San Jose State Preview: Coaching

A familiar face to Pac-10 followers roams the sidelines for San Jose State University, as Dick Tomey (181-135-7) returns for his fifth season as Spartan head coach. After having spent 14 years at the University of Arizona and ten at the University of Hawai'i, the leader of Desert Swarm in the early 1990's has thoroughly enjoyed returning the Spartan program to respectability.

A familiar face to Pac-10 followers roams the sidelines for San Jose State University, as Dick Tomey (181-135-7) returns for his fifth season as Spartan head coach. After having spent 14 years at the University of Arizona and ten at the University of Hawai'i, the leader of Desert Swarm in the early 1990's has thoroughly enjoyed returning the Spartan program to respectability.

In his first four seasons in the Bay Area, SJSU has a bowl title (2006 New Mexico Bowl) and 23 wins – more victories than any four-season span at the university in the last 15 years. He has infused a successful home-field culture into the Spartans with 15 wins in their last 20 games in Spartan Stadium. The on-field success and buzz generated by Tomey has translated to an unprecedented 320% rise in home attendance from 2004 to the present, virtually saving SJSU from Division I-AA banishment by the NCAA for averaging less than 10,000 fans under the previous head coach's regime.

Leading the program progressively and with a stabilizing presence, Tomey has turned San Jose State into a consistent Western Athletic Conference (WAC) championship contender. The 2006, 2007 and 2008 Spartans posted conference marks of .500 or better, something no other Spartan teams had done since the university joined the WAC in 1996. SJSU has been bowl eligible in two of the last three years.

The 2008 Spartan team was one of the best defensive units the school had seen in over 20 years and remained one of the top teams in the country in turnover margin for the third year in the row. The make-up and design of his San Jose State teams are strikingly similar to Tomey's Arizona Wildcats, who were led by Teddy Bruschi and Chris McAllister. SJSU focuses heavily on defensive side of the football.

Tomey enters the 2009 season as the only WAC head coach with a winning record in bowl games and is among the top-15 active FBS coaches for bowl victories and postseason winning percentage. He is fourth in active head coaching victories in FBS games, behind only Joe Paterno (383 wins), Bobby Bowden (351), and Mack Brown (195). He has already had six of his former Spartan players drafted to the NFL. His overall head coaching record is 181-135-7 and he is the only head coach who ranks in the top-10 for conference victories in both the WAC and Pac-10. The 2009 season will be his 46th year coaching football.

Notes

Founded in 1857, San Jose State University is the oldest public institution of higher learning on the West Coast…Famous alumni include: 1968 Olympians and racial activists John Carlos and Tommie Smith, musicians Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, author Amy Tan, professor Harry Edwards, former Major League Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, Super Bowl winning coach Bill Walsh, Super Bowl winning coach Dick Vermeil, former baseball player Ken Caminiti and competitive eater Joey Chestnut… Kickoff is at 12:30 PM PST and will be televised on FSN…Vegas currently has the line at 33.5 in favor of the Trojans…


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