The San Diego State football team represents San Diego State University in the sport of American football. The Aztecs compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the West Division of the Mountain West Conference (MWC). They play their homes games at SDCCU Stadium and are currently coached by Rocky Long. They have won nineteen conference championships and three national championships at the small college division. In July 2013, they were to become a football only member of the Big East Conference, but on January 17, 2013 the Mountain West’s Board of Directors voted to reinstate San Diego State.
San Diego State University was originally two separate schools. San Diego Normal School had school colors of white and gold. San Diego Junior College had school colors of blue and gold. They decided to merge schools in 1921 to form San Diego State College. The first school colors of SDSC were blue, white and gold. During the 1921 school year they had their first football game. The central athletic figure at San Diego State at the time was Charles E. Peterson. He had originally been appointed in 1916 as a physical education instructor. After serving in World War I, President Hardy prevailed upon him to return and oversee the school’s athletics program. Initially, Peterson taught all the men’s physical education classes and coached all the intercollegiate teams. After the athletic teams were established in 1921, media referred to the teams as “Staters” or “professors”. The school newspaper tried to encourage “Wampus Cats” during its coverage of the 1923-24 school year. In the fall of 1924, Athletic Director C.E. Peterson urged the students to select a nickname and the school newspaper, The Paper Lantern, invited suggestions. Over the next few issues, names such as Panthers, Balboans and Thoroughbreds were suggested and submitted to a committee of Dean Al Peterson, C.E. Peterson and a student. In 1925, student leaders chose the nickname “Aztecs” over such other suggestions as “Balboans”. They felt the terminology was more representative of a southwest image and the selection met with no dissent. In February 1925, President Hardy gave his formal approval to the “Aztec” nickname and teams adopted that identity within a week.
Purple and gold were adopted for the 1922-23 term but this became a problem because the colors were the same as St. Augustine High School. It didn’t go over very well when one couldn’t tell the difference between an Aztec letterman’s sweater and a high school sweater. Also, purple and gold were the colors of Whittier College, a fierce conference rival at the time. Not to mention the fact that manufacturers of Aztec merchandise in that era refused to guarantee the color fastness of San Diego State’s purple hues. Associated Students president Terrence Geddis led the movement for a change and, after pushing for reconsideration of school colors, students finally got a chance to vote on the matter in December 1927. That was followed by two days of voting the following month where students were to decide between Scarlet and Black and the previous colors, Purple and Gold. On January 19, 1928 the tally was 346-201 in favor of Scarlet and Black and it has remained that ever since.
Don Coryell eraEdit
Coryell coached 12 seasons with the Aztecs, using the philosophy of recruiting only junior college players. There, he compiled a record of 104 wins, 19 losses and 2 ties including three undefeated seasons in 1966, 1968 and 1969. His teams would enjoy winning streaks of 31 and 25 games, and would win three bowl games during his tenure. Coryell helped lead SDSU from an NCAA Division II to an NCAA Division I program in 1969. It was at SDSU that Coryell began to emphasize a passing offense. Coryell recounted, “We could only recruit a limited number of runners and linemen against schools like USC and UCLA. And there were a lot of kids in Southern California passing and catching the ball. There seemed to be a deeper supply of quarterbacks and receivers. And the passing game was also open to some new ideas. Coryell adds, “Finally we decided it’s crazy that we can win games by throwing the ball without the best personnel. So we threw the hell out of the ball and won some games. When we started doing that, we were like 55–5–1. John Madden served as Coryell’s defensive assistant at SDSU. Madden had first met Coryell attending a coaching clinic on the I formation led by McKay. “We’d go to these clinics, and afterward, everyone would run up to talk to McKay,” said Madden. “Coryell was there because he introduced (McKay). I was thinking, ‘If (McKay) learned from him, I’ll go talk to (Coryell).’ At San Diego State, Coryell helped develop a number of quarterbacks for the NFL, including Don Horn, Jesse Freitas, Dennis Shaw and future NFL MVP Brian Sipe. Wide receivers who went on to the NFL include Isaac Curtis, Gary Garrison, and Haven Moses. Coryell also coached two players who later became actors: Fred Dryer and Carl Weathers.
The arrival of Marshall FaulkEdit
Faulk received an athletic scholarship to attend San Diego State University, and played as a running back for the Aztecs. In one of the most prolific performances of his entire career, he ran all over the University of the Pacific in just his second collegiate game on September 15, 1991. In 37 carries, he racked up 386 yards and scored seven touchdowns, both records for freshmen (the 386 yards were then an NCAA-record). “Faulk had scoring runs of 61, 7, 47, 9, 5, 8 and 25 yards.” That performance sparked one of the greatest freshman seasons in NCAA history, gaining 1,429 yards rushing, with 23 total touchdowns (21 rushing), and 140 points scored. Faulk went on to better 1600 yards rushing in his sophomore year. In Faulk’s junior season in 1993, he was finally able to showcase his all-purpose ability by catching 47 passes for 640 yards and 3 TDs to go with 1530 yards and 21 TDs on the ground. These numbers put Faulk 3rd in the nation in all-purpose yardage that year, and 2nd in scoring. Faulk left San Diego State University with many of the school’s offensive records, among them 5,562 all-purpose yards and 62 career touchdowns, which is the 8th most in NCAA history. After his 1992 season at SDSU, Faulk finished second in the Heisman Trophy award, losing to quarterback Gino Torretta in what was considered a notable snub in the history of the award. Torretta’s 1992 Miami Hurricanes had gone undefeated in the regular season and was ranked No. 1 in the country before the Heisman balloting, Faulk’s team finished with a middling 5-5-1 record, continuing a trend of the Heisman going to the most notable player on one of the nation’s best teams. He was a Heisman finalist as well in 1991 (9th) and 1993 (4th). As a junior Faulk declared for the NFL draft and was picked number 2 overall in the 1994 draft.
Brady Hoke eraEdit
In December 2008, Hoke was hired as the 17th head football coach at San Diego State University. Hoke signed a five-year contract with a guaranteed payment of $3,525,000, plus incentives for hitting revenue marks and bowl berths. San Diego State was also required to pay $240,000 to buy out the remaining two years on Hoke’s contract at Ball State. At the press conference introducing Hoke as the Aztecs’ new coach, Hoke told reporters, “Number one, this program is going to be a program that’s based on toughness. To play football at the Division I level, to compete academically at the Division I level and balance both, you have to be tough-minded. You have to be physically tough and mentally tough.” San Diego State compiled a 2–10 record the year before Hoke arrived. A sports writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune described the challenge facing Hoke: “It’s going to be difficult for [Brady Hoke], because with the Aztecs, we’re basically talking about a sea change in everything from A to Zed. This isn’t Urban Meyer taking over at Florida, where the cupboard already was full of epicurean delights. State has rotting skeletons in its closet. The Aztecs haven’t had a winning season since 1998, just seven since 1980.” Hoke won a reputation for recruiting at San Diego State. His brother Jon Hoke, an assistant coach in the NFL, noted: “I don’t care where it is, whether it’s San Diego State or anywhere else, if there’s one thing he can do it’s recruit. He’s as good at it as anybody. He’s relentless with recruiting. He has a great feel for parents and a great feel for players. As long as you give him the budget to (recruit) the way it needs to be done, he’ll be fine.” In 2009, Hoke led the Aztecs to a record of 4–8. During the 2010 season, Hoke’s team improved to 9–4. Two of the Aztecs’ losses in 2010 came in close matches against ranked opponents. The Aztecs gave the undefeated, #2 TCU team its closest game of the regular season, losing by a score of 40–35. Hoke’s team also lost a close game against No. 12 Missouri by a score of 27–24. The team concluded its season with a convincing 35–14 win over Navy in the 2010 Poinsettia Bowl. Prior to the 2010 season, San Diego State had not won nine games in a season since 1977 when they went 10-1 finishing 16th in the API and had not played in a bowl game since the 1998 team lost in the Las Vegas Bowl. After the 2010 season, a reporter for the Orange County Register wrote that Hoke had given San Diego State “swagger.”
Present and Rocky Long eraEdit
After Hoke accepted the head coaching job at Michigan defensive coordinator Rocky Long was immediately named the new head coach. Rocky Long served as the head coach of New Mexico 1998-2008 where he compiled 65 victories and 5 bowl game appearances in 10 years. He currently has coached the Aztecs to three bowl games in a row and also won a share of the conference title in 2012. As of December 1, 2014 he has a 32-19 record as head coach of the Aztecs.
(C) designates conference co-championships
|2015||MW West Division||10–3 (9–0)|
SDSU is 7–7 all time in post-season bowl games. They first went to a bowl game in 1948 and first won a major-college bowl game in 1969.
|January 1, 1948||Harbor Bowl||L||Hardin-Simmons||0||53|
|January 1, 1952||Pineapple Bowl||W||Hawaii||34||13|
|December 10, 1966||Camellia Bowl||W||Montana State||28||7|
|December 9, 1967||Camellia Bowl||W||San Francisco State||27||6|
|December 6, 1969||Pasadena Bowl||W||Boston University||28||7|
|November 29, 1981*||Mitsubishi Mirage Bowl*||L||Air Force||16||21|
|December 30, 1986||Holiday Bowl||L||#16 Iowa||38||39|
|December 30, 1991||Freedom Bowl||L||#23 Tulsa||17||28|
|December 19, 1998||Las Vegas Bowl||L||North Carolina||13||20|
|December 23, 2010||Poinsettia Bowl||W||Navy||35||14|
|December 17, 2011||New Orleans Bowl||L||Louisiana–Lafayette||30||32|
|December 20, 2012||Poinsettia Bowl||L||BYU||6||23|
|December 21, 2013||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||W||Buffalo||49||24|
|December 23, 2014||Poinsettia Bowl||L||Navy||16||17|
|December 24, 2015||Hawaii Bowl||W||Cincinnati||42||7|
|Total||14 bowl games||7–7||378||311|
(#) Ranked in the AP Poll.
* In November 1981 San Diego State played the Air Force Academy in the Mitsubishi Mirage Bowl in the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan which was a regular season game sponsored by the Mitsubishi Motors. Although listed here as a bowl, it is not considered a sanctioned bowl and does not reflect on SDSU’s all-time bowl record.
All-time record vs. current MWC teamsEdit
Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current MWC opponents as of the completion of the 2013 season:
|class=”wikitable” cellpadding=”1″ style=”width:75%;”|
|Opponent||Games Played||Won||Lost||Tied||Percentage||Streak||First Meeting|
|Air Force||35||15||19||0||.411||Won 6||1980|
|Boise State||4||2||2||0||.500||Lost 1||2011|
|Colorado State||32||19||13||0||Won 4||1978|
|Fresno State||55||28||23||4||Won 1||1923|
|New Mexico||40||25||15||0||Won 5||1953|
|San Jose State||39||18||19||2||Won 3||1935|
|Utah State||12||11||1||0||Won 9||1937|
|Coach||Years||Seasons||Games||W||L||T||Winning Percentage||Conference Championship||Bowl Games|
Current coaching staffEdit
|Rocky Long||Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator|
|Jeff Horton||Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs Coach|
|Zach Arnett||Linebackers Coach|
|Hunkie Cooper||Wide Receivers Coach|
|Danny Gonzales||Safeties Coach|
|Bobby Hauck||Special Teams Coordinator|
|Osia Lewis||Defensive Line Coach|
|Mike Schmidt||Offensive Line Coach|
|Blane Morgan||Quarterbacks Coach|
|Tony White||Cornerbacks Coach|
|Adam Hall||Strength and Conditioning Coach|
|Kevin McGarry||Director of Player Personnel|
|Jashon Sykes||Director of Operations|
|Doug Deakin||Assistant for Football Operations|
|Lucky Radley||Graduate Assistant – Defense/Special Teams|
|Chris Jurek||Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach|
|Zach Shapiro||Graduate Assistant – Defense/Special Teams|
|Jake Laudenslayer||Graduate Assistant – Offense/Tight Ends|
|Zach Shultis||Graduate Assistant – Offense|
Night games have become a San Diego State football tradition. The first SDSU night game was played on September 25, 1930 at Lane Field. Over 5,000 fans attended the game to watch the Aztecs beat the San Diego Marines 39-0. Since that day, over 75% of all Aztec games, home and away, have been played at night.
The first Aztec Warrior figure associated with the university initially appeared at a San Diego State athletic event over six decades ago. Art Munzig played the original role in a skit during halftime at the San Diego State-Pomona football game kicking off the 1941 football season. The school’s Rally Committee came up with the idea based on the ruler of the Aztec empire in the early 1500s, Montezuma II. The character, affectionately known as “Monty” to generations of SDSU alumni, evolved through the years to become emblematic of San Diego State’s athletic teams.
For decades the role was filled mostly by students, who inspired enthusiasm and school spirit during football and basketball games. In 1983, however, Director of Athletics Mary Hill directed Montezuma to adopt a more dignified persona. During that football season, Monty sat atop a pyramid among his attendants on the sidelines at Jack Murphy Stadium. That lasted one year. The next season Montezuma resumed his more traditional role of involvement and encouragement of Aztec football fans.
Beginning in 2000, some student groups began to propose the university alter its Aztec identity. The new mascot made his first public appearance February 23, 2004 to reveal some costume changes and the modified moniker, “Aztec Warrior.” For all but a very few years from the early 1990s through 2006, Carlos Gutierrez took over the role of mascot, raising the position’s profile and expanding public appearances throughout the San Diego community. In April 2006, the SDSU Alumni Association sponsored student auditions for a new Aztec Warrior.
The team accompanied by the Aztec Marching Band and fans walk from the stadium parking lot to the tunnel which leads the team onto the field. This usually occurs two hours before kickoff.
An honorary team captain, usually a former player of the team, leads the team onto the field before kickoff.
An Aztec warrior shield that the accompanies the team on the sidelines during home and away games. The shield is held high by the captains during the singing of the Fight Song following victories.
Old Oil CanEdit
The rivalry trophy between the Aztecs and the Bulldogs of Fresno State. The tradition is relatively new having taken place for the first time in 2011. The winner of the game gets the trophy.
Fresno State BulldogsEdit
No other opponent has a more extensive history against SDSU. The Fresno State-San Diego State rivalry, also known as the Battle for the Oil Can, dates back to 1923 when the two teams competed in the SCJCC. The Aztecs winning the initial meeting 12-2 at home. Since then, the sides have met 51 more times, including every year from 1945–79, when the two competed in the same conference or were independents. After not facing one another between 1979-1991, the schools resumed the annual series from 1992–98, when both were members of the Western Athletic Conference. The two teams have met twice since then, in 2002 and 2011. With Fresno State joining the Mountain West Conference in 2012 and the addition of the divisional format, the Aztecs and the Bulldogs will compete on an annual basis once again. One of the most memorable games between the two schools was known as “The Fog Bowl” in 1962. The fog was so thick that the Aztec radio announcer at the time Al Couppee couldn’t see the plays, so he went down to the field and into the huddle to give the play-by-play. The Aztecs won the game 29-26 in a thrilling fashion. The two schools started competing in 2011 for the Oil Can trophy. The Oil Can trophy comes from a 1930s-era oil can hailing from Fresno that was found at a construction site at San Diego State. “The oil can likely came from a time when Aztec and Bulldog fans traveled to football games between the two schools via the old, twisting, precipitous Grapevine section of Highway 99 over Tejon Pass,” said Jacquelyn K. Glasener, executive director of the Fresno State Alumni Association. “Cars in those days carried extra oil and water to be sure they could make it through difficult trips,” added Jim Herrick, executive director of the San Diego State Alumni Association. The game was dubbed by fans the Battle for the Oil Can. The first trophy game was played in 2011. The Aztecs were favored but however they found themselves trailing 21-0 in the first half. They battled back scoring four unanswered touchdowns to win 35-28, with Ronnie Hillman scoring the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter to win the game. The Aztecs ended the season with an 8-4 record and made it to the New Orleans Bowl and the Bulldogs ended the season 4-8. San Diego State leads the all-time series with a record of 27-22-4, including a 14-11-2 mark in San Diego, Fresno State leads the trophy series 3-2.
The BYU-San Diego State rivalry dates back to 1947 when they met for the first time in San Diego and the Aztecs won 32-7. When the Aztecs joined the WAC in 1978 the two teams started playing on an annual basis. In their first conference meeting the Aztecs suffered a disappointing loss 21-3 at Brigham Young. The next year San Diego State was 8-2 and were looking for a Holiday Bowl berth after coming off a 42-20 win over UTEP. However the Aztecs suffered a 63-14 loss at home and lost the Holiday Bowl berth. In 1986 the Aztecs looked to return the favor when they beat the Cougars 10-3 and clinched a Holiday Bowl berth. The most notable game in the history of these two schools meeting each other was the game in 1991 known as “The Tie.” The Aztecs had a commanding lead over the Cougars 45-28 led by the high powered offense of Marshall Faulk and quarterback David Lowery. However Ty Detmer and the BYU Cougars fought back and tied the game 52-52. The Aztecs ended up with an 8-4-1 record and lost the Holiday Bowl berth and the WAC title. The Aztecs avenged the 52-52 tie when they traveled to Provo the next year and beat the Cougars 45-38. Marshall Faulk ran for 299 yards in that game and scored 3 touchdowns. Since then the two have met for a total of 36 times. In recent years BYU has dominated the Aztecs who have only beat the Cougars twice since 1998. BYU leads the all-time series 28-7-1. In 2011 the Cougars left the Mountain West Conference for independence and have played the Aztecs once since then, in the 2012 Poinsettia Bowl. The two teams are not scheduled to play in the near future, unless they are paired in a bowl game like they were in 2012.
Players currently in the NFLEdit
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Future non-conference opponentsEdit
San Diego State athletics have contributed to the National Football League (NFL). NFL head coaches were members of the Aztec Football program:
- Davon Brown – Former Aztecs running back
- Joe Gibbs – Hall of Fame NFL head coach of the Washington Redskins, Super Bowl winning coach, NASCAR team owner, former Aztec player and assistant coach.
- John Madden – Hall of Fame AFL/NFL head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Super Bowl winning coach, former Aztec assistant coach.
- Don Coryell – Former NFL head coach of the San Diego Chargers, former Aztec head coach.
- Ted Tollner – Current NFL assistant coach for the Oakland Raiders, former assistant coach of the Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers, former Aztec head coach.
- Herman Edwards – NFL head coach of the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, former Aztec player.
- John Fox – Current NFL head coach of the Chicago Bears, former NFL head coach of the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos, former Aztec player.
- Sean Payton – NFL head coach of the New Orleans Saints, Super Bowl Winning Coach, former Aztec offensive assistant, former Aztec running backs coach
- Tom Cable – Former NFL head coach of the Oakland Raiders, former Aztec assistant coach
- Brian Billick – Former NFL head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, Super Bowl Winning Coach, former Aztec assistant coach
Some of the more famous San Diego State students to later star in the NFL are:
- Marshall Faulk – Hall of Fame, 7-time Pro Bowl running back for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams.
- Dennis Shaw – 1970 AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year, played eight years in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants, and Kansas City Chiefs.
- Dan McGwire – QB was the 16th pick in 1991 by the Seattle Seahawks, playing six years in the NFL. Dan is the brother of former Major League slugger Mark McGwire.
- Brian Sipe – NFL quarterback; part of the “Kardiac Kids” for the Cleveland Browns.
- Isaac Curtis – 4-time Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Kirk Morrison – Linebacker for the Buffalo Bills.
- Kassim Osgood – 3-time Pro Bowl wide receiver and top special teams player for the San Diego Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars – All American transfer from Cal Poly.
- Roberto Wallace – NFL Wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins.
- Fred Dryer – NFL Defensive end for the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams. Film and television actor, notably starring in the series Hunter.
- Ronnie Hillman – NFL Running back for the Denver Broncos, drafted in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
- Miles Burris – NFL Linebacker for the Oakland Raiders, drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
- Ryan Lindley – NFL Quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
- Vince Warren – NFL Super Bowl champion
- Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila – NFL Defensive end for the Green Bay Packers, drafted in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, later inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
- ↑ San Diego State Conference Championships.
- ↑ San Diego State Recognized National Championships.
- ↑ San Diego State Bowl History. College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved on 2012-11-30.
- ↑ http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/mountainwest/san_diego_state/opponents.php
- ↑ http://issuu.com/jmcconeg/docs/2012_sdsu_football_media_guide/189?e=2086183/2613072
- ↑ goaztecs.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/archive.html
- ↑ http://espn.go.com/nfl/players?college=62
- ↑ San Diego State Future Non-Conference Schedule.
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