|San Jose State Spartans|
|Head coach||Brent Brennan|
2nd season, 3–20 (.130)
|Location||San Jose, California|
|All-time record||486–502–38 (.492)|
|Bowl record||7–3 (.700)|
|Rivalries||Fresno State Bulldogs (rivalry)|
Stanford Cardinal (rivalry)
|Colors||Blue, White, and Gold|
- 1 History
- 2 Head coaches
- 3 Wins against current Power Five programs
- 4 Conference championships
- 5 Bowl games
- 6 Rivalries
- 7 NFL
- 8 All-time record vs. current Mountain West teams
- 9 Notable players and alumni
- 10 Future non-conference opponents
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 External links
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.
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.
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.
The Spartan football program posted just six winning seasons in the 1950s 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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
From 2007 through the 2009 seasons, 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.
The Tomey era (2005–2009)
Coach Dick Tomey took over the program in 2005 amid 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 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)
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 (2013–2016)
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's teams finished 6–6 in 2013, 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 over four seasons.
San Jose State has had 31 head coaches through their history. 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 (31⁄2 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|
Wins against current Power Five programs
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|
† – Conference co-champions
San Jose State has made 10 bowl appearances and the Spartans have an overall bowl game record of 7–3.
|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|
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 2017, Fresno State leads the football series 41–37–3.
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.
Stanford currently leads the series 52–14–1, with 62 of the 66 games between the schools taking place at Stanford. 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.
As of 2017, 132 SJSU Spartans have gone on to play in the NFL, and nine former Spartans are actively playing in the NFL. 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.
Current Athletes in the NFL
As of October 9, 2018:
|Bené Benwikere||Arizona Cardinals||Cornerback||5||2014|
|Tyler Ervin||Houston Texans||Running back||4||2016|
|David Fales||Miami Dolphins||Quarterback||6||2014|
|Isaiah Irving||Chicago Bears||Linebacker||UDFA||2017|
|Jermaine Kelly||Houston Texans||Cornerback||7||2018|
|Akeem King||Seattle Seahawks||Cornerback||7||2015|
|Wes Schweitzer||Atlanta Falcons||Guard||6||2016|
|Keith Smith||Oakland Raiders||Fullback||UDFA||2014|
All-time record vs. current Mountain West teams
|Air Force||1||3||0||.250||Lost 2||1996|
|Boise State||0||13||0||.000||Lost 13||1978|
|Colorado State||4||5||0||.444||Lost 2||1961|
|Fresno State||38||41||3||.475||Lost 2||1921|
|New Mexico||12||5||1||.694||Lost 1||1954|
|San Diego State||19||20||2||.488||Lost 5||1935|
|Utah State||20||17||1||.539||Lost 7||1940|
Notable players and alumni
- Courtney Anderson — former NFL tight end, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders
- Stacey Bailey — former NFL wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons
- Brent Berry — 1964 MVP and former tackle drafted as junior by Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Rams; played in CFL for the Edmonton Eskimos (CFL)
- Kim Bokamper — former NFL linebacker, Miami Dolphins
- John Broussard — former NFL wide receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Gill Byrd — former NFL defensive back, San Diego Chargers; two NFL Pro Bowl appearances
- Jim Cadile — former NFL guard, Chicago Bears
- Matt Castelo — former NFL linebacker, Seattle Seahawks; former CFL linebacker, Hamilton Tiger-cats
- Steve Clarkson — nationally renowned quarterbacks coach; founder of Steve Clarkson Dreammaker quarterback camp
- Sherman Cocroft — former NFL defensive back, Kansas City Chiefs
- Clarence Cunningham — former AFL wide receiver, defensive back, running back, and kick returner; former AF2 starter, Stockton Lightning; IFL free safety, Catania Elephants
- Neal Dahlen — former SJSU quarterback, NFL manager and scout; holds the record for the most earned Super Bowl rings at seven.
- Rashied Davis — NFL wide receiver, Chicago Bears
- Yonus Davis — CFL running back, BC Lions
- Steve DeBerg — former NFL quarterback, Dallas Cowboys
- David Diaz-Infante — former NFL and CFL offensive guard, San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, and Sacramento Gold Miners
- Terry Donahue — UCLA head football coach; College Football Hall of Fame inductee (attended SJSU for one year)
- Carl Ekern — former NFL linebacker, Los Angeles Rams; one NFL Pro Bowl appearance
- Matt Faulkner — CFL Quarterback For Ottawa RedBlacks
- Wilson Faumuina —former NFL defensive tackle, Atlanta Falcons
- Mervyn Fernandez —former NFL wide receiver, Los Angeles Raiders
- Coye Francies — NFL defensive back, Cleveland Browns
- Chon Gallegos — former NFL Quarterback with the Oakland Raiders 
- Jeff Garcia — NFL quarterback, San Francisco 49ers et al.; four NFL Pro Bowl appearances
- Trestin George — AFL and CFL wide receiver, San Jose Sabercats and BC Lions
- Jarron Gilbert – NFL defensive tackle, Chicago Bears
- Charlie Harraway ��� former NFL running back, Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns
- Paul Held — former NFL quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers
- Willie Heston — former SJSU halfback; College Football Hall of Fame inductee (attended SJSU from 1898 to 1900; graduated from University of Michigan)
- James Hodgins — former NFL fullback, St. Louis Rams et al.
- Duke Ihenacho — NFL safety, Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos
- Randy Johnson — former MLB Baseball Player, Atlanta Braves
- Johnny Johnson — former NFL running back, Phoenix Cardinals, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers; one NFL Pro Bowl appearance; consensus choice for Rookie of the Year (1990)
- Cody Jones — NFL defensive tackle, Los Angeles Rams; one NFL Pro Bowl appearance
- James Jones — NFL wide receiver, Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers
- Kevin Jurovich — NFL wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles; San Francisco 49ers
- Rick Kane — former NFL running back, Detroit Lions
- Keala Keanaaina — American football fullback
- Bob Ladouceur — among winningest high school football coaches in U.S. history; coached De La Salle High Spartans to 151 consecutive wins from 1992 to 2003
- Bill Leavy — NFL referee; officiated Super Bowl XL
- Dwight Lowery — NFL defensive back, New York Jets and two-time All-American at SJSU
- Ken Lutz — SJSU quarterback, Arena Football League player
- Frank Manumaleuga – NFL player
- Frank Minini — NFL player
- Joe Nedney — former kicker for 8 NFL teams including the San Francisco 49ers
- William Yaw Obeng — Arena Football League lineman, San Jose Sabercats
- Chris Owens — NFL defensive back, Atlanta Falcons
- Neil Parry — football; Most Courageous Athlete Award (Philadelphia Sports Writers Association; 2003)
- Mike Perez — former NFL quarterback, New York Giants
- Tom Petithomme — former Arena Football League player, San Jose Sabercats
- Art Powell — NFL wide receiver, Oakland Raiders; Raiders' 7th all-time leading receiver
- Waylon Prather — former NFL punter, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals
- David Richmond — former NFL wide receiver, Cincinnati Bengals
- Scott Rislov — Arena Football League quarterback, San Jose Sabercats
- Saint Saffold — American football player
- Al Saunders — former NFL head coach for the San Diego Chargers
- Rufus Skillern — CFL and NFL wide receiver, BC Lions and Baltimore Ravens
- Gerald Small — former NFL defensive back, Miami Dolphins
- Carl Sullivan — former NFL defensive end, Green Bay Packers
- Adam Tafralis — CFL quarterback, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- Tyson Thompson —NFL kick returner, Dallas Cowboys
- Bob Titchenal — former NFL linebacker, Washington Redskins and Los Angeles Dons; one Pro Bowl appearance; former head football coach, University of New Mexico and SJSU
- Dick Vermeil — NFL head coach; winning coach, Super Bowl XXXIV
- Bill Walsh — NFL head coach; winning coach, Super Bowl XVI, Super Bowl XIX, and Super Bowl XXIII; Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee
- Gerald Willhite — former NFL running back, Denver Broncos
- Billy Wilson — former NFL receiver, San Francisco 49ers; six NFL Pro Bowl appearances
- Louis Wright — former NFL defensive back, Denver Broncos; 1st round NFL draft pick; five NFL Pro Bowl appearances
- Roy Zimmerman — former NFL quarterback, Washington Redskins; one Pro Bowl appearance
Leon Donohue - former Dallas Cowboys and one of key players in famous NFL Ice Bowl; 1962 NFL All-Rookie Team
David Fales - QB Miami Dolphins
David Quessenberry - OL Houston Texans and cancer survivor
Tyler Ervin - KR Houston Texans
Wes Schweitzer - OL Atlanta Falcons
Future non-conference opponents
Announced schedules as of March 15, 2018
The school year of 2024–25 does not have any scheduled non-conference opponents as of March 15, 2018
|Northern Colorado||at Central Michigan||Southern Utah||Portland State||Cal Poly||Central Michigan|
|Tulsa||UC Davis||at Georgia||at New Mexico State||at South Florida||Oregon State|
|at Arkansas||at Penn State||at Army||California|
|at Army||Army||New Mexico State|
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