Neha Patil (Editor)

San Diego State Aztecs

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
NCAA  Division I
Location  San Diego, California
Athletic director  John David Wicker
Varsity teams  17
San Diego State Aztecs
University  San Diego State University
Conference  Mountain West Conference Golden Coast Conference (women's water polo) American Athletic Conference (women's rowing) Pac-12 Conference (men's soccer)

The San Diego State Aztecs are the collegiate athletics and sports teams that represent San Diego State University (SDSU). San Diego State has organized programs for baseball, basketball, football, soccer, golf, gymnastics, rowing (crew), softball, tennis, track, swimming, diving, women's volleyball, and water polo.


The Aztecs compete in NCAA Division I (FBS for football). Its primary conference is the Mountain West Conference. The women's water polo team participates in the Golden Coast Conference, having moved from the Big West Conference in July 2013. The men's soccer team participates as an associate member of the Pac-12 Conference (or "Pac-12"). The women's rowing team is a member of the American Athletic Conference (The American), following moves from the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) to Conference USA (C-USA) in 2013 and from C-USA to The American in 2014. San Diego State's football team had intended to move to the Big East Conference beginning in 2013 with the remainder of its current Mountain West sports moving to the Big West, but on January 17 it was reported that all of San Diego State's athletic teams would be readmitted to the Mountain West.

News reports (especially on local radio) often mention "Montezuma Mesa" or "news from the mesa" when discussing San Diego State-related sports events. The San Diego State campus is known as "Montezuma Mesa", as the university is situated on a mesa overlooking Mission Valley and is located at the intersection of Montezuma Road and College Avenue in the city of San Diego.

School colors

The school colors are scarlet (red), black and white.

Sports facilities

  • Aztec Athletic Center
  • Viejas Arena
  • Qualcomm Stadium
  • Mission Bay Aquatic Center (MBAC)
  • Tony Gwynn Stadium
  • Peterson Gymnasium
  • Aztec Aquaplex
  • San Diego State Sports Deck
  • San Diego State Softball Stadium
  • San Diego State Tennis Stadium
  • San Diego State Practice Facility & Fields
  • NCAA team championships

    San Diego State has won 1 NCAA team national championship.

  • Men's (1)
  • Volleyball (1): 1973
  • see also:
  • Mountain West Conference NCAA team championships
  • List of NCAA schools with the most NCAA Division I championships
  • Other national team championships

    Below are the 8 non-division I NCAA National team titles:

  • Men’s (5)
  • Basketball (1): 1941 (NAIA)
  • Football (3): 1966, 1967, 1968 (Division II)
  • Rugby (1): 1987
  • Women’s (3)
  • Cheerleading (2): 2009, 2011
  • Dance (1): 2011
  • Individual

    In 1975 Barbara Barrow won a share of the women's national intercollegiate individual golf championship (an event conducted by the AIAW, which was succeeded by the current NCAA women's golf championship).


    Current Head Coach: Rocky Long

    San Diego State University's football team is part of the highest level of American collegiate football, the Football Bowl Subdivision of Division I (which was formerly known as Division I-A). Until the 2010 season, the Aztec football team had not won a bowl game in the past 37 years. In his second year as head coach, Brady Hoke led the team to an 8–4 record in the 2010 regular season and a win in the 2010 Poinsettia Bowl, before accepting the head coaching job at the University of Michigan.

    San Diego State athletics have contributed to the National Football League (NFL). NFL head coaches were members of the Aztec Football program:

  • Brian Billick – NFL former head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, He returned to coaching with San Diego State University, serving as the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for five seasons (1981–1985). After being named the offensive coordinator of Utah State University, Billick improved the second-worst offense in Division I-A into a top-ten offense in only three seasons (1986–1988).
  • Don Coryell – former NFL head coach of the San Diego Chargers, former Aztec head coach.
  • Herman Edwards – NFL head coach of the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, former Aztec and Philadelphia Eagles player. Fondly remembered for the "Miracle in the Meadowlands" play against the rival New York Giants.
  • John Fox – former NFL head coach of the Carolina Panthers, former Aztec player.
  • Joe Gibbs – Hall of Fame NFL head coach of the Washington Redskins, NASCAR team owner, former Aztec player and assistant coach.
  • John Madden – Hall of Fame AFL/NFL head coach of the Oakland Raiders, former Aztec assistant coach.
  • Ted Tollner – former NFL offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers, former Aztec head coach.
  • Sean Payton – Head coach of the New Orleans Saints
  • The football team plays at Qualcomm Stadium (formerly known as "Jack Murphy" Stadium).


    Current Head Coach (men's team): Steve Fisher

    Current Head Coach (women's team): Stacie Terry

    San Diego State has both men's and women's college basketball teams.

    Other Aztecs basketball alumni who became more famous outside the sport are 1930s player Art Linkletter, who went on to an illustrious entertainment career that spanned more than 70 years, and Tony Gwynn, who also played baseball at San Diego State and opted for that sport professionally, ending up in the Hall of Fame.

    The basketball teams play at Viejas Arena on the San Diego State campus.

    The team has had moderate success since Fisher was hired as head coach. The Aztecs won the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2011 earning automatic bids to the NCAA basketball tournament. The Aztecs were also the regular season Mountain West champions in 2006. On March 19, 2007, a new National Invitation Tournament (NIT) attendance record was set, at 26,752, in a loss in the second-round men's basketball game against Syracuse. They also made the MWC Tournament Finals in 2009, losing the Championship to the Utah Utes, 52–50.

    After being overlooked by the NCAA Selection Committee for the 2009 tournament, the Aztecs went on to win the first three rounds of the National Invitational Tournament. With a win against St. Mary's in the tournament's quarter finals the 2008–09 team set a school record for wins in a single season with 26.

    In 2010, both the Men's and Women's teams won the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament, earning an automatic berth to the NCAA basketball tournament.

    In the 2010–2011 Season, the Men's team had a phenomenal record of 32–2 to capture a share of the Mountain West Conference title, and winning the Conference Tournament outright for the automatic berth to the 2011 NCAA basketball tournament. The only losses of the regular season were to another top 10 ranked team, BYU, who the Aztecs later beat to win the tournament. They earned a 2nd seed in the National Championship Tournament.


    See: San Diego State baseball and College baseball

    Current Head Coach: Mark Martinez


    The men's and women's soccer teams play at Sports Deck on the San Diego State campus. The women compete in the Mountain West Conference while the men compete in the Pac-12 Conference (Pac-12).


    In 1987, the San Diego State men's soccer team lost in the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship finals by a score of 0–2 to Clemson.


    Current Head Coach (women's team): Mike Friesen


    The San Diego State men's lacrosse team competes in MCLA Division I of the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference. The women's Lacrosse teams begins play during the 2011 season in NCAA Division I of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Both teams play (or will play) their home games at the Sports Deck on the San Diego State campus.


    Founded in 1956, the Aztecs college rugby team competes in Division 1-A in the California conference. The team is coached by former player Alex Lichtig. The Aztecs won the 1987 national championship, defeating Dartmouth in the semifinals, and beating Air Force 10–9 in the finals.

    The Aztecs have had recent success competing in their conference and nationally. The Aztecs gained national attention by finishing second at the 2010 Collegiate Rugby Championship, a tournament that was broadcast live on NBC. The Aztecs reached the quarterfinals of the 2011 USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships, before losing to eventual champions Life University. The Aztecs won their conference in 2012, and reached the semifinals of the 2012 national playoffs by defeating Santa Clara 59–14 in the round of 16 and beating UC Santa Barbara 47–25 in the quarterfinals. The Aztecs won the 2012 California 7s tournament, beating Cal Poly 36–12 in the finals. This victory qualified the Aztecs for the 2012 USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships, where they notched a 4–2 record including a win against rival Cal.

    Aztec Hall of Fame inductees

    See: Hall of fame and footnote

    The Show

    SDSU Show is the name of the student section at all SDSU sporting events.


    The San Diego State Marching Aztecs, and Pep and Varsity Bands are often seen at many sporting events including Football, Basketball and even Volleyball.

  • Marcelo Balboa, World Cup and Major League Soccer (MLS) soccer star
  • Bud Black, former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher and former manager of the San Diego Padres
  • Jim Campbell, former MLB pitcher
  • Joe Corona, current U.S. international soccer player
  • Isaac Curtis, former National Football League (NFL) receiver
  • Jeff DaVanon, MLB baseball player (Arizona Diamondbacks)
  • Fred Dryer, actor-producer and former NFL player
  • Herm Edwards, former Kansas City Chiefs head coach
  • Marshall Faulk, Pro Football Hall of Fame NFL running back and broadcaster
  • John Fox, current Chicago Bears head coach
  • Mark Grace, retired MLB player and World Series Champion
  • Tony Gwynn, current Baseball Hall of Famer (and San Diego State baseball Head Coach at the time of his death in 2014)
  • Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, former NFL player with the Green Bay Packers
  • Joe Gibbs, former NFL head coach of the Washington Redskins and current NASCAR team owner
  • Az-Zahir Hakim, NFL wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins
  • Armen Keteyian, Sports Journalist, HBO Sports, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel
  • Travis Lee, MLB player with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
  • Kawhi Leonard, NBA Small Forward for the San Antonio Spurs, 2014 NBA Finals MVP, 2015 and 2016 NBA Defensive Player of the Year
  • Chris Marlowe, Sportscaster, former Olympic volleyball player
  • Kirk Morrison, current Buffalo Bills starting linebacker
  • Haven Moses, former NFL receiver with Denver Broncos
  • Kassim Osgood, Jacksonville Jaguars receiver
  • Noel Prefontaine, Toronto Argonauts kicker
  • Jimmy Raye, former NFL player
  • Darnay Scott, former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver
  • Don Shaw, former MLB pitcher
  • Brian Sipe, former NFL quarterback
  • Webster Slaughter, former American football wide receiver
  • Dave Smith, former MLB pitcher
  • Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals pitcher
  • Carl Weathers, actor/former NFL player most famous for playing Apollo Creed in the Rocky film series
  • Eric Wynalda, well-known World Cup and MLS soccer star, and current ABC Sports broadcaster
  • Jeanne Zelasko, Sports Journalist, Fox Sports
  • References

    San Diego State Aztecs Wikipedia