19. ^ "Winsipedia - San Jose State Spartans vs. Stanford Cardinal football series history". Winsipedia.
  20. ^ a b "College Football Encyclopedias". 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ a b "College Football Encyclopedias". 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ Retrieved 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ "NFL Players by College - S". ESPN. Retrieved 2019.
  24. ^ "Winsipedia - San Jose State". Winsipedia. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ a b c "Pro Football Reference". pro-football-reference. 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af "Pro Football Reference". pro-football-reference. 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  27. ^ "San Jose St. Drafted Players/Alumni -".
  28. ^ "NFL Players". NFL Enterprises, Inc. 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  29. ^ "Renowned Quarterback Coach Steve Clarkson Joins DeBartolo Sports and Entertainment to Head the New DeBartolo Sports University". Business Wire. 2007. Retrieved 2010.
  30. ^ "". Fan-base. 2009. Archived from the original on June 26, 2015. Retrieved 2010.
  31. ^ "". Pro Football Weekly. 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  32. ^ a b "Pro Football Reference". pro-football-reference. 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  33. ^ "Terry Donahue". NNDB. 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  34. ^ "Chon Gallegos". Pro Football Archives. Pro Football Archives.
  35. ^ "Willie Heston". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved 2010.
  36. ^ "Keala Keanaaina - Career Stats". Retrieved 2015.
  37. ^ Nevius, C.W. (August 26, 2002). "Bob Ladouceur / Sweat and spirituality - a winning combo / De La Salle football coach's philosophy drives school's 125-game streak". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010.
  38. ^ Hiserman, Mike. "A Spartan Life Style : Ken Lutz Gave Up Carousing in College to Uphold Tradition at San Jose State as One of Nation's Top-Ranked Passers". Los Angeles Times. September 29, 1988. Archived from the original on December 30, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  39. ^ "FRANK MANUMALEUGA". Archived from the original on September 9, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  40. ^ "FRANK MININI". Archived from the original on September 8, 2015. Retrieved 2014.
  41. ^ "Pro Football Reference". Pro Football Reference. 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  42. ^ The winners of the Most Courageous Award for 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2007 are listed in the cited article with the incorrect year, i.e., the year that follows the award year. (The awards dinner and presentation occur in January or February of the year following the award year.) More 'Most Courageous' memories from PSWA dinners. PSWA Dinner website. January 17, 2009. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  43. ^ "Arena Fan". 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  44. ^ "NFL Players". NFL Enterprises, Inc. 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  45. ^ "NFL Players". NFL Enterprises, Inc. 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  46. ^ "SAINT SAFFOLD". Archived from the original on March 24, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  47. ^ "Al Saunders". Serving History. 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  48. ^ "CFL Players". Canadian Football League. 2010. Archived from the original on June 29, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  49. ^ a b "Distinguished Alumni". SJSU. 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  50. ^ "Dick Vermeil, Head Coach". Kansas City Chiefs. Archived from the original on 2009-02-21.
  51. ^ Bill Walsh Of The 49ers Is Named SJSU's 2001 Tower Award Winner Archived 2009-08-21 at the Wayback Machine, 2001, CSU Newsline
  52. ^ "San Jose State Spartans Football Future Schedules". Retrieved 2019.

External links

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