SF Chronicle: Coach MacIntyre Positions Spartan Football as Contender for WAC Title

Lofty goals for San Jose State

Posted by the San Francisco Chronicle July 31, 2012.

By John Crumpacker

San Jose State’s football fortunes have improved to such an extent in the third year under coach Mike MacIntyre that the Spartans are seriously talking about making a run for the WAC title in their last season before moving on to the Mountain West Conference.

Imagine that.

Just two years ago, San Jose State slogged through a 1-12 season in MacIntyre’s debut season with the Spartans. An improvement to 5-7 in 2011 has coach and players thinking big.

“We definitely have an opportunity to be WAC champion,” MacIntyre said Monday at Bay Area football media day at the Nikko Hotel in San Francisco. “That’s our goal, to be WAC champion. We’re excited about the possibility. Hopefully, we can be the first WAC champion in football” in San Jose State history.

MacIntyre’s optimism has filtered down to his players, based on San Jose State’s improvement last season.

“I can see significant improvement each year,” tight end Ryan Otten said. “We’re bigger, we’re stronger, we’re faster, more disciplined and more confident. My expectations are high. Our focus this year is we’re trying to win the last WAC championship. We’re more than capable of taking care of business.”

This is the year to take care of business in the devalued WAC, down to seven football-playing schools for 2012 after Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada departed. Remaining are Louisiana Tech, Utah State, New Mexico State, Idaho, Texas State and Texas-San Antonio, along with San Jose State.

The Spartans were picked to finish third in the WAC in a recent media poll.

“We have huge expectations,” defensive end Travis Johnson said. “We want to win them all. There’s no reason we can’t win them all if we play our best. It’s a total possibility.”

Players like Otten and Johnson give the Spartans reason for optimism. The 6-foot-5 Otten had 52 receptions for 739 yards and five touchdowns a year ago, but that was with Matt Faulkner throwing to him.

Faulkner is gone, and MacIntyre is weighing his options at quarterback among David Fales, Dasmen Stewart, Blake Jurich and Joe Gray.

“We’ve got to find a quarterback. That’s our challenge in fall camp,” MacIntyre said.

One thing MacIntyre has accomplished in his first two seasons in San Jose is to build depth.

“There’s more of us,” he said. “There’s more good football players. We’re bigger, we’re stronger, we’re faster, and we have more depth. Now we have to prove it on the football field.”

Johnson, a smallish defensive end, was chosen as the WAC preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Other honors candidates include Otten, tackle David Quisenberry, linebacker Keith Smith, punter Harrison Waid and wide receiver Noel Grigsby.

John Crumpacker is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: jcrumpacker@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @crumpackeroncal

With Judo Legend Yosh Uchida as Her Coach, Spartan Marti Malloy Wins Bronze at London Olympics

With Judo Legend Yosh Uchida as Her Coach, Fellow Spartan Marti Malloy Wins Bronze at London Olympics

SJSU judoka Marti Malloy shares her medal with Coach Yosh Uchida (photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for the USOC).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

With judo legend and fellow Spartan Yoshihiro Uchida watching from the stands, SJSU judoka Marti Malloy persevered through a tough series of matches to win a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics in London.

A recent advertising graduate, Malloy came to San Jose from her native Oak Harbor, Wash., to train under Uchida, who has spent a lifetime cultivating judo into an Olympic sport.

In an interview with NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai, Malloy said “When I first got to San Jose, I was accepted into that program like I had been there my whole life, and ever since then, they’ve been my family.

“So just being able to bring home the medal for San Jose State and show all the hard work and dedication from the coaches and the whole San Jose State judo team — that’s winning alone for me.”

Meanwhile, Malloy’s fans here in San Jose held a viewing party to watch her compete, an event also captured by NBC Bay Area.

In a front page story in the San Jose Mercury News, columnist Mark Purdy describes how hard Malloy worked in London to bring home the bronze.

Malloy also appeared on the Today show, where she was recognized for being the second woman in U.S. Olympic history to medal in judo.

Ten CSU Campuses to Accept Limited Applications for Admission in Spring 2013

CSU logo

Due to severe budget cuts, SJSU is unable to accept applications for admission from California residents for state funded programs for spring 2013. Alternatives include San Francisco State, CSU East Bay and Sonoma State.

Budget cuts force the reduction of enrollment to match available funding

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

(July 30, 2012) – Severe budget cuts over the past several years and the prospect of an additional $250 million trigger cut will limit new student applications to only 10 California State University campuses for the spring 2013 application period. Applications to those campuses will be limited primarily to students who have earned an Associate Degree for Transfer from a California Community College. For the spring 2013 application period, only Channel Islands, Chico, Fullerton, East Bay, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Francisco and Sonoma will be accepting applications from prospective new students. Due to California budget restrictions, SJSU will meet our enrollment capacity prior to the Spring 2013 application term. Consequently, SJSU will not be accepting any applications for admission from California residents for state funded programs for spring 2013. Graduate and undergraduate international applicants with an F1 or J1 visa type can submit an application for spring 2013 using the international application. U.S. residents who are not California residents can submit an application from August 1 through September 30, 2012. CSU Mentor, Cal State’s admissions website, is always an applicant’s first and best source of information. Read a related news release. View the CSU Budget Central website, the SJSU Budget Central website, or current SJSU tuition and campus fees.

SJ Mercury News: Spartan Coaches U.S. Olympic Fencing Team Including His Son

San Francisco teen Alexander Massialas makes mark on U.S. Olympic fencing team

Posted by the San Jose Mercury News June 21, 2012.

By David Pollack

SAN FRANCISCO — Alexander Massialas’s journey to the 2012 London Olympics as the youngest member of the U.S. men’s fencing team did not begin watching Hollywood swashbucklers.

“I was a little kid and people would say ‘Zorro’ or ‘Princess Bride?’ Massialas said. “And I would be, ‘What are you talking about?’ ”

Pop culture didn’t draw the 18-year-old to fencing. Credit for that goes to both genetics and his San Francisco surroundings as the son of a two-time Olympian in the sport.

“My dad never actually pushed me to start fencing,” he said, “but my earliest memories are from walking around the house and seeing the Olympic rings and my dad’s trophies and my dad’s old foils. You get immersed in it.”

And that is fine with Greg Massialas, who is in London both as Alexander’s father and coach of the U.S. men’s foil team.

The elder Massialas runs the Halberstadt Fencers Club out of a former auto repair shop in San Francisco’s Mission District. He has coached his son since second grade — starting him a year late as if to be certain the choice was Alexander’s.

The payoff goes beyond London. This fall, Alexander enrolls at Stanford on a four-year fencing scholarship — supporting evidence for his father’s contention that fencing success is often matched by academic success.

“Fencing requires a lot of athleticism,” he said, “but also in combination with high intelligence, being able to think quickly.”

Alexander refines the concept.

“You don’t over-think the game, you don’t under-think the game,” he said. “You just find that perfect spot where you’re thinking one step ahead of your opponent.”

To bolster his case, Greg Massialas notes that the top collegiate fencing programs are in the Ivy League as well as schools such as Stanford and Duke.

Fencing consists of three separate events — foil, epee (pronounced eh-PAY) and saber, all played out on a wooden strip similar to a shortened, slightly wider bowling alley. Each event has its own weapon, scoring system and designated target area.

Matches are divided into three periods — three-minute rounds separated by a minute of rest. The first person to record 15 touches wins and if neither reaches 15, the one ahead wins; ties are resolved in sudden-death.

Alexander competes in foil, and London is far from his first international stage. He participated in more than a dozen events over the past year alone in countries such as Japan, South Korea, Cuba, France and Italy. An arrangement with the private Drew School he attends near his lower Pacific Heights home enabled him to maintain grades strong enough to impress Stanford.

Qualifying for the Olympics has always been part of the dream, but Alexander said he did not expect to be going in 2012.

At 6-foot-3, Alexander has a height and reach advantage over many opponents that works in his favor. But his size can be a drawback, too.

“It also makes your target area bigger,” said Alexander, who is not considered a medal favorite.

There likely will be another Olympic fencer in the household as well. Alexander’s sister Sabrina is only 15, but came close to qualifying for the women’s foil team in London. That has her well-positioned for the 2016 summer games in Rio de Janeiro.

The Massialas children grew up in a fencing household, but their 56-year-old father practically stumbled into the sport. Born in Greece, he was 10 when his family moved to the United States. An uncle was a professor at the University of Michigan, so the family ended up in Ann Arbor, where Greg became a competitive swimmer.

When his father suggested he find another sport during the off-season, Greg discovered a fencing class offered by the Ann Arbor recreation department. Things took off from there.

After graduating from Cornell, Massialas moved to the Bay Area to train with the late Mike D’Asaro, an instructor at San Jose State who was the U.S. men’s fencing coach at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

His work paid off as Massialas qualified for the next three Olympics. He never earned a medal, but felt he lost his best shot when the U.S. boycotted the 1980 Moscow games because the Soviets invaded of Afghanistan.

“I had won a couple tournaments and was in my prime,” said Massialas, who was 24 at the time. “But that’s life and we go on.”

Now the next generation in the Massialas family gets his chance to reach the podium.

SJ Mercury News: Spartan Judoka Receives Bronze Medal

Purdy: Oh what a comeback for San Jose judoka Marti Malloy

Posted by the San Jose Mercury News July 30, 2012.

By Mark Purdy

LONDON — Monday afternoon, Marti Malloy suffered the most crushing defeat of her judo life. But at least she had time to get over it and recover from her depression before facing her one last chance to win an Olympic medal.

Like, say, about 70 minutes or so. Just 70 minutes for the San Jose judoka to wipe out the notion that she’d blown a lifetime dream and try to reboot her confidence.

“That is a good question,” Malloy said when I asked how she did it.

I have seen remarkable comebacks in many sports. I am not sure if I’ve ever observed one better than Malloy’s comeback here in the 126-pound women’s judo tournament of the 2012 Games. It was a comeback that earned Malloy a bronze medal — just the second Olympic medal of any sort won by a USA female judo competitor, ever.

Not only that, but Malloy’s bronze victory unfolded before the 92-year-old eyes of legendary San Jose State judo coach Yosh Uchida, who made the trip to London to see his pupil perform.

“It was great to see,” said Uchida, dressed sharply in a dark gray suit and blue San Jose State tie. “We’re real proud of her. It was her real determination that did it.”

Determination? Or just outright guts? Maybe a little of both.

“It still gives me goose bumps right now thinking about it,” said Malloy, a 26-year-old native of Washington who won collegiate judo titles at San Jose State and lives in the South Bay.

Here’s how the drama unfolded:

The judo event at the Olympics is brutal. It’s like staging an entire NCAA basketball tournament in one day, except with shoulder throws and leverage. Competitors work their way through a bracket against opponent after opponent, with slight rest between. Malloy spent Monday morning defeating three opponents to reach the tournament semifinals.

And when she got there, things looked good. With a spot in the gold medal match on the line, Malloy was holding her own against Corina Caprioriu of Romania. But with just seven seconds left in regulation time, Malloy took an aggressive risk that backfired. Thud. She was caught off balance by Caprioriu, who put her down to seize the victory.

Flat on the mat, Malloy covered her eyes. She knew what the loss meant. The tournament format gave semifinal losers one last, desperate opportunity to claim one of two bronze medals awarded. In this case, that task would require Malloy to face and defeat the defending Olympic champion from Beijing 2008, Giulia Quintavalle of Italy, who is five inches taller than Malloy with four more years of experience.

And their crucial match would begin in about 70 minutes. She didn’t have long to wipe out negative thoughts and create positive ones.

“I had never fought her,” Malloy said of Quintavalle. “But I had been a big fan of hers. I sat down to recover and only 20 minutes later, I had to warm up again. It’s just the hardest thing, to try and put behind something like that and get ready for another one.”

There was consolation, of course, in the fact that Quintavalle had also suffered a stunning loss before facing Malloy. When they strode onto the mat with bronze on the line, both had to be exhausted. They were tentative for the first minute or so before Malloy went for broke. She saw an opening, faked one of her best moves and then unloaded another. In less than a second, Quintavalle was flat on her back. The referee pointed. Malloy had her medal.

“I was just elated,” Malloy said. “And when I looked up, I saw Yosh up in the seats, so happy. I think I started crying. He has been my No. 1 supporter.”

In more ways than one. Malloy had originally planned to just train in the South Bay and not attend college. Uchida insisted she enroll at SJSU and pursue a degree. She recently graduated with a B.S in advertising, with multiple stints on the dean’s list.

“She wouldn’t let any obstacles stand in her way,” Uchida said. “She didn’t have any money, had to get a job or two to get by. But she wasn’t going to be stopped. I felt bad for her today when she lost in that semifinal but thought she would have the determination to fight through it.”

I wondered if Uchida had taught Malloy her winning move.

“No, no,” he said. “She’s smarter than that.”

Malloy’s victory makes it a total of four Olympic medals for San Jose State judo competitors over the years, in a sport that has traditionally been dominated by Asian and European nations. The USA has never won a judo gold medal in either gender and has only won 11 medals, period. So you could say that SJSU accounts for more than a third of Olympic medals earned by America in the sport.

That’s not necessarily a shock. Uchida has guided San Jose State to 45 collegiate judo championships and still assists head coach Shintaro Nakano there. Uchida also once served as a USA Olympic coach and literally helped write the international judo rule book back in 1964, when he and several colleagues codified the standards and weight classes so that it could become an Olympic sport.

Yet as he watched Malloy receive her medal, Uchida was beaming as proudly as he has ever beamed. These could be the last Games he attends. Uchida sat alongside San Jose State team physician Dr. Robert Nishime. One of those part-time jobs held by Malloy to help subsidize her training has been a position as Nishime’s front desk receptionist.

“I think I lost an employee,” Nishime said after the medal ceremony.

Not necessarily. Just for fun, Malloy might want to report back for duty in Nishime’s office just so she can answer the phone this way: “Hello. This is an Olympic medal winner speaking. Want to hear about my kick-ass comeback?”

Contact Mark Purdy at mpurdy@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5092.