SJSU Memorial Service Honors the Late Phyllis Simpkins

SJSU Memorial Service Honors the Late Phyllis Simpkins

Phyllis Simpkins

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

San Jose State is set to honor the life and extraordinary commitment of Phyllis Simpkins,’46 Home Economics and Marketing, on Friday, Sept. 7 at 3 p.m. in Morris Dailey Auditorium. A reception will follow in the rose garden and bell plaza area outside Tower Hall. Both events are open to the public.

Mrs. Simpkins, who passed away July 7 at 87, and her late husband Alan Simpkins, ‘48 Physics, were lifelong supporters and donors to SJSU. Among San Jose State’s most generous benefactors, the couple committed nearly $20 million to many athletic and academic programs.

The Simpkins’ led the effort to restore the Spartan Marching Band in 1977 after several years of absence. Last year, Phyllis provided seed money for a campaign to provide the band with new uniforms. On Sept. 8, when SJSU football takes on UC Davis, the band will wear those new uniforms in a half-time show dedicated to the couple. Sewn inside each uniform is a label bearing the name of a donor, including Phyllis and Alan Simpkins.

Among SJSU Most Generous Donors

“The legacy created by Phyllis Simpkins’ leadership and generosity will benefit San Jose State University students for generations to come. Not only did she give generously, she inspired others to support San Jose State,” said President Mohammad Qayoumi. “It is important that we pay tribute to the many ways in which Phyllis and Alan supported our students and university as a whole.”

Gifts from the Simpkins support the following:

  • Phyllis Forward Simpkins International Center (the SJSU International House)
  • Alan B. Simpkins Intercollegiate Athletics Administration Building
  • Simpkins Stadium Center
  • Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
  • Department of Nutrition and Food Science
  • Department of Kinesiology
  • School of Music and Dance

Giving and Getting Involved

But the Simpkins did much more than give to SJSU; they got involved. The International House was a personal passion for Phyllis who, in addition to being a regular visitor and occasional cook, oversaw its purchase, renovation and upkeep. Phyllis served as president of the SJSU Alumni Association in 1977. She and with her husband were among the founders of the association’s Santa Cruz Chapter.

San Jose State and the California State University have honored Phyllis and Alan Simpkins many times over the years. In 1979, Phyllis Simpkins received the Tower Award, SJSU’s highest honor for philanthropy and service. Phyllis and Alan Simpkins were named CSU Philanthropists of the Year in 1989. Both Phyllis and Alan Simpkins also received honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters at the SJSU commencement in 1996.

Parking for the event is available in the South (Seventh Street) Garage, located at South Seventh and East San Salvador streets.

CASA Dean Charles Bullock with Phyllis Simpkins at an International House pancake breakfast.

SJSU Remembers Phyllis Simpkins: “She was There Every Step of the Way”

SJSU Remembers Phyllis Simpkins

Phyllis Simpkins

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

San Jose State University extends its condolences to the family and friends of Phyllis Simpkins,’46 Home Economics and Marketing, who died July 7 at 87. Phyllis and her late husband Alan Simpkins, ‘48 Physics, were lifelong supporters and donors to SJSU. Their son Bob Simpkins and many extended family members are also San Jose State alumni. View a photo gallery of the Simpkins’ through the years.

In 2003, while reflecting on their philanthropy, Phyllis Simpkins told Washington Square, the SJSU alumni magazine, “Alan and I received very good educations at San Jose State. I could try to be very philosophical about ‘giving back,’ but it’s not that complicated — we knew there were financial needs on the campus, and we knew we wanted to help.”

Phyllis and Alan Simpkins gave in excess of $10.8 million for the following:

  • Phyllis Forward Simpkins International Center (the SJSU International House)
  • Alan B. Simpkins Intercollegiate Athletics Administration Building
  • Simpkins Stadium Center
  • SJSU Marching Band
  • Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
  • Department of Nutrition and Food Science
  • Department of Kinesiology
  • School of Music and Dance

“Phyllis and Alan Simpkins understood that everyone should receive the very best opportunities San Jose State could provide, whether it was on the playing field, in the classroom or in their interactions with other students from across the country and around the world,” said President Mohammad Qayoumi. “As recently as this spring, when we joined the Mountain West, Phyllis was a steady presence at many campus events. Her leadership inspired countless others to support SJSU.

“Hundreds, maybe thousands, of students have benefitted from the generosity of Phyllis and Alan Simpkins. Their support of our athletics, band, marine science, nutrition, kinesiology, music and dance, and international programs have touched the lives not only of those who study and work here, but everyone who our alumni have gone on to work with throughout their lives.”

As important as the high-profile gifts were the more modest ones. The Simpkins’ almost single-handedly saved the SJSU Marching Band after its several years of absence in the 1970s. They were among the founders of the SJSU Alumni Association Santa Cruz Chapter. In addition to football and athletics in general, Phyllis and Alan Simpkins generosity extended to the softball, tennis, cross country and water polo teams.

“Phyllis Simpkins clearly saw and understood the value of an NCAA Division I-A intercollegiate athletics program to San Jose State University,” said Senior Associate Athletic Director John Poch. “When the program needed to take the next step, she was there every step of the way with our student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators. Her devotion to the Spartans was unparalleled. Her leadership inspired many to help make San Jose State athletics what it is today — a comprehensive sports program that thrives in competition and in the classroom and gives tomorrow’s leaders a solid foundation for future success.”

San Jose State and the California State University have honored Phyllis and Alan Simpkins many times over the years. In 1979, Phyllis Simpkins received the Tower Award, SJSU’s highest honor for philanthropy and service. Phyllis and Alan Simpkins were named CSU Philanthropists of the Year in 1989. Both Phyllis and Alan Simpkins also received honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters at the SJSU commencement in 1996.

Services will be held 2 p.m. July 19 at the Los Altos United Methodist Church, followed immediately by a reception on the church grounds.  The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the SJSU International House or the SJSU Marching Band. Gifts may be made online (http://www.sjsu.edu/giving/) or by sending a check to the SJSU Tower Foundation, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192 -0256.

SJ Mercury News: Sports Information Director Receives His Profession’s Highest Honor

Longtime San Jose State sports information director Lawrence Fan getting Hall of Fame recognition

Posted by the San Jose Mercury News June 22, 2012.

By Jon Wilner

The list of San Jose State Spartans in national halls of fame, which includes Bill Walsh, Peter Ueberroth and Juli Inkster, is about to add another name.

Longtime staff member Lawrence Fan will be inducted into the College Sports Information Directors Hall of Fame on Monday in St. Louis, along with six colleagues from a slice of college athletics that employs thousands of people across the nation.

Fan also will receive the Arch Ward Award — the highest honor in his profession — for outstanding contributions to his field.

“It’s a big deal for my parents,” said Fan, 57, the first Chinese-American to be inducted into the sports information Hall of Fame. “It’s also big for San Jose State. It gives the school another level of repute.”

Officially, Fan has been the liaison between SJSU sports and the media for 32 years, arranging interviews and providing an endless array of information about Spartans sports.

“No one in our industry is more respected than Lawrence,” said Jim Young, Stanford’s senior assistant athletic director for communications, who has known Fan for decades.

“A lot of people in our profession are known for their glossy publications and the voluminous notes and the number of ‘likes’ on Facebook. But Lawrence has always been about connecting with people, and he does that better than anyone.”

Unofficially, Fan fills a far more significant role in his cramped office in the athletic department. To a greater

extent than any athlete or coach to pass through SJSU in the past quarter century, Fan is Spartans athletics.

“If San Jose State had a pyramid of success, Lawrence would be one of the major building blocks,” said former basketball coach Stan Morrison, who led SJSU to the 1996 NCAA tournament and had dinner with Fan on Sundays at Grande Pizzeria near campus.

Fan has seen every Spartans football game since 1980 and possesses encyclopedic knowledge of SJSU athletics. He has a story for any occasion and knows everyone from John Elway to Bill Hancock, the executive director of the Bowl Championship Series, who called Fan “the consummate professional.”

“His dry wit and attention to detail have earned many friends for San Jose State through the years,” Hancock added.

Fan is tireless, methodical and a tad eccentric. He loves “Leave It to Beaver” and roller derby and drove a 1978 Ford Granada until it had 412,000 miles. He replaced it with a 2000 Oldsmobile, which has 234,000 miles (and counting).

Fan is well known in college basketball circles for baking a cake for SJSU officials and media members before home games. Dubbed “Fan cake,” its ingredients have never been disclosed.

In order to manage his massive workload — SJSU’s media relations department has fewer resources than Stanford and Cal — Fan has been known to sleep in his office.

Or his car.

“That’s a bit of an exaggeration,” he said. “I haven’t done that more than five times.”

The oldest of three children, Fan grew up in San Francisco with a love for the Giants and 49ers. He attended Y.A. Tittle’s final game at Kezar Stadium and was in the crowd for the infamous wrong-way run by the Minnesota Vikings’ Jim Marshall.

After graduating from Lowell High, Fan enrolled at Cal with plans to be a math major. But he was drawn to athletic administration and eventually became the sports information director at La Salle University, in Philadelphia, in 1978.

Two years later, Fan accepted the same post at San Jose State, crammed his belongings into the Ford Granada, and made the cross-country trek.

In the three decades since, Fan has produced tens of thousands of pages of media guides, news releases, game notes and statistics. He also has been a friend and adviser to many Spartans athletes and coaches.

“If you have a bad game, he always has a good word to lift you up,” said third-year football coach Mike MacIntyre, who videotaped a testimonial about Fan that will be shown at the Hall of Fame induction.

Along the way, Fan has established relationships with media members in the Bay Area and throughout the country.

“He’s a nice guy even when he’s not selling you something,” said KRON sports anchor and KNBR host Gary Radnich, who refers to Fan as “The Great Lawrence Fan” on his radio show.

“He called my 90-year-old mother just to say he enjoyed being on my show.”

For more on college sports, see Jon Wilner’s College Hotline at blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports. Contact him at jwilner@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5716.

SJ Mercury News: Sports Information Director Receives His Profession's Highest Honor

Longtime San Jose State sports information director Lawrence Fan getting Hall of Fame recognition

Posted by the San Jose Mercury News June 22, 2012.

By Jon Wilner

The list of San Jose State Spartans in national halls of fame, which includes Bill Walsh, Peter Ueberroth and Juli Inkster, is about to add another name.

Longtime staff member Lawrence Fan will be inducted into the College Sports Information Directors Hall of Fame on Monday in St. Louis, along with six colleagues from a slice of college athletics that employs thousands of people across the nation.

Fan also will receive the Arch Ward Award — the highest honor in his profession — for outstanding contributions to his field.

“It’s a big deal for my parents,” said Fan, 57, the first Chinese-American to be inducted into the sports information Hall of Fame. “It’s also big for San Jose State. It gives the school another level of repute.”

Officially, Fan has been the liaison between SJSU sports and the media for 32 years, arranging interviews and providing an endless array of information about Spartans sports.

“No one in our industry is more respected than Lawrence,” said Jim Young, Stanford’s senior assistant athletic director for communications, who has known Fan for decades.

“A lot of people in our profession are known for their glossy publications and the voluminous notes and the number of ‘likes’ on Facebook. But Lawrence has always been about connecting with people, and he does that better than anyone.”

Unofficially, Fan fills a far more significant role in his cramped office in the athletic department. To a greater

extent than any athlete or coach to pass through SJSU in the past quarter century, Fan is Spartans athletics.

“If San Jose State had a pyramid of success, Lawrence would be one of the major building blocks,” said former basketball coach Stan Morrison, who led SJSU to the 1996 NCAA tournament and had dinner with Fan on Sundays at Grande Pizzeria near campus.

Fan has seen every Spartans football game since 1980 and possesses encyclopedic knowledge of SJSU athletics. He has a story for any occasion and knows everyone from John Elway to Bill Hancock, the executive director of the Bowl Championship Series, who called Fan “the consummate professional.”

“His dry wit and attention to detail have earned many friends for San Jose State through the years,” Hancock added.

Fan is tireless, methodical and a tad eccentric. He loves “Leave It to Beaver” and roller derby and drove a 1978 Ford Granada until it had 412,000 miles. He replaced it with a 2000 Oldsmobile, which has 234,000 miles (and counting).

Fan is well known in college basketball circles for baking a cake for SJSU officials and media members before home games. Dubbed “Fan cake,” its ingredients have never been disclosed.

In order to manage his massive workload — SJSU’s media relations department has fewer resources than Stanford and Cal — Fan has been known to sleep in his office.

Or his car.

“That’s a bit of an exaggeration,” he said. “I haven’t done that more than five times.”

The oldest of three children, Fan grew up in San Francisco with a love for the Giants and 49ers. He attended Y.A. Tittle’s final game at Kezar Stadium and was in the crowd for the infamous wrong-way run by the Minnesota Vikings’ Jim Marshall.

After graduating from Lowell High, Fan enrolled at Cal with plans to be a math major. But he was drawn to athletic administration and eventually became the sports information director at La Salle University, in Philadelphia, in 1978.

Two years later, Fan accepted the same post at San Jose State, crammed his belongings into the Ford Granada, and made the cross-country trek.

In the three decades since, Fan has produced tens of thousands of pages of media guides, news releases, game notes and statistics. He also has been a friend and adviser to many Spartans athletes and coaches.

“If you have a bad game, he always has a good word to lift you up,” said third-year football coach Mike MacIntyre, who videotaped a testimonial about Fan that will be shown at the Hall of Fame induction.

Along the way, Fan has established relationships with media members in the Bay Area and throughout the country.

“He’s a nice guy even when he’s not selling you something,” said KRON sports anchor and KNBR host Gary Radnich, who refers to Fan as “The Great Lawrence Fan” on his radio show.

“He called my 90-year-old mother just to say he enjoyed being on my show.”

For more on college sports, see Jon Wilner’s College Hotline at blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports. Contact him at jwilner@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5716.

SJSU President Names New Athletics Director

SJSU President Names New Athletics Director

SJSU President Names New Athletics Director

Gene Bleymaier and President Qayoumi (Christina Olivas photos)

Media contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, University Media Relations, (408) 656-6999
Lawrence Fan, Athletics Media Relations, (408) 768-3424

SAN JOSE, CA – San José State University President Mohammad Qayoumi has appointed Gene Bleymaier as SJSU’s new athletics director, effective June 30, 2012.

“I am thrilled Gene Bleymaier has agreed to bring his tremendous leadership skills and record of success to San José State, especially at a time when our football team is showing such strong potential,” President Qayoumi said. “We are also fortunate he will arrive at SJSU as we move to the Mountain West from the Western Athletic Conference, a transition he navigated with great success at Boise State.”

As Boise State’s athletics director for nearly three decades, Bleymaier is widely credited with transforming the Broncos football team into a national phenomenon, with a top-10 ranking in the past three seasons. His staff built or expanded nearly every athletics facility on campus, and he added four women’s sports without dropping any men’s sports, noted the Idaho Statesman newspaper.

“I see the same great potential in San José State that I saw in Boise State when I first arrived there,” Bleymaier said. “I am pleased to accept President Qayoumi’s offer, and to have the opportunity to take the reins at Spartan Athletics at such an exciting time. My wife Danell and I are looking forward to joining our four children, all of whom now reside in the Bay Area.”

After graduating from Borah High School in Boise, Bleymaier went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UCLA in 1975, where he played football for legendary coaching great and SJSU alumnus Dick Vermeil. Bleymaier earned a law degree from Loyola Law School in 1978, and served as a UCLA assistant athletics director before returning to Idaho. He joined the Boise State athletics department as an assistant athletics director in 1981, and was promoted to athletics director in 1982.

Bleymaier has been recognized nationally for his leadership. He received the prestigious Bobby Dodd Athletic Director of the Year Award in 2011. He was one of five nominees for the Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily Athletic Director of the Year for 2010, and the only nominee from a non-automatic qualifying Bowl Championship Series school. Bleymaier left Boise State in September 2011, after the NCAA uncovered compliance violations.

“I know people will raise concerns about NCAA compliance issues during Gene’s tenure at Boise State,” President Qayoumi said. “Let me assure you I shared those same concerns. After thoroughly discussing these issues with the NCAA and Gene, and considering Gene’s extraordinary 30-year career, I am confident he is the right choice for San José State.”

Bleymaier, 58, has signed a five-year contract setting his state salary at $220,092, the same amount as his predecessor. Bleymaier will also receive an annual supplement of $102,000 from the Tower Foundation, which will raise funds from private donors for this purpose.

San José State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

SJ Mercury News: President Calls Mountain West Move “Just the Beginning of the Journey”

Mark Purdy: San Jose State gets its revenge by finally joining the Mountain West Conference

Published by the San Jose Mercury News May 4, 2012.

By Mark Purdy

Friday’s big announcement at San Jose State was not just a celebration.

It was revenge.

With speeches and balloons in a building adjoining the football stadium, SJSU officials declared that the school has accepted an invitation to join the Mountain West Conference (MWC) in the summer of 2013.

In doing so, the Spartans will leave behind their former league, the rapidly disintegrating Western Athletic Conference (WAC).

And all this excitement led university president Mohammad Qayoumi to proclaim an Affirmation Of Possibilities (AOP).

“I’m glad these schools and teams in the Mountain West are seeing the potential for what San Jose State can bring to the conference,” Qayoumi said.

And it was especially sweet because many of those very same schools were the ones who totally dumped on and deserted the Spartans 14 years ago when the Mountain West was originally founded. Qayoumi did not add that part. So I will.

Qayoumi does remember, though. In 1996, he was a San Jose State associate vice-president in charge of facilities when the school made its first attempt to move up significantly in the college sports world. With great fanfare, SJS left the very-small-time Big West Conference to join the then-more-prestigious WAC, which included higher-profile programs such as BYU, Air Force and Colorado State.

“I was working on the Spartan Stadium expansion,” Qayoumi recalled. “I went to all the games.”

In jumping to the WAC, San Jose State was joined by several other schools to create a 16-team league that was supposed to be a “superconference.”

It never worked out that way. In 1998, eight of the 16 WAC teams — including BYU, Air Force and Colorado State — decided they were far too superior to do business with plebeian SJSU and seven of the league’s other “new” members. So those eight allegedly superior schools broke away to form the Mountain West. This left SJSU and the other “new” WAC schools to scuffle along and try to survive.

Ah, but now the tables have turned. Over the last few years, college athletic conferences have been shaken and broken as schools have ditched one league to join another — often accompanied by bitterness and espionage and financial treachery. It’s been sort of like the Prussian War, only with network television contracts and water polo.

The Mountain West has been in the thick of the tumult. Over the past two years, the league has been abandoned by 1998 charter members Utah, BYU and San Diego State. This put the Mountain West in desperate need for new schools to step in and keep the conference viable.

Hello, Spartans.

How cool, eh? Four of those Mountain West schools that once ditched and ran away from San Jose State as if it had bad breath — Colorado State, Air Force, Wyoming and New Mexico — are now reaching out in need to the Spartans.

“This is just part of life,” Qayoumi said of the irony, denying any notion of reprisal.

Good strategy on his part. In truth, San Jose State athletics needs the Mountain West as much as the Mountain West needs SJSU. With the WAC falling apart on its own Prussian War front, the Spartans’ other options were not so terrific.

That’s why SJSU worked hard to gain the Mountain West invitation. Qayoumi says the idea was already on the radar when he was named president last year. Over the past several months, he’s spent one-on-one phone time lobbying the presidents of all the current Mountain West schools to gain their backing and convince them SJS is serious about upgrading facilities, fundraising and improving its basketball programs.

“We’ve got to deliver on the entire package,” Qayoumi said. “If any part of your body hurts, you’re sick.”

It surely helped, as Qayoumi lobbied the other Mountain West presidents, that he is a real college sports fan. Qayoumi played soccer as a kid in Afghanistan. And when he served as president of Cal State East Bay from 2006 to 2010, he often drove down from Hayward to attend San Jose State home football games. On a wall of the Simpkins Football Center where donors to the building’s 1994 construction are listed, Qayoumi’s name is on the plaque.

This enthusiasm for sports by a school president very much matters. It means that, as former athletic director Tom Bowen (now at Memphis after resigning last month) and interim athletic director Marie Tuite were trying to finalize the Mountain West deal, Qayoumi was along for the ride at every step.

“These last eight days have been intense,” said Tuite. “But the president has answered every email, returned every phone call, attended every meeting.” And now?

“This is just the beginning of the journey,” Qayoumi said.

Is it ever. We all know the story about San Jose State and its athletic struggles, particularly in football, the largest revenue driver. The university has so many assets — a large local alumni base, many successful graduates in Silicon Valley, a good tradition in many sports — but never has been able to translate those assets into consistent financial sustenance and home attendance.

To remain in the Mountain West, the school needs to upgrade facilities and yearly fundraising. Otherwise, it again could be left out of a party one day. Tuite was seizing the moment Friday, with so many excited alumni and fans gathered for the Mountain West announcement.

“If you’re not a donor, now is the time,” Tuite told them in a room adjoining Spartan Stadium. “And no donation is a small donation. We need all Spartans to step up and buy season tickets. Or if you already own them, you can buy more. And we just happen to have a table set up here where that can be done.”

She added pointedly: “There is no limit on how many season tickets you can purchase.”

SJ Mercury News: Qayoumi Views Mountain West Move as “Affirmation” of SJSU’s Potential

San Jose State’s Mountain West Conference dream now a reality

Published by the San Jose Mercury News May 4, 2012.

By Jon Wilner

San Jose State’s long, desperate climb into the Mountain West Conference became official Friday. The Spartans will move into their new, more luxurious home in the summer of 2013.

“Events like today are tremendously important markers of affirmation of the kind of potential San Jose State has,” university president Mohammad Qayoumi said. “There’s also a deeper sense of motivation.”

San Jose State will pay the Mountain West a $2 million entrance fee, according to sources. Such fees are standard for most conferences. No state money will be used; the amount can be paid over time and, if necessary, withheld from future revenue distributions by the league office.

The Mountain West will have 10 football-playing members in 2013: San Jose State, Utah State, Fresno State, Nevada, UNLV, Hawaii, Colorado State, Wyoming, Air Force and New Mexico.

There is no departure fee for leaving the Western Athletic Conference, which has been the Spartans’ home since 1996 but probably will cease to exist as a football league next year.

“We’re going to stop getting the question (from recruits) about what conference we’re going to be in,” SJSU coach Mike MacIntyre said. “This gives us stability.”

San Jose State’s location in the heavily populated Bay Area made it an attractive addition to the Mountain West, as did the Spartans’ rivalries with conference members Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii.

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson also cited SJSU’s increased commitment to academic support for student-athletes.”It’s a growing, dynamic university,” he said.

But the Mountain West has higher standards than the WAC. It expects the Spartans to upgrade their struggling men’s basketball program and improve facilities.

SJSU is in the early stages of building a massive football operations center that will feature the Dick Vermeil Spartan Football Complex and the Bill Walsh Legacy Center.

The project is expected to cost at least $15 million and will be funded with private donations. Qayoumi declined to provide a start date for construction.

Asked about the men’s basketball program, which was 9-22 last season, Qayoumi said: “We are looking at what aspects are systemic and what are quick fixes.”

The move to the Mountain West was months in the making and was led by departing athletic director Tom Bowen, who accepted a similar position at Memphis last month. His deputies, Marie Tuite and John Poch, handled most of the Mountain West-related legwork during the tense final stage.

Tuite, who is serving as the interim athletic director, said she barely slept and lost seven pounds while scrambling to extricate the Spartans from the collapsing WAC.

“It’s such a huge deal for San Jose State,” Tuite said.

In a twist, the competitiveness of SJSU’s football program was not a major impediment to joining the Mountain West: Last season, the ascendant Spartans beat three teams — Colorado State, Hawaii and Fresno State — that will be in the league in 2013.

“We feel like we can play with any team in the Mountain West,” said receiver Jabari Carr, who attended Oak Grove High. “This is huge for the football program, not just (the players) but the community as a whole. We’re changing things, and that will change the way the city looks at San Jose State.”

The Mountain West does not sponsor women’s gymnastics, men’s soccer or women’s water polo. SJSU’s soccer and water polo teams will continue to participate in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. SJSU must find a new home for gymnastics.

Also on Friday, Louisiana Tech and Texas-San Antonio announced they will leave the WAC and join Conference USA in 2013.

SJSU Accepts Mountain West Membership Offer

 

SJSU Accepts Mountain West Membership Offer

Media contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, University Media Relations Director, (408) 924-1748 (office), (408) 656-6999 (cell)

Lawrence Fan, Athletics Media Relations Director, (408) 924-1217 (office), (408) 768-3424 (cell)

SAN JOSE, CA – Continuing its long-standing participation in NCAA Division I-A intercollegiate athletics, San José State University has accepted an offer to change its conference affiliation by joining the Mountain West on July 1, 2013.

“Joining the Mountain West in 2013 is an exciting opportunity for San José State University’s student-athletes, coaches and our many supporters,” President Mohammad Qayoumi said. “I want to thank everyone who worked hard to make this happen. The Mountain West and San José State are a great match.

“We are not joining this conference simply to compete. We are joining to win, and to build upon our current record of success reflecting San José State’s role as a leader in the classroom, in research and in athletics.”

Beginning in 2013-14, San José State will share Mountain West membership with the Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Colorado State (Fort Collins, Colo.), Fresno State (Fresno, Calif.), Nevada (Reno, Nev.), UNLV (Las Vegas, Nev.), New Mexico (Albuquerque, N.M.), Utah State (Logan, Utah), Wyoming (Laramie, Wyo.) in many of its sports and Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii) in football only.

“Today is a historic day for San José State University athletics. We are proud to join the Mountain West in 2013 and continue our long and rich history of offering our student-athletes and coaches the opportunity to compete at the Division I-A level. In addition, our fans and alumni will continue enjoying the best in major college athletics,” said San José State University Interim Athletics Director Marie Tuite.

“We will join familiar opponents in competition, gain a better geographic fit when we travel to away games and provide a level of stability, particularly for our improving football program led by Coach Mike MacIntyre, with additional opportunities to grow all of our sports programs.”

With the recent addition of women’s outdoor track, 14 of San José State’s 17 NCAA Division I programs will compete for Mountain West championships. Presently, the Mountain West does not sponsor conference championships in men’s soccer, women’s gymnastics and women’s water polo. SJSU has a total of 450 student-athletes.

The Spartans will be exiting the Western Athletic Conference after securing membership in July 1996.

“As we look forward to becoming a Mountain West member, we want to thank the WAC for its support of San José State University athletics and providing our student-athletes a positive Division I athletics environment,” Tuite said. “On behalf of everyone affiliated with San José State athletics, we look forward to the challenges ahead, and embrace them willingly, as we enter the Mountain West.”

***

San José State University’s Intercollegiate Athletics Conference Affiliations

  • 1890 – San José State plays its first intercollegiate athletics contest in baseball.
  • 1950 – San José State philosophically commits to competing in major college athletics. The football team competes as an independent. Baseball and men’s basketball later join the West Coast Athletic Conference (WCAC).
  • 1969 – San José State is a founding member of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA).
  • 1982 – San José State’s women’s athletics teams relinquish AIWA membership to compete as NCAA programs with conference affiliation in the NorPac Conference.
  • 1986 – San José State women’s athletics teams join the PCAA.
  • 1988 – The PCAA changes its name to the Big West Conference.
  • July 1, 1996 – San José State is one of six schools joining the Western Athletic Conference.
  • July 1, 2013 – San José State is one of two universities joining the Mountain West.

San José State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

SJSU Appoints Marie T. Tuite as Interim Athletic Director

SJSU Appoints Marie T. Tuite as Interim Athletics Director

SJSU Appoints Marie T. Tuite as Interim Athletic Director

Marie T. Tuite

President Qayoumi Thanks Tom Bowen for Seven Years of Service

Media contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations, 408-656-6999
Lawrence Fan, SJSU Sports Information, 408-924-1217

SAN JOSE, Calif., — San José State University President Mo Qayoumi appointed Marie T. Tuite as interim athletics director effective immediately, replacing Tom Bowen, who has resigned to become athletics director at the University of Memphis. SJSU will launch a national search for Bowen’s replacement this summer.

“Tom Bowen did a spectacular job building a team of student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators who elevated our athletics program to a new level,” President Qayoumi said. “We are in great shape, and look forward to the future success of Spartan Athletics.”

Tuite joined SJSU in June 2010, and served as deputy director for internal operations and chief operating officer for Spartan Athletics. She has a long professional history at the Division I level with leadership positions at the University of California, the University of Washington, and the NCAA. She holds a master’s in athletic administration and a bachelor’s in physical education, both from Central Michigan University. A member of the women’s field hockey and basketball teams, she was the third female student-athlete inducted into Central Michigan University Hall of Fame.

“I’m excited and honored that President Qayoumi has asked me to serve as interim athletics director,” Tuite said. “I love San José State University, and I strongly believe in the foundation we have created.  Tom Bowen did a remarkable job of developing and managing the framework that promotes San José State to be a successful NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision program.  My task, along with our coaches, staff, student-athletes and supporters is to continue the momentum established during Tom’s tenure.”

During Bowen’s tenure, SJSU posted conference championship, post-season or nationally-ranked top-10 teams in nine of 16 sports; produced conference or regional coaches of the year in seven sports; dramatically improved its NCAA Academic Progress Rate scores; balanced the athletics department budget; increased giving to Spartan Foundation; and announced the addition of a 17th intercollegiate sport, women’s track, in 2013.

“I am grateful and indebted to the student-athletes, coaches, athletics staff, Spartan Foundation members, faculty, community leaders and Spartan fans who made the last seven-and-one-half years a journey that I will always remember,” Bowen said. “Former SJSU President Don Kassing gave me the opportunity to build a program as the athletics director. Phenomenal people embraced our culture of champions and joined me in challenges and initiatives that resulted in amazing changes at San José State. These changes and growth need to continue.”

San José State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

Image of the SJSU blue and gold spartan helmet.

147 Student-Athletes Recognized For Academic Achievement

A group of SJSU students standing together receiving awards for outstanding academic achievement.

Women's gymnastics had the top GPA for the fall and spring semesters combined. (Photo by Terrell Lloyd)

San Jose State University recognized 147 student-athletes for success and excellence in the classroom at the 2011 Arm & Pat Hanzad Scholar-Athlete Celebration in the Event Center on Thursday, December 1.

Student-athletes who earned a cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale for the 2010-11 academic year were eligible for recognition from the University’s athletics department.

“This event is one of our department’s finest,” Athletics Director Tom Bowen said.  “Seven years ago, when I arrived at San Jose State, we made a commitment to academic excellence.  I could not be prouder of what our athletes have accomplished in the classroom and on the field of play.”

Of the 147 Scholar-Athletes, 106 also received academic All-Conference honors from the Western Athletic Conference or the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. These Scholar-Athletes maintained a 3.00 or better cumulative grade-point average and participated in at least 50 percent of their team’s contests during the academic year.

Darci Anderson of the swimming and diving team; and Kelly Stewart, water polo, were cited as the five female student-athletes with the highest grade-point average. Basketball player Wil Carter; Luis Esparza, cross country, Blake McFarland, baseball, Nick Murphy, soccer and Joey Ruth, football, registered the top-five grade-point averages among the six men’s sports teams. Four of the ladies and one of the men have a cumulative grade-point average above 3.9.

Read more from SJSU Athletics.

SJSU student Darcie Anderson is swimming in a pool wearing her SJSU swimming cap and goggles.

Andrerson, Trammell Qualify For Olympic Trials

SJSU Spartan Darcie Anderson is swimming in a pool wearing her SJSU swimming cap and goggles.

Darcie Anderson is headed to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100 breaststroke. (Photo by Terrell Lloyd)

Senior Kirsten Trammell and sophomore Darcie Anderson of the San Jose State University women’s swimming and diving team swam qualifying times in the 100 breaststroke for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team trials at the AT&T Winter National Championships.

Trammell (Goodyear, Ariz./Xavier College Prep) was timed in 1:11.30 and Anderson (Willows, Calif./Orland HS) in 1:11.31 in the long course preliminary heats at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. The qualifying time for the Olympic Team trials next June in Omaha, Neb., is 1:12.19.

In the 100 breaststroke final (courtesy of USA Swimming & youtube.com) later in the day, Anderson posted a faster time of 1:11.29 to finish in 23rd place. Trammell placed in 26th place with a 1:12.04 time.

Read more from SJSU Athletics.

A view of the SJSUSpartans app featuring the blue and gold spartan helmet with the SJSUSpartans text below it.

SJSU Spartans iPhone App Now Available

A screen shot of the new SJSU mobile app featuring the blue and gold Spartan helmet on a blue background.

The new SJSU Spartans App helps fans keep up with the latest in Spartan Athletics.

San Jose State Athletics and leading technology service provider NeuLion, Inc. launched San Jose State’s new mobile solution for the Apple iPhoneTM, SJSUSpartans.

“We are thrilled to offer Spartan fans a mobile sollution with the debut of the SJSUSpartans app. The iPhone app is just the next step in our commitment to enhance the way fans interact with Spartan Athletics, said Michael Beaubien, Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing and Multimedia.

Powered by NeuLion technology, the app gives fans access to a complete repository of on-demand video that includes various highlight packages along with exclusive content. The San Jose State iPhoneTM solution has been specifically designed and developed with a suite of video, audio, statistics, content and more, all in one convenient app.

The functionality and features of the application includes: News, Schedules, Scores, Rosters, Photo Gallery, Live Stats, and includes Video On-Demand and Live Audio Streaming. All the development, testing and implementation of San Jose State’s mobile app was done in-house with NeuLion’s industry experts. The NeuLion mobile application provides San Jose State the ability to extend all the compelling content on SJSUSpartans.com to a mobile setting, and connect with fans at all times!

Read full story on sjsuspartans.com

SJSU Athletics and Second Harvest Food Bank Holiday Drive

A banner showing the 2011 Holiday Foodfun featuring the icon of the Second Harvest Food Bank and the Spartan helmet logo.

By participating in the 2011 Holiday Food and Fun Drive, participants will be rewarded with a coupon for discounted admission to various Spartan basketball games.

San Jose State Athletics and Second Harvest Food Bank want to thank you for helping those less fortunate this holiday season. As a reward for your donation we would like to make a contribution to you! If you participate in the Second Harvest Food Bank 2011 Holiday Food and Fund Drive in any manner you will be eligible to receive a coupon for discounted admission to one of the following Spartan Basketball games:

– Men’s Basketball vs. Holy Names (November 22, 7pm SJSU Event Center)

OR

– Women’s Basketball vs. Eastern Illinois (November 23, 7pm SJSU Event Center)

Please visit your local Second Harvest Food Bank location to obtain a coupon. The Spartan Ticket Office located at 1393 S 7th ST, San Jose CA, 95112, will also have receptacles for donations and offer discounts to those who contribute on site.

Read full story on www.sjsuspartans.com

James Jones in yoga pose outdoors on campus.

Get Healthy with Tips from Spartan Fitness Experts Like the NFL’s James Jones

Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver James Jones in a Warrior II yoga pose

James Jones has worked on his Warrior II pose, among others, in sessions of Bikram yoga.

From sun salutations to Russian kettlebell presses, learn how to get fit like the pros. Alumni fitness experts, including Super Bowl winner James Jones, share their advice for lifelong health.

James Jones won the 2011 Super Bowl with the Packers, but he has not forgotten his roots. As a child growing up in and out of Bay Area homeless shelters, Jones always carried around a football. Youth football camps and teams were luxuries his mother could not afford. Jones and his wife, Tamika, run the nonprofit Love Jones 4 Kids, which helps disadvantaged children. They host an annual free youth football camp at Gunderson High School, his alma mater in San Jose. For Jones, the Offensive MVP at the 2006 New Mexico Bowl Game, being healthy is more than just exercising his body.

Read student writer Sarah Kyo’s full story, “Fit for Life,” and  other stories in the Fall 2011 issue of the SJSU Washington Square.

Mark Hubbard right after hitting the golf ball out on the golf course.

Mark Hubbard – Two-Time All-America Scholar

Mark Hubbard right after hitting the golf ball out on the golf course.

Mark Hubbard won two tournaments in his senior season including the 2011 WAC Championship.

Superiority on the course and in the classroom have earned San Jose State University’s Mark Hubbard his second Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar award from Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).

To be considered a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar the individual must be a junior or senior academically, compete in at least two full years at the collegiate level, participate in 70-percent of his team’s competitive rounds, have a stroke-average under 76.0 and maintain a minimum cu¬mulative grade-point average of 3.2.

As a senior, Hubbard led the Spartans with a 72.33 stroke average in 2010-11 and finished first individually in the Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational and the Western Athletic Conference Championship.

The three-time San Jose State Scholar-Athlete was also a 2011 Academic All-Conference honoree, an award he won in all four years wearing a Spartan uniform.

The Denver, Colo., native and 2011 WAC champion is one of three players in the conference to receive the award. Gaston De La Torre and Timothy Madigan of New Mexico State are the other honorees from the WAC.

Hubbard is one of just 138 Division I men’s golfers in the nation to receive the honors in 2011.

Click here for the full list of 2011 Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar award winners.

SJSU football team in uniform running out to the field with coach leading the way.

Individual Game Football Tickets On Sale

SJSU football team in uniform running out to the field with coach leading the way.

Courtesy: San Jose State Athletics

Individual game tickets for the 2011 Spartan Football season go on sale this Friday! Want a way to lock in your favorite seats for all the games you want to see? Beginning Thursday, July 21, at 9am, Spartan Football fans have the opportunity to purchase a 3-game pack for a special, one-time only, 2-for-1 price.  3-game packs include tickets to your choice of 3 home games Nevada (Sept. 17), New Mexico State (Sept. 24), Hawai’i (Oct. 14) Idaho (Nov. 5) or Navy (Nov. 19).   Prices for the 3 game pack are $90 reserved or $65 general admission. This exclusive deal is only available from 9am – 6pm on Thursday, July 21, by calling the Spartan Ticket office at 877.SJSU.TIX or 408.924.SJTX

Beginning Friday at 9am, Individual game tickets are available for purchase in any of the following ways:

  • By phone through the Spartan Ticket Office at 408.924.SJTX or toll-free 877.SJSU.TIX , or Ticketmaster charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000
  • Online at sjsuspartans.com or ticketmaster.com
  • At select Ticketmaster outlets
  • In person (without convenience charge) at either the Spartan Ticket Office, located at 1393 S. 7th Street – corner of 7th & Alma – directly west of historic Spartan Stadium, or at the Event Center Box Office, located at 290 South 7th Street.

Individual Game Ticket Prices (Advanced Sale) are:

Gold Zone Reserved $35

General Admission Adult $25

General Admission Youth (12-and-Under) $15

Spartan 4-Pack (all ages) for $80.

Season Tickets are still available; Reserved tickets are $150 per seat with General Admission tickets priced at $110 adult/$65 youth or the season 4-Pack for just $250.

George Nessman, wearing a suite, talks to a basketball player during a game who is wearing a grey jersey with blue stripes.

Nessman Gets New 3-Year Contract

George Nessman, wearing a suite, talks to a basketball player during a game who is wearing a grey jersey with blue stripes.

George Nessman has a hand up on taking the Spartans forward. (Photo by Terrell Lloyd)

Following San Jose State University’s first men’s basketball post-season appearance in 15 years, head coach George Nessman agreed to a new three-year contract through the 2013-14 season. Athletics director Tom Bowen made the announcement.

Nessman directed the Spartans to the 2011 College Basketball Insiders (CBI) 16-team tournament and a first-round game against Creighton. To reach post-season play in 2011, San Jose State achieved a number of meaningful firsts:

  • A 17-win season for the first time since 1981,
  • A winning record for the first time since 1994,
  • Reaching the semifinal round of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament for the first time since joining the conference in 1996.

BOWEN & NESSMAN TALK SAN JOSE STATE HOOPS

“George Nessman took over our men’s basketball program six years ago when it needed more than a cosmetic make-over. Systematically and methodically, he has put San Jose State on a sound footing that is realizing progress and success on and off the court,” says Bowen, who cites the program’s eight Academic All-WAC honors since 2006 compared to five in the University’s first 10 years of conference membership as one measure of academic achievement. “We are looking forward to our continued growth in men’s basketball with George in charge.”

“San Jose State is a great university. I am honored to continue serving as its head basketball coach. I am especially thankful to our student-athletes and basketball staff for putting their all into the program,” says Nessman. “It is important to note my deep appreciation as well for the support of (past) Presidents Kassing and Whitmore and Athletics Director Tom Bowen.”

Read full story on www.sjsuspartans.com

Vogt in pool holding up yellow water polo ball before throwing the ball.

Vogt To China With USA Water Polo

Vogt in pool holding up yellow water polo ball before throwing the ball.

Adriana Vogt is the first San Jose State women's water polo player to compete in the World University Games. (Photo by Terrell Lloyd)

Adriana Vogt, San Jose State University’s career scoring leader in women’s water polo, is one of 13 players named to the 2011 USA Women’s Water Polo World University Games team.

Vogt completed her four-year San Jose State career in 2011. As a senior, she was a co-captain of the Spartan team that finished ranked fifth in the final national coaches poll. The Menlo Park, Calif., resident led San Jose State with 86 goals scored and was second in per game scoring in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF). She was a first-team all-conference selection and was named to the MPSF all-tournament team.

Her four-year scoring of 245 goals is one of the top five totals by a MPSF women’s water polo player.

“For Adriana to have the opportunity to tryout for this team and then to make it is fantastic for Adriana and San Jose State water polo,” says San Jose State women’s water polo head coach Lou Tully. “After the fabulous senior year that Adriana had, this is like frosting on the cake!  All of us are very excited for her and wish her and the team the best of luck representing the United States at this world competition!”

Ten of the 13 USA players selected played for a MPSF school in 2010. Vogt is the first San Jose State player named to this team. One-time San Jose State assistant coach Matt Anderson, now the head coach at the University of Michigan, is the USA head coach.

Shenzhen, China is the host for the 26th World University Games beginning August 11 and concluding August 23.  The United States is one of nine countries bidding for a gold medal. Australia, France, Russia, Mexico, China, Canada, Germany and Italy have the same goal.

Two spartan football players on the field.

CSN Bay Area Televising SJSU-Stanford

Two spartan football players on the field.

Cornerback Peyton Thompson comes up with an interception in the 2009 Stanford game. (Photo by Terrell Lloyd)

The September 3 San Jose State-Stanford football season-opening game will start at 2:00 p.m. and be televised by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

The 2011 Spartans now have six of their 12 games scheduled for a live telecast.

Comcast SportsNet Bay Area is available on Channel 40 for most Northern California Comcast cable systems and DiercTV (Channel 696).

The only game on the schedule without a start time is the October 8 game at Brigham Young.

To buy tickets for San Jose State football games, click here.

Full story on www.sjsuspartans.com.

SJSU in the News: Homeless as a Child, Super Bowl Champion and SJSU Alumnus Returns to Offer Free Football Camp

James Jones gives back to community with free football camp

Originally published by the San Jose Mercury News June 25, 2011

By Daniel Brown

James Jones remembers seeing fliers for youth football camps when he was a kid. He also remembers how badly he wanted to go.

“But they all cost money,” the Green Bay Packers receiver said Saturday. “Living in homeless shelters, I knew my mom didn’t have $150 for me to go to a camp. If she did have $150, it was for us to survive.”

Nearly 20 years and one Super Bowl triumph later, there is Jones surveying the field at Gunderson High School. More than 200 kids are catching footballs, zigzagging through orange cones or smashing into tackling dummies.

Anyone want to guess the price?

“This is his dream,” said his wife, Tamika Jones, after working the sign-in table. “He talked about it even when we were at San Jose State. He used to say, ‘If I ever get to the NFL, I’m going to give something back to the community. And it’s going to be free.’ ”

The third annual free NTAF Football Camp — the initials stand for “Never Think About Failure” — got a boost this year when its organizer won a Super Bowl. Jones had 50 catches and five touchdowns during the season and 11 more catches and two TDs during the playoffs.

Jones, who said he rarely cries, admitted he broke down in tears as confetti rained after the Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl. “Not because of the game,” he said, “but because of the journey.”

Jones, 27, lived in homeless shelters from age 5 until the start of high school. There were nights hewent to bed hungry. One of his few toys was a football he carried everywhere.

“If I took the football out of his hand, he would throw a fit,” his mom, Janet, recalled Saturday. “I could take it out when he was asleep, but even that was a struggle.”

Jones’ rise to NFL fame would be a standard rags-to-riches story — if not for Jones’ definition of “riches.” His wife can’t get him to spend a dime on himself, as Jones splurges mostly on events such as Saturday’s camp.

Kids aged 7 to 14 got four hours of instruction from Jones and his 19 assistant coaches. The former San Jose State standout roamed from drill to drill barking out instructions.

When one of the littlest campers lost his shoe, the 6-foot-1, 208-pound Jones knelt and laced the cleats up tight. When a drill required kids to be whopped with a foam pad as they tried to make a catch, Jones personally handled the whopping. He nailed ’em good, too, sending the boys giggling to the turf.

“We’re going to rough you up a little bit. We don’t need no crybabies,” Jones cracked.

Jones later explained that he never wanted his charitable work to end when the ink was dry on the check. Being an inspiration meant being seen.

“You never know how many of these kids are going through what I went through, living in shelters, but I want to show them that it’s possible to make it,” he said.

“Growing up in a homeless shelter, there were so many times when you ask yourself why. Why do these other kids have new shoes and toys and everything they want and you’re in the homeless shelter struggling? You wonder, ‘Am I going to be here my whole life?’ ”

Jones said he designed his camp in hopes of making a lasting impact. Rather than import famous NFL names, he stocked his staff with members of the local football community. Many of them were his former teammates at Gunderson or San Jose State.

The sidelines, meanwhile, looked like a family reunion — James enlisted the help of his parents, sister, in-laws, uncles and cousins. (He and Tamika are expecting their first child, a boy, on Oct. 15.)

Jones is eligible for free agency when the NFL lockout ends. But whether he signs with Green Bay or another team, Jones figures to receive a substantial contract.

When he does, the kid whose family couldn’t afford food — let alone a $150 football camp — might finally make an extravagant purchase for himself. Just don’t count on it. His biggest expenditure to date is an unpretentious home in Green Bay.

“It’s not anything you’re going to see on ‘Cribs,’ ” Tamika joked, referring to the MTV show that celebrates opulent living. “We’re very modest people. James always said, ‘As long as we have a roof over our heads and food to eat, we’re blessed.’ ”