San Jose State football signs Brennan to 3-year contract extension

Photo credit: @MWCConnection

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State and its football head coach Brent Brennan agreed to a three-year contract extension for Brennan to coach the Spartans through the 2024 season. Marie Tuite, the Spartans’ AD, made the announcement.

With Brennan in his third season as head coach, the 2019 Spartans were one of 13 NCAA Division I FBS teams to win four more games during the regular season compared to 2018 for a 5-7 overall record.

SJSU was named the Reveal Suits FWAA National Team of the Week for its 31-24 non-conference victory over Arkansas, the school’s first football triumph over a SEC member.

The Spartans added a 34-29 non-conference victory at Army West Point placing SJSU as just the 20th college football program all time at any level with football victories over the U.S. military service academies Air Force, Army and Navy.

SJSU concluded its 2019 season with a thrilling 17-16 comeback win over geographic and Mountain West rival Fresno State for the Valley Trophy.

“This extension comes at an important time as we continue to build a championship football program. Coach Brennan has done an exemplary job in moving the needle competitively, achieving numerous academic performances and leading a praiseworthy ‘Beyond Football’ program,” said Tuite.

“What is particularly important to me is this extension will provide consistent leadership for our football program and our student-athletes. The University is making a commitment to Coach Brennan. Equally important is Coach Brennan is making a commitment to San Jose State. It’s a ‘gold, white and blue ribbon day’ for our Spartan football program.”

“Coach Brennan is exactly the kind of coach we want here at San Jose State,” said University President Mary A. Papazian. “He is a true teacher, mentor, and role model for his student-athletes. We are delighted to have him here for years to come, leading these student-athletes and helping them develop as both players and as people.”

In his first two seasons as a head coach, SJSU football players earned 57 Mountain West academic awards, the most in any two-year period since joining the conference six years ago. SJSU players have participated collectively in more than 5,000 hours each year in its Beyond Football program that focuses on community service, campus engagement and personal professional development.

“I am so excited about this extension. I’m thankful for the hard work of Marie Tuite and President Papazian and their support and belief in what we are doing. This (extension) gives us the long term to continue building a championship program at San Jose State.”

“I believe we’ve made great strides over the first three years, especially this season. To be in a position knowing the leadership is going to be here, we know there is going to be consistency in our process and our message.”

“When I look around the country, the teams that are really successful have consistency in their coaching staff and leadership on campus. For our program and our players, it will be knowing what the expectations are day in and day out and continuing on a path of improvement and development.”

The 46-year old Brennan returned to SJSU on December 8, 2016, for his first head coaching opportunity after 16 seasons as a major college assistant coach at Cal Poly (2001-04), SJSU (2005-10) and Oregon State (2011-16). He began his college coaching career at Hawaii in 1998 as a graduate assistant and served in the same capacity at Washington in 1999 and Arizona in 2000.

Brennan is a second-generation Spartan. Steve Brennan, his father, was an end that lettered in football at SJSU in the 1967 season. Beth Brennan, his mother, was a Spartan song girl at SJSU.

3 things evident in San Jose State football’s first day of fall practice

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By: Ana Kieu

Three things — excitement, energy and enthusiasm — were evident in San Jose State football’s first day of the fall practice period.

Brand-new shiny white helmets clearly stood out as the Spartans ran into CEFCU Stadium, but practice was more than just a sharp-looking helmet.

“It was great start. We have a lot of work to do. We are further along and you can see there is more scheming and guys are comfortable. Now, the next step is helping those new guys to become part of it, and those new guys to get into the mix where they can contribute and know what to do and understand it,” said San Jose State football head coach Brent Brennan.

“I think we spent two years going through a really hard time building this foundation and I think the expectations are clear. The expectations are clear, player to player, in what they expect of each other and how they expect them to work, behave and go about their business. So I think that’s the biggest thing. It was the best offseason we’ve ever had and I’m hoping that this is going to be the best fall camp. It’s off to a good start.”

Brennan mentioned one of the points of emphasis early on is winning the turnover battle. A year ago, San Jose State was the second most improved team in the FBS going from minus-26 in 2017 to plus-1 in 2018, an improvement of +27.

A similar improvement in 2019 would be an unreasonable expectation for any team, but simply going from +1 to +5 would portend well. 23 of those 39 FBS teams won nine or more games and only four didn’t get invited to a bowl game last season.

“Today was a huge emphasis on turnover battle and the defense won that handedly, so that was exciting to see. That is one of our big challenges for the season,” said Brennan.

“Before you get pads in, it’s a lot of repetition, a lot of technical work, a lot of scheme and teaching, and then once you get the pads on it becomes a little more combative and you get a little bit closer to playing real football. Tomorrow will be a lot like today.”

The Spartans’ upcoming practice schedule includes a morning session the next four days. The first open practice is on Tuesday, August 6, at 9:40 am.

The season opener is Thursday, August 29, with San Jose State hosting Northern Colorado in a 7 pm non-conference game. Tickets for all San Jose State home games are available at

NOTES: Former San Jose State offensive lineman Tom Bass, better known for 17 seasons as an assistant coach for four NFL teams between 1964 and 1985, passed away at age 83 on Saturday, July 27. He coached with Don Coryell at San Diego State and the San Diego Chargers and with San Jose State coaching legend Bill Walsh for three seasons as a Cincinnati Bengals assistant coach (1968-70). Bass was a member of the 1955 San Jose State team.

Duel at High Noon on Saturday in San Jose: Nevada downs SJSU 21-12


By Charlie O. Mallonee

SAN JOSE — In order to avoid the poor air quality in Northern California being caused by the tragic “Camp Fire,” the start time for the Nevada Wolf Pack versus San Jose State Spartans game was moved up to 12 noon on Saturday. The earlier start time worked as the air quality was in the acceptable range to meet NCAA standards.

The Wolf Pack won the game 21-12 to earn their seventh victory of the 2018 season. The loss dropped the Spartans’ record to 1-10 on the season.

Here is “the wrap” from today’s game

Spartans head coach Brent Brennan had much to say after the game

Ethan Aguayo was the star of the game for the Spartans

Let’s look at the SJSU numbers

Nevada put up some BIG stats on Saturday

What’s next on the schedule for Nevada and SJSU?