American Football Database
American Football Database
San Jose State Spartans football
Current season
First season 1892
Head coach Ron Caragher
Home stadium Spartan Stadium
Stadium capacity 30,456
Stadium surface Field turf
Location San Jose, California
Conference Mountain West
Division West (subject by confirmation)
All-time record 465–462–37
Postseason bowl record 6–3
Claimed national titles 0
Conference titles 16
Heisman winners 0
Current uniform
Colors Blue and Gold            
Rivals Fresno State and Stanford
Website San Jose State Spartans

The San Jose State Spartans represent San Jose State University and the Silicon Valley in NCAA Division I FBS college football. The Spartans play all home games in Spartan Stadium, which offers a seating capacity of over 30,000. The latest head coach is Mike MacIntyre, who held the position from 2010 to 2012.

By 2013, the Spartans will assign to the Mountain West Conference. Ron Caragher will led San Jose State to the Mountain West's long awaited football championship game.


The SJSU Spartan football team competes in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision as part of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).

File:-California- SNS football 1910.jpg

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[1] 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. During the 1930s and 1940s, the Spartan football program was considered a powerhouse, winning eight conference championships 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]

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 Honolulu to play a series of post-season games (including the Shrine Bowl) against the University of Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors and the Willamette University Bearcats, but the team was stranded on the islands for a number of weeks after the Pearl Harbor attack. The team members were then employed to improve island defenses against a possible Japanese amphibious assault and as guards for military bases on the island.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

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

The Tomey era

File:JonesTD SJSU.jpg

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


Coach Dick Tomey took over the program in 2005. After showing moderate improvement that year, the Spartans had a breakout season in 2006. In fact, 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 3-0 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. On December 17, 2009, Mike MacIntyre was formally introduced as Tomey's replacement. MacIntyre was previously the defensive coordinator at Duke University.[5]


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

Fresno State

The Fresno State-San José State Rivalry is arguably SJSU's biggest football rivalry. As of 2011, Fresno State leads the series 39–34–3.


The near-annual game played between San Jose State and Stanford is titled the Bill Walsh Legacy Game, named after SJSU alumnus Bill Walsh, a two-time Stanford head coach. The teams first played each other in San Jose in 1900. As of 2011, 61 out of the 65 games between SJSU and Stanford were played at Stanford.

As of 2012, Stanford leads the series 51–14–1. SJSU's most notable success against Stanford occurred when the Spartans won three consecutive games over the Cardinal from 1981 to 1983, and again from 1998 to 2000. The 1979–1982 series pitted Stanford quarterback John Elway against his father, Jack Elway, who served as the SJSU head football coach from 1979 to 1983.

San Diego State

The SDSU-SJSU rivalry started in 1935. This in-state rivalry has had some competitive games in the past and with the Spartans joining the Mountain West Conference the two teams will compete on an annual basis. The Spartans lead the series 19-15-2.


As of 2011, the series is even at 17–17–1. A 1941 game against Hawaii led the SJSU team to be stranded on the islands and used as military guards.

Team Games Played SJSU Win SJSU Loss Ties Win % First Meeting Last Meeting Next scheduled Meeting
Fresno State 76 34 39 3 .467 1921 W 27-24 (2011) 2013
Stanford 66 14 51 1 .220 1900 L 17-20 (2012) at Stanford 2013
SDSU 36 19 15 2 .556 1935 W 38-34 (2012) at SDSU 9/13/14
Hawaii 35 17 17 1 .500 1936 W 28-27 (2011) 2013


As of 2010, 110 SJSU Spartans have gone on to play in the NFL,[6] and seven former Spartans are actively playing in the NFL.[2][7] The 110 players include six NFL Pro Bowl selections, six first-round draft picks, two MVP award winners, and one NFL Rookie of the Year.[6][7]

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

Conference championships

File:Spartan stadium DSC0768-Edit.jpg

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

File:Walsh and tomey.jpg

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


  1. 1.0 1.1 Laurence Miedema (April 29, 2007). "All about perseverance". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "SJSU Spartans Media Guide". 2009. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  3. Bartindale, Becky (March 29, 2004). "SJSU football targeted". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on December 5, 2004.
  4. "Teams set D-I regulation scoring record". Associated Press. October 2, 2004. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "College Football Encyclopedias". 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "College Football Encyclopedias". 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Pro Football Reference". pro-football-reference. 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2010.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.19 9.20 9.21 9.22 9.23 9.24 9.25 9.26 9.27 9.28 "Pro Football Reference". pro-football-reference. 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  10. "NFL Players". NFL Enterprises, Inc.. 2010. Retrieved February 18, 2010.
  11. "Renowned Quarterback Coach Steve Clarkson Joins DeBartolo Sports and Entertainment to Head the New DeBartolo Sports University". Business Wire. 2007. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  12. "". Fan-base. 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  13. "". Pro Football Weekly. 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Pro Football Reference". pro-football-reference. 2009. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
  15. "Terry Donahue". NNDB. 2010. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  16. "National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame". 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010.
  17. 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 August 12, 2010.
  18. "Pro Football Reference". Pro Football Reference. 2010. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  19. 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.
  20. "Arena Fan". 2010. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  21. "NFL Players". NFL Enterprises, Inc.. 2010. Retrieved February 18, 2010.
  22. "NFL Players". NFL Enterprises, Inc. 2010. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  23. "Al Saunders". Serving History. 2010. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  24. "CFL Players". Canadian Football League. 2010. Retrieved February 18, 2010.
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Distinguished Alumni". SJSU. 2009. Retrieved Feb 8, 2010.
  26. "Dick Vermeil, Head Coach", Kansas City Chiefs
  27. Bill Walsh Of The 49ers Is Named SJSU's 2001 Tower Award Winner, 2001, CSU Newsline

External links