|San Jose State Spartans|
|Head coach||Brent Brennan |
4th season, 14-29 (.326)
|Location||San Jose, California|
|Bowl record||7–4 (.636)|
|Rivalries||Fresno State (rivalry)|
|Colors||Blue, White, and Gold|
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.
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. San Jose State first appeared in the national rankings in 1939 when the AP Poll ranked the Spartans No. 19 in week seven. The team would climb to No. 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.
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.
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 No. 10 Stanford 13-12 on November 13. Stanford would go on to defeat Michigan in the Rose Bowl that season. SJSU's second win over a ranked opponent occurred four years later in 1975, when the Spartans defeated No. 18 Stanford 36-34 in a nationally televised game on September 27.
San Jose State appeared in the national rankings in 1975 for the first time in over 30 years when the team was ranked No. 20 in the AP Poll in week 13. SJSU garnered its first post-season national ranking in 1990 when the Spartans finished No. 20 in the Coaches Poll.
Two stadium expansions and renovations in the 1980s increased the seating capacity from 18,000 to 30,456.
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 No. 24 Air Force in 1997 and a 27-24 win over No. 9 TCU in 2000.
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. 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.
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.
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, 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.
Oregon State wide receivers coach Brent Brennan, who was a San Jose State assistant under Tomey and MacIntyre from 2005 to 2010, took over as head coach in 2017. In Brennan's first two years as head coach, the Spartans won just three games combined, including a 1-11 season in 2018. Despite the poor record, five of the 2018 team's losses were by fewer than nine points, and three were by a field goal. The 2019 team improved to 5-7 but missed bowl eligibility by one win; they defeated Arkansas for the program's first win over a Southeastern Conference team, while a win over Army made the Spartans the 20th team in college football to defeat all three FBS United States service academies (Army, Air Force, and Navy). Brennan received a contract extension at season's end.
The 2020 season was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with restrictions imposed by Santa Clara County prompting the team to conduct preseason practice at Humboldt State University; the pandemic also canceled two games and further county orders forced the Spartans' last two home games to be relocated to Aloha Stadium in Hawaii and Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. The abbreviated campaign would be a breakout year for the Spartans, who won each of their six regular season games for their first 6-0 start since 1939, while they ranked in the AP Poll for the first time since 2012 and debuted in College Football Playoff ranking. The Spartans qualified for the Mountain West Conference Football Championship Game for the first time, where they defeated Boise State 34-20; in addition to being San Jose State's maiden win over Boise State, it secured the Spartans' first undisputed conference championship since 1990. Brennan was awarded Mountain West Coach of the Year for the team's success.
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. 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|
|2020||Mountain West Conference||Brent Brennan||7-0||7-0|
San Jose State has made 11 bowl appearances and the Spartans have an overall bowl game record of 7-4.
|1946||Bill Hubbard||Raisin Bowl||Utah State||W 20-0|
|1949||Bill Hubbard||Raisin Bowl||Texas Tech||W 20-13|
|1971||Dewey King||Pasadena Bowl||Memphis||L 9-28|
|1981||Jack Elway||California Bowl||Toledo||L 25-27|
|1986||Claude Gilbert||California Bowl||Miami (OH)||W 37-7|
|1987||Claude Gilbert||California Bowl||Eastern Michigan||L 27-30|
|1990||Terry Shea||California Bowl||Central Michigan||W 48-24|
|2006||Dick Tomey||New Mexico Bowl||New Mexico||W 20-12|
|2012||Mike MacIntyre||Military Bowl||Bowling Green||W 29-20|
|2015||Ron Caragher||Cure Bowl||Georgia State||W 27-16|
|2020||Brent Brennan||Arizona Bowl||Ball State||L 13-34|
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).
|1893-1898||James E. Addicott|
|1900||James E. Addicott (3 seasons)||.536|
|1900||Fielding H. Yost (interim)||1.000|
|1923||H.C. McDonald (interim)||.000|
|1950-1956||Robert T. Bronzan||.515|
|2012||Kent Baer (interim)||1.000|
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.
Stanford and San Jose State first played each other in San Jose in 1900. 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.
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.
Stanford leads the series 52-14-1 through the 2019 season.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2020)
One former SJSU player has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Bill Walsh attended San Jose State and played quarterback from 1953 to 1955. He went on to be a 3x Super Bowl-winning head coach for the San Francisco 49ers.
|Bill Walsh||1953-1955||Head coach||1993|
One former SJSU player has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Willie Heston attended San Jose State and played halfback from 1898 to 1900, before transferring to University of Michigan and graduating from there.
As of fall 2019, 134 SJSU Spartans have gone on to play in the NFL, and ten former Spartans are actively playing in the NFL. 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.
As of October 6, 2019:
|Tyler Ervin||Green Bay Packers||RB||4||2016|
|David Fales||New York Jets||QB||6||2014|
|Isaiah Irving||Arizona Cardinals||LB||UDFA||2017|
|Akeem King||Seattle Seahawks||CB||7||2015|
|Dakari Monroe||Kansas City Chiefs||CB||UDFA||2019|
|Josh Oliver||Jacksonville Jaguars||TE||3||2019|
|David Quessenberry||Tennessee Titans||G||6||2013|
|Boogie Roberts||Los Angeles Rams||DT||UDFA||2019|
|Wes Schweitzer||Washington Football Team||G||6||2016|
|Keith Smith||Atlanta Falcons||FB||UDFA||2014|
|Air Force||2||4||0||.333||Won 1||1996|
|Boise State||1||14||0||.067||Won 1||1978|
|Colorado State||4||6||0||.400||Lost 3||1961|
|Fresno State||38||42||3||.476||Won 1||1921|
|New Mexico||14||5||1||.725||Won 2||1954|
|San Diego State||20||22||2||.477||Won 1||1935|
|Utah State||20||18||1||.526||Lost 8||1940|
Announced schedules as of October 24, 2019.
|at Central Michigan||Southern Utah||Portland State||Cal Poly||Sacramento State||Central Michigan||UTEP||Akron||Toledo|
|UC Davis||at USC||at Auburn||at Ohio State||at USC||at South Florida||Portland State||at UConn|
|at Penn State||at Western Michigan||Western Michigan||at Toledo||Oregon State||at UTEP|
|UConn||New Mexico State||at New Mexico State||California||at Akron|