|San Jose State Spartans|
|Head coach||Brent Brennan |
6th season, 27–41 (.397)
|Location||San Jose, California|
|Division||West (2013–2019 and 2021–present)|
|All-time record||511–532–38 (.490)|
|Bowl record||7–4 (.636)|
|Rivalries||Fresno State (Battle for the Valley Trophy)|
Stanford (Bill Walsh Legacy Game)
Hawai'i (Dick Tomey Legacy Game)
San Diego State (El Camino Real Rivalry)
Pacific (Battle for the Victor's Bell)
|Colors||Gold, white, and blue|
The San Jose State Spartans football team represents San José State University in NCAA Division I FBS college football as a member of the Mountain West Conference.
San Jose State first fielded a football team in 1893 under head coach James E. Addicott. Addicott also served as a math professor at the California State Normal School (now San José State University). The team played a local YMCA club in 1893 and 1894 and garnered its first tie in 1896, a 6–6 decision against nearby rival College of the Pacific.
The first regular football seasons began in 1898 and mostly consisted of games against local high schools and some colleges and junior colleges. In 1898, in the team's first and only season under head coach Thad McKay, the Spartans compiled their first undefeated record at 5–0–1, outscoring their opponents 80 to 17.
During the 1920s the football program began playing home games at "Spartan Field," future home of Spartan Stadium. In 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 aside from the team's 5–0–1 season in 1898.
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. Lloyd Thomas was the first San Jose State player to receive first-team All-America honors. Thomas played as a defensive end on the 1936, 1937 and 1938 teams that fielded a combined win-loss record of 27–7–1. As of 2018, SJSU has produced over 70 All-America team members, including five first-team selections.
Spartan Stadium (now known as CEFCU Stadium) was built on the original Spartan Field site and 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.
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 Hawaii 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 1960s, but the 1970s would usher in a string of successful seasons spanning 20 years.
From 1971 to 1992, San Jose State posted 15 winning seasons, won eight conference titles, appeared in four bowl games and sent nearly 50 players to the NFL.
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. 15 Stanford 36–34 in a nationally televised game on September 27. San Jose State also had victories over No. 10 Baylor in 1980, No. 19 Fresno State in 1986, and No. 23 Fresno State in 1990.
From 1971–1992, SJSU garnered 23 victories over current Power Five conference opponents. These victories included eight wins over Stanford, five wins over Cal and three over Oregon.
In 1975, San Jose State appeared in the national rankings for the first time in over 30 years when the team was ranked No. 20 in the AP Poll in week 13. SJSU later earned 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 Spartan Stadium seating capacity from 18,000 to 30,456.
From 1993 to 2004, San Jose State had just one winning season when the team finished 7–5 in 2000; however, the team did earn 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 a nationally televised game in 2000. The Spartans also defeated rival Stanford three consecutive years from 1998 to 2000.
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.
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 in a non-overtime game.
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 program was hit with heavy NCAA sanctions for failing to meet APR standards. By the start of the 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 team was not as successful as the previous year's team, with the Spartans finishing 5–7 and fifth 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 roster gave the school its best start since joining the WAC. The Spartans jumped to 5–2 and led the WAC for three weeks until losing to Boise State. The Spartans finished the season in sixth 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 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.
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 the University of San Diego, became the SJSU head coach following the conclusion of the 2012 football season. Caragher's team finished a disappointing 6–6 in 2013, however, that season did include a 62–52 upset win over No. 16 Fresno State to close out the year. The team finished 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. This included a 1–11 season in 2018. Despite the poor record, five of the team's losses in 2018 were by fewer than nine points, and three were by a field goal.
The 2019 team improved to 5–7, missing bowl eligibility by one win. The Spartans also showed promise by defeating Arkansas on the road in 2019 for the program's first win over a Southeastern Conference team. Additionally, the 2019 Spartan team defeated Army, making the Spartans one of only 20 teams in college football to defeat all three FBS service academies (Army, Air Force, and Navy). Brennan received a contract extension at the close of the 2019 season.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the 2020 season, with restrictions imposed by Santa Clara County prompting the team to conduct preseason practice at Humboldt State University. The pandemic also resulted in the cancellation of all four non-conference games and two games against Mountain West Conference opponents. Santa Clara County public health orders also forced the Spartans' last two home games to be relocated to Aloha Stadium in Hawaii and Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.
The abbreviated 2020 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. The Spartans also cracked the AP Poll top-25 for the first time since 2012 and debuted in the College Football Playoff ranking at No. 24.
The Spartans qualified for the Mountain West Conference championship game for the first time, where they defeated Boise State 34–20. In addition to giving San Jose State its maiden win over Boise State, the victory gave the Spartans' their first conference championship title since 1991. Brennan was named the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year and also received the 2020 Lombardi Foundation national Coach of the Year award.
San Jose State has won 17 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 and later moved to the Mountain West Conference in 2013.
|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||7–1||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|
As of December 2021, San Jose State has spent eight weeks ranked among the top–25 college football teams in the nation in the Associated Press college football poll. This includes two post–season top–25 rankings.
Main article: List of San Jose State Spartans head football 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).
|1893||James E. Addicott||n/a|
|1895||James E. Addicott||n/a|
|1900||James E. Addicott||n/a|
|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|
The Battle for the Valley Trophy
Main article: Fresno State–San Jose State football rivalry
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.
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. Beginning in 2013, the winner of the game is awarded the Valley Trophy.
San Jose State led the series from 1949 to 2001, but Fresno State tied it at 32–32–3 with a victory in 2002 and recaptured the lead in 2003. The Bulldogs and Spartans first played each other in 1921.
As of 2022, Fresno State leads the football series 44–38–3. The two schools have met on the gridiron 85 times. 
Bill Walsh Legacy Game
Main article: Bill Walsh Legacy Game
The Bill Walsh Legacy Game is the name given to the rivalry between the Spartans and the Stanford Cardinal football team of Stanford University.
The rivalry is likely rooted in the two schools' close geographical proximity to one another, with the Stanford University campus being located just 23 driving miles northwest of the San Jose State campus on Interstate 280. The two teams have played each other 67 times since 1900. The rivalry is currently on hiatus due to non-conference scheduling conflicts, however, on June 22, 2022, Stanford and San Jose State announced an agreement to renew the rivalry with a four game home-and-home series beginning in 2025.
Stanford currently leads the series 52–14–1.
Dick Tomey Legacy Game
The two schools first met in 1936, and each team was previously led by legendary coach Dick Tomey. Tomey was a successful head coach at Hawaii from 1977 to 1986 and was a successful head coach at San Jose State from 2005 to 2009. The winner of the rivalry game each year takes possession of the Dick Tomey Legacy Trophy. The Rainbow Warriors and Spartans have played each other 45 times as of the 2022 season.
In 1941, 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 postseason bowl games against the Hawaii 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.
As of 2022, the series is tied at 22–22–1. The two schools have met on the gridiron 45 times.
El Camino Real Rivalry
The rivalry between the two Cal State schools dates back to 1935. The matchup is named after the historic 600-mile Camino Real that connects the 21 Spanish missions in California, stretching from San Diego Bay in the south to San Francisco Bay in the north. The San Diego State Aztecs and San Jose State Spartans have played each other 46 times as of the 2022 season.
In 2014, there were conversations between the two programs about creating a trophy using an old mission bell or a replica of an old Spanish mission bell to be awarded to the winner of the rivalry game, but no trophy ever materialized. 
The Spartans currently have the longest win streak in the series with 11 consecutive wins from 1938 to 1952.
As of 2022, San Diego State leads the series 24–20–2.
The University of Nevada, Reno and San Jose State first played each other in 1899. The Wolf Pack won the first meeting 6–0 in Reno on Thanksgiving Day. Bob Brule scored the game’s only touchdown and fell into an irrigation ditch behind the end zone, followed by three Cal State Normal School players.
The series was tied at seven wins apiece at the close of the 2001 season, but SJSU fell to 4–16 against Nevada over the following 20 seasons (2002–2022). The two schools did not play each other from 1901–1930 and again from 1949–1991. Nevada leads the series 23–11–2 as of 2022.
The SJSU and Nevada campuses are located approximately 250 miles apart. The football teams have competed in the same conferences since 1992, first in the Big West Conference in the 1990s and then in the 2000s as members of the WAC. Since 2013, the two teams are West Division rivals in the Mountain West.
Both schools are the oldest public institutions of higher education in their respective states of California and Nevada. SJSU was founded in 1857 while UNR was founded in 1874.
Battle for the Victor's Bell
The now defunct rivalry matchup between the SJSU Spartans and the Pacific Tigers began in 1921 and ended in 1995 when Pacific dropped its football program. The Spartan-Tiger football game was played 72 times between 1921 and 1995.
Due to the "private vs. public" institutional competitiveness and the close geographical proximity of the two schools, a natural "cross-town" rivalry was born. University of the Pacific was founded in 1851 in Santa Clara, California, and claims to be the first institution of higher education in California. San José State University was founded in 1857 and is California's first public institution of higher education.
In 1949, in a game which drew national attention, the "Victor's Bell" was unveiled. The Victor's Bell would go to the winner of subsequent Tiger-Spartan games. The bell was two feet tall and waist-high on a rolling cart. The bell was half black with an orange "P" for Pacific and half blue with a gold "SJ" for San Jose.
The Spartans led the series 43–23–6 when the rivalry ended at the close of the 1995 season.
The Glenn "Pop" Warner Memorial Trophy was awarded annually by the Palo Club to the most valuable senior player on the West Coast. It was awarded from 1949-2004.
Notably, all but five award recipients played for Pac-8/Pac-10 institutions. Two of the five non-Pac-10 recipients played for SJSU, with quarterback Chon Gallegos taking home the trophy in 1961 and Spartan quarterback Mike Perez winning the award in 1987.
The trophy was unaffiliated with the W. J. Voit Memorial Trophy, which was presented annually from 1951-1978 to the top player on the Pacific Coast, regardless of class year.
Two former SJSU players have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Bill Walsh attended San Jose State, where he played quarterback from 1953 to 1955. He went on to win three Super Bowls as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
Dick Vermeil played for San Jose State as a backup quarterback before graduating in 1959 with a master of arts degree. Vermeil later won Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999 as the head coach of the St. Louis Rams.
|Bill Walsh||1953–1955||Head Coach||1993|
|Dick Vermeil||1956–1959||Head Coach||2022|
Two former SJSU players have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Willie Heston attended San Jose State, where he played halfback from 1898 to 1900 before transferring to the University of Michigan. Heston has been named one of the greatest halfbacks in college football history.
Terry Donahue was a freshman walk-on defensive tackle for one year at San Jose State before transferring to UCLA. Donahue was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame for his contributions as the head coach at UCLA.
Two former San Jose State coaches are also enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame, mostly for their contributions while coaching at other schools. Pop Warner led his teams to a combined four national championships while serving as the head coach at Pitt and Stanford.
John Ralston led Stanford to multiple Rose Bowl victories before taking over as the head coach at SJSU from 1993–1996. Ralston was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1992.
|Pop Warner||1939||Associate Coach||1951|
|John Ralston||1993–1996||Head Coach||1992|
|Terry Donahue||1963||DT / Head Coach||2000|
As of December 2022, 139 San Jose State players have gone on to play in the NFL, and five former Spartans are actively playing in the NFL. The 139 players include 121 draftees, six NFL Pro Bowl selections, six first-round draft picks, two MVP award winners, and one NFL Rookie of the Year.
Along with Miami (OH), Dayton, Arkansas, Eastern Illinois, and Pacific, SJSU is one of only six programs in the nation to produce more than one alumnus who would go on to coach Super Bowl-winning teams.  
As of December 2022, there are five former San Jose State players in the NFL.
|Andre Chachere||Philadelphia Eagles||S||UDFA||2018|
|Josh Oliver||Baltimore Ravens||TE||3||2019|
|David Quessenberry||Buffalo Bills||G||6||2013|
|Wes Schweitzer||Washington Commanders||G||6||2016|
|Keith Smith||Atlanta Falcons||FB||UDFA||2014|
Record at the conclusion of the 2022 NCAA Division I FBS football season.
|Air Force||2||4||0||.333||Won 1||1996|
|Boise State||1||14||0||.067||Won 1||1978|
|Colorado State||5||7||0||.417||Won 1||1961|
|Fresno State||38||44||3||.465||Lost 2||1921|
|New Mexico||14||5||1||.725||Won 2||1954|
|San Diego State||20||24||2||.457||Lost 2||1935|
|Utah State||20||20||1||.500||Lost 10||1940|
Announced schedules as of March 23, 2022.
|Portland State||Cal Poly||Sacramento State||Central Michigan||at Eastern Michigan||at Minnesota||Howard||Holy Cross||Oregon State||Rice|
|at Auburn||Oregon State||at USC||at Texas||at Penn State||Akron||Toledo||Eastern Michigan||at Rice|
|Western Michigan||at USC||ULM||Idaho||UTEP||Portland State||at Washington||at Oregon State||Washington State|
|at New Mexico State||at Toledo||at Washington State||at South Florida||at Stanford||at UTEP||at Stanford||at Louisiana-Monroe||Cal Poly|
((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)