Picture of an SJSU basketball game being played at spartan stadium with a crowd of people watching in the audience.

SJSU Hoops for the Holidays

Picture of an SJSU basketball game being played at spartan stadium with a crowd of people watching in the audience.

Give the gift of SJSU basketball for the holiday season!

San Jose State Athletics celebrates this holiday season with the Hoops for the Holidays promotion. Fans of Spartan basketball can purchase $5 General Admission basketball tickets that will be donated, on your behalf, to one of three local  organizations, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley or the YMCA of Silicon Valley; you may also purchase these discounted tickets and donate to your own organization. For every ticket purchased San Jose State Athletics will also match the number of tickets donated for each organization.

Read more from SJSU Athletics.

Spartans Swimmers Rank Among Nation's Best

Swim Team Nationally Ranked

Spartans Swimmers Rank Among Nation's Best

The Spartans own 14 national top-50 times, including seven in the top-10, across 10 different individual and relay events (photo by SJSU Athletics).

A number of San Jose State swimmers find themselves among the nation’s best this week after an outstanding performance at the prestigious Arena Invitational in Long Beach. In addition, SJSU was recently ranked the number two Mid-Major Division I swim team in the nation by CollegeSwimming.com. The Spartans own 14 national top-50 times, including seven in the top-10, across 10 different individual and relay events. Seven different athletes represent San Jose State among the nation’s elite in individual events, while two more join forces with them to form some of the fastest relay teams in the country. “We’re very pleased with our early-season progress,” said Head Coach Sage Hopkins. “I think it’s a great indication of the progress the team has been making and the sacrifices they have made.” The group is led by the 200 freestyle relay team of Meghan McCurley, Marisa DeWames, Kiley Foster and Erika Harvey, which holds the fourth-best time in the country at 1 minute, 31.15 seconds. The team set a new school record and earned an NCAA “B” standard with the performance at last week’s Arena Invitational on Nov. 17.

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

San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Inducts Two Spartans

San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Inducts Ueberroth, Lambert

San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Inducts Two Spartans

Art Lambert (above) and Peter Ueberroth were inducted Nov. 9 (photos courtesy of the San Jose Sports Authority).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Two San Jose State alumni were among five athletes inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Nov. 9 at HP Pavilion.

Peter Ueberroth served as an Olympic leader and baseball commissioner. Art Lambert was an SJSU and Stanford water polo player and coach.

Other inductees this year included figure skaters Rudy Galindo and Kristi Yamaguchi, and Santa Clara University and NFL quarterback Dan Pastorini.

The 2011 Class brings the total number to 81 of South Bay sports figures in the hall of fame, which recognizes each honoree with a bronze plaque permanently installed on the concourse at HP Pavilion.

The annual induction is an event of the San Jose Sports Authority, San Jose Arena Authority, HP Pavilion Management/San Jose Sharks and the City of San José.

The event benefits Special Olympics Northern California and high school sports programs. Read more.

SJSU defense crushes New Mexico ball carrier.

Coach Mac on New Mexico State Victory: “I Told the Team It was Time to Break the Dam Down”

SJSU defense crushes New Mexico ball carrier.

The Spartans' defense shutout New Mexico State in the final 15 minutes (photo by Kym Fortino).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Brandon Rutley rushed for 209 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries and Ryan Otten and Matt Faulkner hooked up for two more as the San Jose State Spartans defeated the New Mexico State Aggies 34-24 on Saturday afternoon in Spartan Stadium.

The win is the first of the year for the Spartans (1-3, 1-1 WAC) and ends a 13-game losing streak dating back to 2010.  New Mexico State’s record is also 1-3, 0-1 in Western Athletic Conference play. p.m. Read more.

“First of all, I’d like to say how proud I am of these young men,” said Head Coach Mike MacIntyre. “I told the team it was time to break the dam down. If we could run the ball, eventually we would get there. Our offensive line is blocking really well. Matt Faulkner did a really good job of moving the offense and taking care of the football. It’s a great team effort, a lot of guys playing a lot of team roles. Our conditioning factor really showed in the fourth quarter.”

The Spartans return to action Oct. 1 when they travel to Colorado State. Join the SJSU Alumni Association in Fort Collins an hour north of Denver for an outdoor pre-game party near Hughes Stadium. All Spartans fans are welcome to attend. There will be no cost for the barbecue lunch although a minimum donation of $5 per person at the event will be appreciated. Register now. The pre-game party begins at 11 a.m., with kickoff at 2 p.m.

Spartan Athletics helmet logo

NCAA Recertification: SJSU Completes Year-Long Self-Study of Athletics Program

Spartan Athletics helmet logo

SJSU has shown its athletics program conforms with operating principles adopted by the NCAA Division I membership.

Contact: Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, Calif., — The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Committee on Athletics Certification announced Aug. 18 that the athletics program at San Jose State University has received its third consecutive full certification.  The designation means an institution has shown that it operates its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the NCAA Division I membership.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many campus community members who contributed to the certification process, especially the students, faculty, staff and alumni who played leadership roles,” said SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi. “Our self-study confirmed our athletics program’s strengths and helped us develop plans for the future.”

The year-long self-study focused on three areas: governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; and, gender diversity issues and student-athlete well-being.  University and community members were invited to review and comment on a draft self-study posted on SJSU’s athletics certification website. The athletics certification concept was adopted in 1993 by a vote of NCAA Division I membership.

View SJSU’s athletics certification website.

View the NCAA news release.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 28,000 students and 3,190 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

Spartan Men’s Basketball Team Visits Rome

The Spartan men's basketball team is visiting Rome to sharpen their game by playing Italian college-age and professional teams (photos courtesy of Raymond Barbour).

Center Matt Ballard and guard Keith Shamburger shared their thoughts before the team’s trip to Rome. Read the full story on www.sjsuspartans.com.

Ballard and Shamburger are two of the Spartans’ three returning starters from the 2011 team that recorded San Jose State’s first winning season since 1994 and advanced to post-season tournament play.

As of August 8, the Spartans had three games scheduled during their nine-day Italian tour: two games in Rome and one in Latina, Italy, 40 miles south of Rome.

“We are eagerly anticipating our trip to Italy. Our preparations have gone well, and we look forward to some exciting competition. It will be a privilege to compete against AB Latina, a franchise that has achieved considerable success in Italian professional basketball. Latina has routinely defeated American College teams through the years,” said San Jose State head coach George Nessman.

“We also get the great experience of competing against LottoMatica’s U20 team. LottoMatica, Virtus-Roma is literally one of the top clubs in Europe let alone Italy. In facing their U20 team, we will be competing against some of the best college-age basketball players in the country.”

The Spartans departed for Rome Aug. 13 and return Aug. 22.

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.

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

Spartans Receive Academic All-WAC Honors

By Amy Villa, Associate Athletics Media Relations Director

After working hard in the classroom and in their respective sport, 41 San Jose State University student-athletes from 12 sports have received Academic All-Western Athletic Conference honors for the 2010-11 season.

Honored were student-athletes from the spring sports – baseball, softball, men’s golf, women’s golf, softball and women’s tennis.  Also recognized by the WAC are freshmen and transfers for all sports during the 2010-11 school year.

To receive this honor, the student-athlete must have completed at least on academic year, have at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average and participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s contests.

San Jose State had 95 student-athletes honored as Academic All-WAC award winners and 12 recognized as Academic All-MPSF by the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation for the 2010-11 school year.

2011 San Jose State Spring Sports Academic All-WAC Honorees

Baseball
Anthony Bona, Jr.
Andy Hennessey, Jr.
Kerry Jenkins, Sr.
Blake McFarland, Sr.
Jason Martin, Sr.
Tim Quiery, So.
Danny Stienstra, Sr.

Softball
Cheryl Freitas, So.
BranDee Garcia, So.
Breanna Lopez, Jr.

Men’s Golf
Nick Brown, Jr.
Mark Hubbard, Sr.

Women’s Golf
Katrina Delen-Briones, Sr.
Jody Ho, Jr.

Women’s Tennis
Sandra Florea, So.
Olivia Marshall, Sr.
Chau Truong, So.

2010-11 Academic All-WAC Freshmen And Transfers

Baseball
Michael DiRocco, Fr.

Men’s Basketball
Wil Carter, Jr.
Keith Shamburger, Fr.

Women’s Basketball
Sara Plavljanin, Jr.
AJ Newton, Fr.

Football
Vince Buhagiar, Fr.
Nicholas Kaspar, Fr.
Keith Smith, Fr.

Women’s Golf
Tiffany Nichols, Fr.
Rachelle Reali, Fr.

Gymnastics
Julia Greer, Fr.
Cassandra Harrison, Fr.

Soccer
Maria Esquivias, Fr.
Alex Jimenez, Fr.
Cheryl Kute, Fr.

Softball
Jessica Garcia, Fr.
Janessa Gutierrez, Fr.

Swimming and Diving
Darcie Anderson, Fr.
Christina Bergis, Fr.
Karly Brown, Fr.

Women’s Tennis
Sabastiani Leon Chao, Fr.
Emily Prescott, Fr.

Volleyball

Hannah Blume, Fr.
Sarah Griest, Fr.

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.

Matt Hovan carrying golf equipment walking. Wearing Blue sweater, baseball cap, and tan pants.

Hovan Eyes California State Amateur

Matt Hovan carrying golf equipment walking. Wearing Blue sweater, baseball cap, and tan pants.

Matt Hovan has a 73.91 career stroke average at San Jose State.

Soon-to-be senior Matthew Hovan is among 156 amateurs vying for a victory at the 100th California State Amateur Championship hosted at Olympic Club, June 20-25.

Hovan made the field after shooting a one-under 69 in a qualifying round at San Jose Country Club on April 18. It will be his fourth time playing at the California State Amateur.

“I’m feeling confident about my game going in,” Hovan said. “I’ve got my teammate Justin Estrada on the bag which was a big help at the qualifier. I want to go up, play well and have a good time.”

The Redwood City native and Serra High graduate has seven career top-20 finishes at San Jose State and had a career-best 73.46 stroke average during the 2010-11 season.

The tournament opens June 20 with 36 holes of stroke play on the Lake and Ocean courses. The top 32 players will advance to four straight days of match play.

“Olympic Club is a classic,” Spartans’ head coach John Kennaday said. “Matt’s length off the tee and outstanding putting make him capable of doing very well in this tournament.”

Hovan’s tee time for the opening round on the Lake Course is at 11:10 a.m. PDT.

Click here to view first and second round pairings.

Kelly Stewart holds a waterpolo ball ready to throw.

Kelly Stewart Tops MPSF All-Academic Team

Kelly Stewart holds a waterpolo ball ready to throw.

For the second year in a row, Kelly Stewart had the highest grade-point average among MPSF All-Academic honorees. (Photo by Terrell Lloyd)

San Jose State University’s Kelly Stewart leads the list with the highest grade-point average of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) All-Academic women’s water polo players for the 2011 season.

Six Spartans were named to the 49-person MPSF All-Academic Scholar-Athletes team.

“Getting notoriety for grades is important,” says Spartan head coach Lou Tully. “I am very proud of our student-athletes’ success and achievements in the classroom.”

Stewart, an economics major from Surrey, British Columbia, had a conference-best 3.949 grade-point average on a 4.00 scale. A 2011 San Jose State University President’s Scholar for earning a 4.00 grade-point average in at least two of her last three semesters, Stewart earned her second MPSF All-Academic Scholar-Athlete honor.

For the second consecutive year, she had the highest grade-point average among the MPSF’s honorees.

“Kelly is just a tremendous person and positive influence,” says Tully about his three-year letterwinner. “She is very successful in the classroom and she is a great role model.

“She has a tremendous work ethic in the classroom and has the same work ethic in the pool. That’s her persona and personality.”

Recent graduate Alyssa Friesen, a communications studies major from Clovis, Calif., earned her third MPSF All-Academic team honor.

Like Stewart, juniors Ally Waasted, a kinesiology major from Orange, Calif. and Dani Curran, an international business major from Chino, Calif., earned their second MPSF All-Academic honor.

Sophomores Kimber Methvin, a recreation and leisure studies major from Porterville, Calif. and Anna Natalizio, a justice studies major from Irvine, Calif., were named to the MPSF All-Academic team for the first time.

To be eligible for the MPSF All-Academic team, a student-athlete must have a 3.00 or better cumulative grade-point average, achieve sophomore standing academically, complete at least one full year at the member school and participate in at least 50 percent of the team’s contests during the season.

player catching a pass

San Francisco 49ers Work Out at Spartan Stadium

player catching a pass

Click image to view the 49ners in action.

By SJSU Athletics

More than 20 players with affiliations to the San Francisco 49ers recently completed a four-day, organized informal workout at San Jose State University’s South Campus facilities.

Members of last year’s team and prospects taken in the 2011 National Football League (NFL) draft participated in the workouts and classroom sessions organized by quarterback Alex Smith, who finished his sixth season with the team in 2010.

At www.sfgate.com, 49ers beat reporter Kevin Lynch wrote in his June 7 blog, “Forget Stanford and Cal, San Jose State might be the most NFL friendly college in the Bay Area. Not only are they hosting these workouts, but over the years they’ve sponsored practices for the Patriots, Cowboys and Saints…”

San Jose State’s Director of Athletics Tom Bowen is very familiar with the league’s culture. Prior to joining the Spartans in December 2004, Bowen was the 49ers director of community affairs and executive director of the 49ers Foundation.

The informal workout was spurred by the expiration of the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and the decertification of the players’ union. Currently by federal court rulling, coaches and players are not allowed to contact one another. Typically, during the spring and early summer months, organized training activities (OTAs) and mini-camps precede official practice in July and August.

Pitcher right after throwing a ball wearing SJSU jersey blue and gold with white pants.

Jones An Olerud Award Semifinalist

Pitcher right after throwing a ball wearing SJSU jersey blue and gold with white pants.

Courtesy: San Jose State Athletics

San Jose State’s Zack Jones is among 10 athletes who are still competing for the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.

“Our voters will have another very difficult job as they choose between the ten semifinalists,” said Randy Norman, Olerud Award committee co-chair. “The players on the list have some great statistics.”

Jones, an infielder/designated hitter/right-handed pitcher, finished the 2011 season batting .316 (49-for-155) with seven doubles, three triples and three home runs.  He scored 29 runs and knocked in 26 more.  On the mound he racked up 10 saves while striking out 53 batters in 43.0 innings

Four of the Olerud Award semifinalists are playing for teams that advanced to the Super Regional round of the post-season, including Brian Hernandez of UC Irvine, Brian Johnson of Florida, Danny Hultzen of Virginia and Mike McGee of Florida State. McGee won the inaugural award in 2010.

The winner of the Olerud Award will be announced in Lubbock, Texas, on July 3 as part of the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions.

The Brooks Wallace Award, National Pitcher of the Year Award, Johnny Bench Award and Dick Howser Trophy will also be announced on the Night of Champions, plus the National College Baseball Hall of Fame class for 2011 will be inducted.

2011 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award Semifinalists

Cody Fick (Evansville)
Brian Hernandez (UC Irvine)
Danny Hultzen (Virginia)
Brian Johnson (Florida)
Zack Jones (San Jose State)
Ben Koenigsfeld (Army)
Mike McGee (Florida State)
Nick Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton)
Bo Reeder (East Tenn. State)
Paul Snieder (Northwestern)

Roberto Padilla in mid throw wearing white pants and a blue baseball jersey.

Three Spartans Selected In MLB Draft

Roberto Padilla in mid throw wearing white pants and a blue baseball jersey.

Roberto Padilla is the 10th Spartan to be selected in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft. (Photo by Terrell Lloyd).

Three members of the San Jose State baseball team were selected on day two of the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Players Draft.

The first Spartan to be taken was left-handed starting pitcher Roberto Padilla.  He was chosen in the eighth round by the Colorado Rockies with the 258th overall pick.  He was followed by first baseman Danny Stienstra (12th round, 380th pick) and right-handed starting pitcher Esteban Guzman (17th round, 517th pick) who were taken in by the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals, respectively.

“Anytime an athlete is selected in the draft it shows a tremendous amount of respect for his talent and ability,” head coach Sam Piraro said.  “I’m so happy for these three young men first-and-foremost, but it also says we as an organization and a university are doing things right.”

Padilla led San Jose State with a 3.19 ERA and a 9-6 record.  In 98.2 innings he struck out 81 batters, both tops on the team.  A junior, he was a first-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection and earned WAC Pitcher of the Week honors for his complete game, 5-3 victory over No. 2 UCLA back in February.  Padilla is the 10th Spartan to be drafted in the top-10 rounds of the MLB Draft in the last 30 years.

“It’s hard to put into words how I feel right now,” said Padilla, who was following the draft at a family get together.  “I guess relieved would be a good word.  I was drafted last year, so I kind of knew the drill, but until your name is called it is nerve-wracking.

“I knew I would go in the first 10 rounds and had talked with the (Baltimore) Orioles earlier today, but being selected by the Rockies really came out of the blue.  I had been in contact with them earlier this season, but didn’t think they were that interested.”

“I know Roberto is tremendously excited,” Piraro said.  “He is a special young man with a lot of talent and he has a bright future in front of him.”

Stienstra, a senior, was the Spartans leading hitter with a .349 average and led the WAC with 84 hits.  He was a first-team All-WAC selection and a CoSIDA/Capital One first-team Academic All-District 8 honoree.  Among his accomplishments on the diamond this season, Stienstra led San Jose State in runs (42), RBI (54) and doubles (15) while starting all 61 games.

“I got a call on my cell phone while I was working out and it was a scout from the Cardinals telling me I had been drafted,” Stienstra said.  “To be honest, I wasn’t even paying attention to the draft and was a bit surprised that I was taken in the 12th round.

“I am really glad that I have an opportunity to keep playing baseball.  I am so grateful to the Cardinals organization for giving me a chance.  I wasn’t sure what I would be doing next year, but now I know and I am real excited.”

Read full story on www.sjsuspartans.com

Nick Cukar wearing a jersey and in mid clap.

A Graduation Story – Fulfilling A Family’s First

Nick Cukar wearing a jersey and in mid clap.

Midfielder Nick Cukar scored 25 goals in his career as a Spartan. (Photo by Terrell Lloyd)

Thousands graduated from college at the San Jose State University May 28 Commencement, and it was an extra special moment for Nick Cukar.

For Nick, earning his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology is fulfilling on many levels as he is the first in his family to graduate from college.

“It means everything,” said the veteran San Jose State soccer midfielder. “Everything I worked for, coming in my freshman year and not expecting anything, came together. I’m the first person in my family to graduate. It’s a big deal.”

“My dad (Tony) went to trade school and my mom (Lysette) got an AA.”

“I think they’re pretty excited. They’ve been pushing this since the beginning of fall. ‘You’re graduating, you’re graduating.’ This is a big first step and they’re pretty happy.”

A three-time Academic All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honoree, Nick wants to use his degree to continue a path in sports and work with a professional sports organization in the areas of management or marketing.

“I’m looking in the sports management side possibly with the (San Jose) Sharks,” said Nick when asked about his future plans. “I did an internship at the SAP Open (professional men’s tennis).”

Nick, who started in every soccer match of his career at San Jose State University, will take advantage of every experience both on and off the soccer field in getting his first job.

“I’m going to use every resource I can. I’m going to reach out to everybody I can.”