San Jose State’s Historic Feet

SJSU’s Historic Feet

San Jose State’s Historic Feet

Fifty years ago, the Spartans fielded the first integrated cross country team to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I title (photo courtesy of Spartan Athletics).

Fifty years ago, the Spartans fielded the first integrated cross country team to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I title. The NCAA has posted a web feature paying tribute to the team, including current SJSU Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Women’s Track Coach Ron Davis. Keep in mind this happened six years before Spartan sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos took a stand at the 1968 Olympics.

“A unique group of young men coached by a motivational mentor captured something they didn’t even realize was special at the time. On Nov. 26, 1962, this collection of speedy Spartans became the first integrated team to win the Division I (then called the University Division) title. As incredible as it was then, the feat may be even more remarkable upon reflection, given the racially charged atmosphere amid a civil rights movement that was dividing the country,” says NCAA writer Gary Brown.

“It was always believed that Blacks couldn’t run anything over 400 meters,” Davis told Brown. “What we did was a major surprise to the country … Looking back, that experience taught us about life, about getting to know people, and about working hard for accomplishments. We were young athletes who struggled in high school to be good enough to receive a scholarship. We were fortunate that all three of us ended up at San Jose State and were recruited not for our color but for our ability.”

Read the NCAA story.

Image of text: Western Athletic Conference - News from the conference

Football Scores Academic All-WAC Awards

Image of text: Western Athletic Conference - News from the conference

Nearly 40 SJSU student-athletes earned honors.

The 2011 SJSU football program tied for second place for most Academic All-Western Athletic Conference awards among the conference’s 38 fall sports teams. Twelve Spartan football student-athletes met criteria including enrollment at SJSU for at least two semesters,  cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher, and participation in at least 50 percent of the team’s 12 games in the 2011 season. Only the Utah State football program with 16 awards topped SJSU football. The Idaho and Louisiana Tech women’s soccer teams matched Spartan football with 12 awards. The San Jose State women’s soccer also placed in the top-10 with 10 Spartans earning recognition. Overall, 39 San Jose State University student-athletes from football, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball were named Academic All-WAC. View a complete list of SJSU’s 2011 Fall Sports Academic All-WAC Award Winners.