Santa Clara Broncos football

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Santa Clara Broncos
First season 1896
Last season 1992
Stadiums Kezar Stadium (1925-1952)
Buck Shaw Stadium (1962-1993)
Seating capacity 6,800
Field surface Grass
Location Santa Clara, California
NCAA division Division II (1956-1993)
Conference Division II Independent
All-time record 352–244–28 (.587)
Bowl record 3–0 (1.000)
Conference titles 2 (1983, 1985)
Colors Maroon and White[1]
Rivals Saint Mary's College Gaels
California Golden Bears
Stanford Cardinal

The Santa Clara Broncos football program were the intercollegiate American football team for Santa Clara University located in Santa Clara, California.

Santa Clara played their first football game against St. Mary's College in San Francisco in 1896.

Santa Clara enjoyed major college football success as the "Notre Dame of the West" in the 1930s continuing into the 1950s. The pinnacle of that success was perhaps Buck Shaw's Broncos winning the Sugar Bowl in 1936 and 1937. The program was disrupted by the Second World War, but following the conclusion of the conflict, Santa Clara alumnus Len Casanova, a future coach and athletic director at the University of Oregon, lead the program to a victory in 1950 Orange Bowl against Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant and his Kentucky Wildcats.

Citing increased costs related to travel and equipment, as well as increased competition with the new San Francisco 49ers for home game dates at Kezar Stadium, Santa Clara President Herman J. Hauck announced football would be discontinued following the 1952 season.

Football was reinstated in 1956, first as a club program, then as an NCAA Division II program. Santa Clara competed favorably at this level, producing NFL players like Brent Jones, Dan Pastorini, and Doug Cosbie.

In 1993, new NCAA legislation prohibited football programs from "playing down". Santa Clara, who had always played all other sports at the NCAA Division I level, had to either elevate their program to Division I, or disband. The University chose the latter, much to the disappointment of the student body and alumni.

Santa Clara compiled an all-time record of 352–244–28.[2] At the conclusion of the 1992 season, the Santa Clara football program was discontinued due to new NCAA regulations which mandated all sports be played at the same level at each university. Santa Clara had fielded all Division I teams with the exception of the Division II football team, and elected not to field a team at the Division I-AA level.[3]

Notable former players[edit]

Notable alumni include:


Conference championships[edit]

Year Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1983 Western Football Conference (Co-Championship) Pat Malley 6-4-0 2-1
1985 Western Football Conference Terry Malley 8-2-1 4-0-1
Total conference championships 2

Conference affiliations:

Bowl game appearances[edit]

Season Date Bowl W/L Opponent PF PA Coach Notes
1936 January 1, 1937 Sugar Bowl W LSU 21 14 Buck Shaw notes
1937 January 1, 1938 Sugar Bowl W LSU 6 0 Buck Shaw notes
1949 January 2, 1950 Orange Bowl W Kentucky 21 13 Len Casanova notes
Total 3 bowl games 3–0 48 27


  1. ^ "Santa Clara University Color Palette". Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  2. ^ "Santa Clara Historical Data". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  3. ^ [1]

External links[edit]