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The San Jose State Spartans represent San Jose State Universitymarker and the Silicon Valleymarker in NCAA Division I FBS college football. The Spartans play all home games in Spartan Stadiummarker, which offers a seating capacity of over 30,000. The current head coach is Dick Tomey, who began his tenure in 2005.


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

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, winning eight conference championships over an 18-year span. The 1939 team went 13-0, the only undefeated season 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 Statemarker on October 7, 1933. Two stadium expansions and renovations in the 1980s increased the seating capacity from 18,000 to 30,456.

The 1941 team was on Oʻahumarker during the attack on Pearl Harbormarker to play a series of post-season games against the University of Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors and the Willamette University Bearcats. After the attack, the team was stranded in Hawai'i for a number of weeks and was employed to improve island defenses against a Japanese amphibious assault and as guards for military bases on the island.

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.

San Jose State shares rivalries with Stanfordmarker, Fresno Statemarker and Hawaii. The annual game played between Stanford and San Jose State is titled the annual Bill Walsh Legacy Game, after distinguished SJSU alumnus, the late Mr. Bill Walsh. As of 2008, Stanford leads the series 48-14-1. Most notably, SJSU went 3-0 against Stanford from 1981-1983, and again from 1998-2000. The 1981-1983 series pitted Stanford quarterback John Elway against his father, Jack Elway, who served as the SJSU head football coach from 1979-1983.

The Fresno State-San José State Rivalry is SJSU's biggest football rivalry. As of 2008, Fresno State leads the series 37-33-3. As of 2008 SJSU leads the series against the University of Hawaii 16-15-1.

The Tomey era


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, 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 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

Conference championships

  • 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 - Big West Conference Champions
  • 1976 - Big West Conference Champions
  • 1978 - Big West Conference 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

SJSU home football game at Spartan Stadium

Bowl games

Year Played Bowl Opponent Result
2006 New Mexico New Mexicomarker Win, 20-12
1990 California Raisin Central Michiganmarker Win, 48–24
1987 California Eastern Michiganmarker Loss, 27–30
1986 California Miami Universitymarker Win, 37–7
1981 California Toledomarker Loss, 25–27
1971 Pasadena Memphismarker Loss, 9–28
1949 Raisin Texas Tech Win, 20–13
1947 Raisin Utah State Win, 20–0

Notable players and alumni

External links

  • [642307] - SJSU football page
  • [642308] - All-time Record
  • [642309] - NCAA Division 1 All-time records
  • [642310] -SJSU record from 1946-Present at


  1. "Dick Vermeil, Head Coach", Kansas City Chiefs
  2. Bill Walsh Of The 49ers Is Named SJSU's 2001 Tower Award Winner, 2001, CSU Newsline

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