The San Francisco State Gators are the athletic teams that compete at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California. The nickname applies to the college's intercollegiate NCAA Division II teams. The nickname was published in the student newspaper, "The Leaf", but was long referred to in media alternatively as the "Staters" and the "Golden Gaters". The use of Gaters eventually evolved into the Gators as known today.
The Gators have had a total of 275 athletes earn All-American honors and 32 athletes earn Academic All-American honors. 14 Gators have earned an individual national title in their respective sport.
The University has men's teams in basketball, baseball, cross country, soccer, and wrestling; and women's teams in basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, track and field, and volleyball. SF State competes in the California Collegiate Athletic Association while wrestling competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The University also offers a number of club and rec sports.
In 2016-17, the men's basketball team advanced to the NCAA Division II National Championships for the first time since the 1993-94 season. The Gators won 25 games, were ranked as high as No. 13, and finished ranked No. 22 in the nation. In the late 1970s and early 80s, the women’s basketball team had a string of nine straight postseason appearances.
San Francisco State Baseball has a long history going back well into the 1930s when coached by Hal Harden and having a "record-breaking" season in 1938 according to the Berkeley Daily Gazette Maloney Field, which opened in 1984, saw extensive upgrades ahead of the 2017 season that included field work including the construction of a new pitcher's mound, new windscreens, and the installation of new foul poles.
Clocking in with a time of 3:44.58, the 2017 SF State 4x400 relay team garnered All-American Honors, taking sixth at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, March 11 at the Birmingham Crossplex.
Wrestling competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. With the announcement of California Baptist moving to NCAA Division I, SF State becomes the only Division II wrestling program in California. The Gators wrestling program has seen success over the years, having sent a qualifier to the NCAA Division II National Championships from 1965-2017. In 1997, Head Coach Lars Jensen led the first-ever NCAA Division II national championship team at SF State.
San Francisco State fielded a football program from 1931 until it was discontinued in 1994. The SF State Men's Football team were Far Western Conference Champions in '51, '54, '56, '57, '58, '59, '62, '63, '65, and 1967.
San Francisco State has fielded a co-ed club rugby side, the Gators Rugby Football Club, founded in 2005. The Gators side hope to be accepted into the Northern California Rugby Football Union division, needing to play every weekend with a full team, receive a unanimous vote in by all coaches in the division in order to be brought in. After meeting all the requirements thus far, with a current record of 16–2 this season, the side is expecting to be inducted into the Division II NCRFU. After a long effort to achieve activation through affiliation with the university as a club sport, competing at Ocean View Park, both the men's and women's' sides were able to attain affiliation by 2009. The student-run clubs compete against both university and non-university sides, including the SF Fog, St. Mary's, USF, and Santa Clara.
In the 1980s, SFSU had a Sailing team that consisted of two Flying Junior FJ Collegiate racing boats made by Vanguard. The boats were kept on a trailer in the "Corp Yard", behind the Arts building.
SFSU sailed as a member of the Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference
Sailing at SFSU was recognized as a "club sport". However the team was eligible to compete at the varsity level with other schools in the area and enjoyed strong representation from 1983-1988. Collegiate racing at the time had a rule that to race two boats in Varsity, one skipper had to be female. SFSU had a rotation of female skippers throughout the mid-1980s racing seasons.
SFSU participated in the "Northern Series" which included racing against UC Berkeley (CAL), California Maritime Academy (CMA), Stanford, Sonoma State University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and UC Davis.