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San Jose State Spartans football

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Title: San Jose State Spartans football  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Nevada Wolf Pack football, San Francisco 49ers draft history, Mike MacIntyre, Kyle Reed, Dave Baldwin (American football)
Collection: San Jose State Spartans Football, Sports Clubs Established in 1892
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

San Jose State Spartans football

San Jose State Spartans
2015 San Jose State Spartans football team
First season 1892
Head coach Ron Caragher
3rd year, 9–15 (.375)
Home stadium Spartan Stadium
Stadium capacity 30,456
Stadium surface Field turf
Location San Jose, California
Conference Mountain West
Division West
All-time record 474–476–37 (.499)
Postseason bowl record 6–3 (.667)
Conference titles 16
Heisman winners 0

Blue and Gold

Outfitter Nike
Rivals Fresno State and Stanford
The San Jose State Spartans represent San José State University in NCAA Division I FBS college football. The Spartans play all home games in Spartan Stadium, which offers a seating capacity of just over 30,000. The current head coach is Ron Caragher.

In Mike MacIntyre's third season as head coach, the 2012 San Jose State Spartans football team finished the season with an 11-2 win-loss record, a victory over Bowling Green in the 2012 Military Bowl, and its first post-season national ranking since 1990.

On July 1, 2013, SJSU left the Western Athletic Conference, the Spartans' conference home of 17 years, to begin competing in the Mountain West Conference.


  • History 1
    • The Tomey era (2005–2009) 1.1
    • The MacIntyre era (2010–2012) 1.2
    • The Caragher era (2013–present) 1.3
  • Rivalries 2
    • Fresno State 2.1
    • Stanford 2.2
    • Records against rivals 2.3
  • NFL 3
  • Conference championships 4
  • Chronology of head coaches 5
  • Bowl games 6
  • Notable players and alumni 7
  • Future non-conference opponents 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


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

SJSU first fielded a football team in 1893 and has won 16 conference championships dating back to 1932.

The first regular football seasons began in 1898 and mostly consisted of games against local high schools and some colleges and junior colleges.[1]

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.[1][2]

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

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 the University of Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors 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][2]

The Spartan football program posted just six winning seasons in the 1950's and '60s, but would later enter a "golden age" beginning in 1973, when the Spartans posted 15 winning seasons, appeared in four bowl games and sent nearly 50 players to the NFL over a 20-year stretch.[4]

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 the University of 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.[2]

SJSU's only other victories over ranked opponents include a 30-22 win over #10 Baylor in 1980, a 42-7 win over #23 Fresno State in 1990, a 25-22 win over #24 Air Force in 1997, a 27-24 win over #9 TCU in 2000, and a 62-52 win over #16 Fresno State in 2013.[2]

SJSU 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. The Spartans did not appear in a national poll again until 1975 when the team was ranked #20 in the AP Poll in week 13.[6] SJSU garnered its first post-season national ranking in 1990 when the Spartans finished #20 in the Coaches Poll. SJSU would not appear in the post-season national rankings again until 2012 when the Spartans finished #21 in both the AP Poll and Coaches Poll.[1]

The San Jose Mercury News reported in March 2004 that budget cuts led some faculty members at San Jose State to advocate removing the SJSU football program from Division IA athletics.[7]

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.[8]

From 2005 through the 2009 season, the San Jose State football program was hit with heavy NCAA sanctions for failing to meet Academic Progress Rate (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.[9]

SJSU has produced over 70 All-America team members, including five first-team selections.[2]

The 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 APR shortcomings that would result in severe penalties imposed by the NCAA.[10] 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 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.

The 2007 San Jose State Spartans football team was not as successful as the previous year's team, with the Spartans going 5-7 and finishing 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.

The 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.[11]

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 the University of Colorado.

The Caragher era (2013–present)

Ron Caragher, previously the head coach at the University of San Diego, became the SJSU head coach following the conclusion of the 2012 football season. Caragher is 9-15 (.375) after two seasons, finishing 6-6 in 2013 and 3-9 in 2014.


San Jose State shares rivalries with Fresno State, Stanford, San Diego State and Hawaii.

Fresno State

The Fresno State-San Jose State game is often referred to as the Valley Rivalry and is arguably SJSU's biggest football rivalry. As of 2015, Fresno State leads the series 40–36–3.


Stanford and San Jose State first played each other in San Jose in 1900.[5] In 2007, following the death of San Jose State alum and former Stanford coach Bill Walsh, the near-annual game played between the two schools was renamed the Bill Walsh Legacy Game.[12]

The games from 1979 to 1982 pitted Stanford star quarterback John Elway against his father, Jack Elway, who served as the SJSU head football coach from 1979 to 1983. The two teams split the series 2-2, with the younger Elway defeating his father's team in 1979 and 1980, and the elder Jack Elway defeating his son's team in 1981 and 1982.[13]

As of 2013, Stanford led the series 52–14–1, with 62 of the 66 games between the schools taking place at Stanford.[5] The 2013 game, a 34-13 win for Stanford, is the final scheduled game between the two schools, reportedly due to the schools being unable to agree on a home-and-home setup for future games.[14][15][16]

Records against rivals

Team Games Played SJSU Win SJSU Loss Ties Win % First Meeting Last Meeting Next scheduled Meeting
Fresno State 79 36 40 3 .475 1921 W 49-23 (2015) TBA
Stanford 67 14 52 1 .216 1900 L 13-34 (2013) --


As of 2014, 117 SJSU Spartans have gone on to play in the NFL,[17] and nine former Spartans are actively playing in the NFL.[2][18] The 117 players include 106 draftees, six NFL Pro Bowl selections, six first-round draft picks, two MVP award winners, and one NFL Rookie of the Year.[17][18]

SJSU, Dayton, Arkansas, Eastern Illinois and Pacific are the only schools to produce two alumni who coached Super Bowl-winning teams.[2]

Conference championships

San Jose State vs. Utah at Spartan Stadium - 2009

From 1969 to 1995, SJSU earned more Big West Conference football championship titles than any other team in the history of the Big West conference.[2] 1995 was SJSU's final season in the Big West, as the Spartans moved to the WAC in 1996.

  • 1932 - Northern California Athletic Conference Co-Champions
  • 1934 - Northern California Athletic Conference Co-Champions
  • 1939 - California Collegiate Athletic Association Champions
  • 1940 - California Collegiate Athletic Association Champions
  • 1941 - California Collegiate Athletic Association Co-Champions
  • 1946 - California Collegiate Athletic Association Champions
  • 1948 - California Collegiate Athletic Association Champions
  • 1949 - California Collegiate Athletic Association Champions
  • 1975 - Pacific Coast Athletic Association Champions
  • 1976 - Pacific Coast Athletic Association Champions
  • 1978 - Pacific Coast Athletic Association Co-Champions
  • 1981 - Big West Conference Champions
  • 1986 - Big West Conference Champions
  • 1987 - Big West Conference Champions
  • 1990 - Big West Conference Champions
  • 1991 - Big West Conference Co-Champions

No Team: 1894, 1896–1897, 1901–1920, 1943–1945

Chronology of head coaches

  • 1893–1898 James E. Addicott
  • 1899 Jess Woods (.643)
  • 1900 James E. Addicott (.536) (312 seasons)
  • 1900 Fielding H. Yost (1.000) (coached one game)
  • 1921–1922 David Wooster (.250)
  • 1923 H.C. McDonald (.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)

Bowl games

SJSU home football game at Spartan Stadium

The SJSU football team has made nine bowl appearances. Its most recent bowl appearance occurred in 2012 when the Spartans defeated Bowling Green in the Military Bowl.[2]

Year Played Bowl Opponent Result
2012 Military Bowling Green Win, 29–20
2006 New Mexico New Mexico Win, 20–12
1990 California Raisin Central Michigan Win, 48–24
1987 California Eastern Michigan Loss, 27–30
1986 California Miami (OH) Win, 37–7
1981 California Toledo Loss, 25–27
1971 Pasadena Memphis Loss, 9–28
1949 Raisin Texas Tech Win, 20–13
1947 Raisin Utah State Win, 20–0

Notable players and alumni

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

Future non-conference opponents

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
at Tulsa vs Cal Poly at Washington State Tulsa Oregon State at Army at Idaho California
Utah at Utah vs Army at California Army vs Idaho
at Iowa State at BYU at Army at Idaho
Portland State vs Idaho

[43] [44]


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i
  3. ^
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  5. ^ a b c Stanford 2013 Football Media Guide, p. 156.
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  17. ^ a b
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^ a b c
  20. ^ 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
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  26. ^ a b
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  32. ^
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  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^
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  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ a b
  41. ^ "Dick Vermeil, Head Coach", Kansas City Chiefs
  42. ^ Bill Walsh Of The 49ers Is Named SJSU's 2001 Tower Award Winner, 2001, CSU Newsline
  43. ^
  44. ^

External links

  • Official website
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