Cal State Fullerton Titans football

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Cal State Fullerton Titans football
First season1970
Last season1992
Head coachGene Murphy (final coach)
StadiumTitan Stadium
(Capacity: 10,000)
Field surfaceGrass
LocationFullerton, California
ConferenceBig West Conference
All-time record107–150–3 (.417)
Bowl record0–1 (.000)
ColorsNavy Blue, White, and Orange[1]

The Cal State Fullerton Titans football program represented California State University, Fullerton from the 1970 through 1992 seasons. The Titans originally competed as a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association from 1970 to 1973 before moving to the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (now the Big West) in 1974 where they remained through the 1991 season. The Titans would compete in their final year as an I-A Independent prior to the program being disbanded. Fullerton played its home games at multiple stadiums throughout their history with the most recent being Titan Stadium, in Fullerton, California.


Early history and success (1969–1984)[edit]

The CSUF Titans football team traces its roots to 1969 when in May, former USC assistant coach Dick Coury was hired as the program's first head coach.[2] The team would win their inaugural game against Cal Poly Pomona by a score of 31–0 on September 19, 1970, and play to a 0–0 tie in their inaugural home game against Cal Lutheran at Anaheim Stadium.[2] Following moderate success in the inaugural 1970 season with a record of 6–4–1, the 1971 season opened with a home game at Santa Ana Stadium versus Southern Utah State with the rest of their home games played at Anaheim Stadium except for a matchup against the Grambling State University Tigers played before their largest ever home crowd of 60,415 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.[2] Just two weeks prior to the Grambling game, tragedy struck the program when a plane crash on November 13, 1971, resulted in the deaths of three Titan assistant coaches: Joe O'Hara, Dallas Moon and Bill Hannah.

Entering the 1972 season, Pete Yoder started the season as the program's second all-time head coach and the team moved all home games from Anaheim Stadium to Santa Ana Stadium. After completing a pair of 7–4 seasons, the Titans would suffer their first losing season following a 4–7 campaign in the 1974 season.[2] It was during this year that Fullerton would make the move from the California Collegiate Athletic Association into the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (now the Big West).[2]

For the 1975 season, Fullerton would hire former Pacific assistant coach Jim Colletto, as the third head coach in program history and the following season in 1976, the team moved their home games to Falcon Stadium at Cerritos College. During the Colletto era, the Titans would not have a winning season, with the lone bright spot of his tenure coming in 1978 with Obie Graves rushing for 1,789 total yards including 291-yards in a 34–9 upset of Long Beach State.[2] Colletto would resign from his position following the 1979 season with Gene Murphy being announced as the program's fourth all-time head coach on December 16, 1979.[2]

Entering Murphy's first season in 1980, the Titans would move their home games to an on-campus stadium, Titan Field, and continue to not see success on the field with losing seasons from the 1980 through the 1982 seasons.[3] For the 1983 season, Fullerton split their home games between Anaheim Stadium and Glover Stadium, while the team played in the 1983 California Bowl after winning their first conference championship.[2] The Titans would build upon their successes in finishing the 1984 season again as conference champion with a record of 11–1, while moving home games back to Santa Ana Stadium. Following the season, Murphy was named UPI West Coast Coach of the Year and the Titans would finish in the final top 20 UPI poll.[2]

Decline and cancellation (1985–1992)[edit]

The Titans would never again reach the highs of the 1984 season and would embark on a steady decline through the late 1980s and into the early 1990s.[3]

By the late 1980s, the program was in financial trouble. The team played the 1992 season at on-campus Titan Stadium, but during that year, the Fullerton Academic Senate voted 24–7 to recommend disbanding the program. That decision was halted by then-university president Milton A. Gordon on December 7, 1992 and Fullerton announced that it would suspend the program effective immediately for one year, with the intention of returning to play at the Division I-AA level for the 1994 season.[2][4] However, citing budget restraints, Cal State Fullerton decided in February 1994 against bringing back football.[5]

Efforts to reinstate football[edit]

By 1995, the notion of resurrecting the program began to take shape. In fall 1995, the Fullerton Students Athletic Advisory Committee asked the student body in an election if they supported Titan football. At that time, 89 percent of respondents voted favorably for the reinstatement of football.[6]

Cal State Fullerton alumni established the organization Bring Back Titan Football in 2007 to advocate the return of the football program.[7] In 2008, Cal State Fullerton established a task force exploring the feasibility of bringing back football.[8]

NCAA records[edit]

Although the Titans have not played a game since 1992, Fullerton is still the NCAA record holder in several categories. These records include: both most fumbles and most fumbles lost for a single season with 73 and 41 respectively during the 1992 season;[9] the most kickoff returns per game with an average of 7.3 per game for the 1990 season;[10] the 10th highest number of rushing yards in a single game with 357 by Mike Pringle on November 4, 1989, against New Mexico State;[11] and being part of the fourth highest combined score in a tied game with their 41–41 contest against San Diego State on September 23, 1989.[12]

Conference championships[edit]

Cal State Fullerton won two conference championships during their tenure as a football program. Both of these seasons had their record amended due to violations from UNLV that resulted in Cal State Fullerton gaining a win for both the 1983 and 1984 seasons. Due to this, the team went undefeated in conference play for both seasons.

Season Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1983 Big West Conference Gene Murphy 8–4 6–0
1984 Big West Conference Gene Murphy 12–0 7–0

Head coaches[edit]

Cal State Fullerton had four head coaches during their 23 seasons as a college football program.

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
1970–71 Dick Coury 2 13–8–1 .614
1972–74 Pete Yoder 3 18–15–0 .546
1975–79 Jim Colletto 5 17–38–1 .313
1980–92 Gene Murphy 13 59–89–1 .399



Conference Champions * Bowl game berth ^
Season Head coach Conference Season results Bowl result
Conference finish Wins Losses Ties
1970 Dick Coury California Collegiate Athletic Association 6 4 1
1971 California Collegiate Athletic Association 7 4 0 Won 1971 Mercy Bowl to Fresno State Bulldogs, 14–17 ^
1972 Pete Yoder California Collegiate Athletic Association 7 4 0
1973 California Collegiate Athletic Association 7 4 0
1974 Pacific Coast Athletic Association 4 7 0
1975 Jim Colletto Pacific Coast Athletic Association 2 9 0
1976 Pacific Coast Athletic Association 3 7 1
1977 Pacific Coast Athletic Association 4 7 0
1978 Pacific Coast Athletic Association 5 7 0
1979 Pacific Coast Athletic Association 3 8 0
1980 Gene Murphy Pacific Coast Athletic Association 4 7 0
1981 Pacific Coast Athletic Association 3 8 0
1982 Pacific Coast Athletic Association 3 9 0
1983 * Pacific Coast Athletic Association 1st 7 5 0 Lost 1983 California Bowl to Northern Illinois Huskies, 13–20 ^
1984 * Pacific Coast Athletic Association T—1st 11 1 0
1985 Pacific Coast Athletic Association 6 5 0
1986 Pacific Coast Athletic Association 3 9 0
1987 Pacific Coast Athletic Association 6 6 0
1988 Big West Conference 5 6 0
1989 Big West Conference 6 4 1
1990 Big West Conference 1 11 0
1991 Big West Conference 2 9 0
1992 Independent 2 9 0
Total 107 148 3 (only includes regular season games)
0 2 0 (only includes bowl games)
107 150 3 (all games)

Bowl games[edit]

Cal State Fullerton participated in two bowl games. They had a bowl record of 1–1, although only the first counted under NCAA standards.

Year Bowl Opponent Result
December 11, 1971 Mercy Bowl II Fresno State Bulldogs W 17–13
December 17, 1983 California Bowl NIU Huskies L 14–17

Titans in the Pros[edit]

In the NFL[edit]

California State University, Fullerton has 22 alumni that have played in the National Football League.[13]

Name Position Year Overall Pick Team
Mike Ernst QB 1972 Free Agent Denver Broncos
Johnnie Gray S 1975 Free Agent Green Bay Packers
M. L. Carter CB 1979 Free Agent Kansas City Chiefs
Grady Richardson TE 1979 Free Agent Washington Redskins
Lucious Smith CB 1980 Free Agent Los Angeles Rams
Bobby Kemp DB 1981 202 Cincinnati Bengals
Daren Gilbert OT 1985 38 New Orleans Saints
Mark Collins DB 1986 44 New York Giants
Vince Gamache P 1986 Free Agent Seattle Seahawks
James Pruitt WR 1986 107 Miami Dolphins
Vince Abbott K 1987 Free Agent San Diego Chargers
Alex Espinoza QB 1981 Free Agent Kansas City Chiefs
Rick Calhoun RB 1987 Free Agent Los Angeles Raiders
Hank Goebel OT 1987 Free Agent Los Angeles Rams
A.J. Jenkins DE/LB 1987 228 Pittsburgh Steelers
Wade Lockett WR 1987 Free Agent Los Angeles Raiders
Ronald McLean DE/NT 1987 Free Agent Denver Broncos
Cornelius Redick WR 1987 Free Agent Green Bay Packers
Marvin Williams TE 1987 Free Agent Washington Redskins
Michael Rhyan QB 1988 332 Denver Broncos
Mike Pringle RB 1990 139 Atlanta Falcons
Reggie Redding OG/T 1991 Free Agent Atlanta Falcons
Mike Rogan OG 1991 Free Agent Chicago Bears
Kurt Bloedorn P 1993,1994,1995 Free Agent Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys

In the CFL[edit]

In addition to the players that competed in the NFL, there have been several former Titans that have had significant careers in the Canadian Football League. The three players of note include: Mike Pringle who is the league's all-time leading rusher,[14] Damon Allen, the league's second all-time leading passer and former all-time pro football passing leader with 72,381 passing yards,[15] and Allen Pitts, the league's all-time leading receiver until 2008 when he was surpassed by Milt Stegall.[16]

Amazingly, during the period between 2006 and 2008, the CFL all-time leaders in passing, rushing and receiving yardage were simultaneously former Cal State Fullerton Titans.

In the Arena Football League[edit]



  1. ^ "Colors | CSUF Brand". Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Carr, Janis (December 8, 1992). "CS Fullerton drops football – Program scheduled for reinstatement in 1994 at lower level, smaller budget". The Orange County Register. Retrieved June 22, 2019 – via NewsBank.
  3. ^ a b c Cal St.-Fullerton Yearly Totals College Football Data Warehouse, Accessed December 9, 2008.
  4. ^ Miller, Scott (April 28, 1993). "Titan Coaches Trying to Stop Football Plans". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  5. ^ Turner, Miki (February 23, 1994). "Football won't make comeback this fall". The Orange County Register. p. D2. Retrieved June 22, 2019 – via NewsBank.
  6. ^ Carr, Janis (November 16, 1995). "Movement to resurrect Titans football gaining steam". The Orange County Register – via NewsBank.
  7. ^ Fader, Mirin (November 11, 2013). "A game plan to bring back Titan football". The Orange County Register. Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  8. ^ Fisher, Marla Jo (February 6, 2009). "Could football come back to Cal State Fullerton?". The Orange County Register. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  9. ^ Fumbles "Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Records," NCAA, July 2008. p. 27. Accessed 2008-12-11
  10. ^ Kickoff Returns "Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Records," NCAA, July 2008. p. 27. Accessed 2008-12-11
  11. ^ Rushing – Single Game Yards "Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Records," NCAA, July 2008. p. 34. Accessed 2008-12-11
  12. ^ Highest-Scoring Tie Games "Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Records," NCAA, July 2008. p. 128. Accessed 2008-12-11
  13. ^ "NFL Players who attended California State University, Fullerton". Archived from the original on 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  14. ^ "Regular Season All-Time Records: Individual Records -Rushing". Archived from the original on 2015-01-04. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  15. ^ "Regular Season All-Time Records: Individual Records – Passing". Archived from the original on 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  16. ^ "Regular Season All-Time Records: Individual Records – Receiving". Archived from the original on 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2008-12-10.