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The Sacramento State Hornets football program is the intercollegiate American football team for the California State University, Sacramento located in Sacramento, California. The team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and are members of the Big Sky Conference. The school's first football team was fielded in 1954. The team plays its home games at the 21,195 seat Hornet Stadium.

Sacramento State Hornets
2018 Sacramento State Hornets football team
Sacramento State script (2008-present).png
First season1954
Head coachTroy Taylor
1st season, 2–1 (.667)
StadiumHornet Stadium
(Capacity: 21,195)
LocationSacramento, California
NCAA divisionDivision I FCS
ConferenceBig Sky Conference
All-time record272–365–8 (.428)
Bowl record0–2 (.000)
Conference titles4
ColorsGreen and Gold[1]


In 1954, Dave Strong was named the first football coach for the Hornets football program. The program's first victory came in their second season, in 1955, when the Hornets defeated Southern Oregon by a point. Sacramento State was first affiliated with the Northern California Athletic Conference, from 1954 through 1984; the conference was known as the Far Western Conference until 1982. The Hornets were then members of the Western Football Conference from 1985 through 1992. In 1993, Sacramento State move the American West Conference, and then to the Big Sky Conference in 1996.[2] Hornet Stadium has been home to the football team since 1969. The program's all time football record is 272–365–8 through 2016.

Past success and notable gamesEdit

Sacramento State has never ranked in any major polls at the end of any season, but has won four conference titles. The Hornets have participated in two bowl games, the Pasadena Bowl in 1968 against Grambling State, where the Hornets lost, 34–7, and the Camellia Bowl in 1964, where Montana State defeated the Hornets, 28–7.

One of Sac State's most notable wins came on September 3, 2011 in the season opener against the Oregon State Beavers of the Pac-12 Conference at Reser Stadium. The Hornets upset the Beavers in overtime, 29–28 with a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Jeff Flemming to wide receiver Brandyn Reed, beating an AQ conference team for the first time in school history in front of an announced crowd of 41,581. The Beavers were a 23-point favorite coming into the game. Four weeks after the win over Oregon State, the Hornets defeated FCS national power Montana, the program's first win ever over the Grizzlies, on September 24, 2011. Hornets defeated the then No. 10 ranked Grizzlies by a score of 42–28 in Hornet Stadium.

On September 8, 2012, Sac State defeated Colorado Buffaloes of the Pac-12 conference, at Folsom Field as 20-point underdogs.[3] Colorado jumped to an early 14–0 start but the Hornets quickly answered back with a pair of touchdown passes from Hornets quarterback Garrett Safron and a 2-yard rushing touchdown by A.J. Ellis to lead 21–14 over the Buffaloes.[4] Sac State led 24–21 during intermission. With less than a minute left in the fourth quarter and down 28–27, Hornet's walk-on kicker, Edgar Castenada, made the 31-yard field goal winning kick for a final score of 30–28. After the game, Hornets head coach Marshall Sperbeck announced in the locker room that Sacramento State has offered Castendada a scholarship. This marked a consecutive year in which Sac State faced an AQ conference school (both in the Pac-12 conference) as heavy underdogs on the road and walked out with victories.

Classification historyEdit

Conference affiliationsEdit

Conference championshipsEdit

Season Conference Coach Overall Record
1964 Northern California Athletic Conference Ray Clemons 8–2–1
1966 Northern California Athletic Conference Ray Clemons 8–2
1986 Western Football Conference Bob Mattos 6–4–1
1995 American West Football Conference John Volek 4–6–1

Bowl gamesEdit

Season Bowl Opponent Result
1964 Camellia Bowl Montana State L 7–28
1968 Pasadena Bowl Grambling State L 7–34

Head coachesEdit

Coach Tenure Record Pct.
Dave Strong 1954–1956 4–18 .182
Johnny Baker 1957–1960 15–22 .405
Ray Clemons 1961–1975 71–76–3 .483
Glenn Brady 1976–1977 2–18–1 .119
Bob Mattos 1978–1992 84–73–2 .535
Mike Clemons 1993–1994 9–11 .450
John Volek 1995–2002 31–57–1 .354
Steve Mooshagian 2003–2006 11–33 .250
Marshall Sperbeck 2007–2013 35–44 .443
Jody Sears 2014–2018 20–35 .364


Sacramento State plays the rival UC Davis Aggies, annually and usually the last game of the regular season. This rivalry game is known as The Causeway Classic, and each team competes for the Causeway Carriage, referring to the fact that the schools are connected by the long Yolo Causeway bridge over Yolo Bypass flood way. UC Davis leads the series 44–19. This game has drawn crowds up to 18,000 in the Hornet Stadium, and is widely popular in the local area. Other notable rivalries includes Cal Poly Mustangs, Portland State, Eastern Washington, Weber State, the Montana schools and Big Sky conference foes.

Past Hornets drafted in the NFLEdit

Notable former playersEdit

Most notable alumni include:


  1. ^ Sacramento State Brand Book (PDF). Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  2. ^ "Sacramento State Football Record Book" (PDF). Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  3. ^ Contreras, Victor (September 10, 2012). "Leading Off: Sac State's upset will mean nothing with a loss". The Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012.
  4. ^ Stapleton, Arnie (September 8, 2012). "Sacramento State upsets Colorado 30–28 on late FG". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved January 26, 2015.

External linksEdit