Cal Poly Mustangs football

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Cal Poly Mustangs football
2014 Cal Poly Mustangs football team
First season1915
Head coachTim Walsh
Home stadiumAlex G. Spanos Stadium
Stadium capacity11,075
Stadium surfaceNatural Grass
LocationSan Luis Obispo, CA
ConferenceBig Sky Conference
All-time record467–365–20 (.560)
Postseason bowl record4–4 (.500)
Claimed national titles1 (Division II - 1980)
Conference titles5
Consensus All-Americans0

Green and Gold

Fight songRide High You Mustangs
MascotMusty the Mustang
Marching bandCal Poly Mustang Band
RivalUC Davis Aggies
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Cal Poly Mustangs football
2014 Cal Poly Mustangs football team
First season1915
Head coachTim Walsh
Home stadiumAlex G. Spanos Stadium
Stadium capacity11,075
Stadium surfaceNatural Grass
LocationSan Luis Obispo, CA
ConferenceBig Sky Conference
All-time record467–365–20 (.560)
Postseason bowl record4–4 (.500)
Claimed national titles1 (Division II - 1980)
Conference titles5
Consensus All-Americans0

Green and Gold

Fight songRide High You Mustangs
MascotMusty the Mustang
Marching bandCal Poly Mustang Band
RivalUC Davis Aggies

The Cal Poly Mustangs are the football team representing California Polytechnic State University located in San Luis Obispo, California. The team plays its home games in Alex G. Spanos Stadium. The current head coach is Tim Walsh, who began his tenure in 2009.

Current coaching staff (2012)[edit]

NamePositionYears at
Cal Poly
Tim WalshHead Coach4
Bryan CookCo-Offensive coordinator
Saga TuiteleCo-Offensive coordinator
Offensive Line
Josh BrownDefensive coordinator
Defensive backs
Juston WoodWide receivers4
Aristotle ThompsonRunning backs4
Jamar CainAssistant Coach
Defensive Line
Josh BrownDefensive coordinator
Steve CoxOutside Linebackers2
Matt CrivelloHalfbacks Coordinator7
Pat JohnstonDefensive Assistant5
Neil FendallAssistant Coach
Defensive Backs
Joe HarperOffensive Quality Control Coach2
Nick HillDefensive Quality Control Coach2
Russell OkaDefensive Quality Control Coach2


Football was first played on the Cal Poly campus in 1916. At that time, Cal Poly was a vocational school as it did not become a four year college until 1941.

1915 Through the 1940s[edit]

The California Polytechnic School played mostly high school teams and college freshmen teams for its first 16 seasons. In 1933, Mustangs enjoyed their first undefeated season under coach Howie O'Daniels. During the 1933 campaign, The Mustangs did not allow a single point during that season. Cal Poly officially became a four-year school in 1941 and posted a 5-3-1 record under Coach O'Daniels. Football was put to a halt during World War II ('43 and '44) and resumed in 1945.


Under coach Roy Hughes, Cal Poly experienced its second undefeated season in 1953. In the decade of the 1950s, the Mustangs posted a record of 67-29-1. During this decade, future NFL Hall of Fame inductee, John Madden play for the Green and Gold and was known as a bruising tackle. Upon graduation, Madden was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. Joining Madden on the Cal Poly squad was quarterback and defensive back, Bobby Beathard, who would later gain NFL fame as the architect and general manager responsible for building the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers respectively into Super Bowl winning and contending teams.


Tragedy struck in 1960 following a game at Bowling Green State University on Saturday, October 29, 1960 when a plane leaving Toledo Airport crashed killing 22 people. This included 16 Mustang football players and the team manager. The next seven seasons produced a 22-45 record. Then Joe Harper was hired in 1968 and produced a 7-3 and 6-4 season to end the decade.


In 1972 under head coach, Joe Harper, Cal Poly produced an 8-0-1 record and received a trip to the Camellia Bowl to play for the NCAA Division II National Football Championship. They would end up losing to the University of North Dakota. In 1978, The Mustangs would make it to the NCAA Division II playoffs but lost to Winston-Salem State. Each of the 10 Mustang football teams in the 1970s posted a winning season.


1980 would be one of the most memorable seasons for the Cal Poly Mustangs as they went on to win the NCAA Division II National Football Championship under coach Joe Harper. Cal Poly defeated Eastern Illinois in the championship game and would finish the season with a 10-3 record that included a win over D-IAA national champion, Boise State. Never before or since has a D-II team defeated the eventual D-IAA national champion and won a D-II national title in the same year.


The winning continued in the 90s and in 1990, coach Lyle Setencich would lead the Mustangs to another playoff appearance before losing in the second round to North Dakota State. In 1994, Cal Poly would make the jump to Division I-AA (now FCS) football with coach Andre Patterson at the helm. The Mustangs would see instant success posting a 7-4 record. In 1997, Larry Welsh took over the program and led the Mustangs to a 10-1 record and a national ranking of 16. However, the team was not extended an invitation to the national playoffs. Larry Welsh would follow that season with 3 3-8 seasons.

The Rich Ellerson era[edit]

In 2001, first-year coach Rich Ellerson led the Mustangs to a 6–5 season. Coach Ellerson would emphasize defense and in 2004, linebacker Jordan Beck won the Buck Buchanan Award for best defensive player of the year in the NCAA Division I Football Championship. During the next two years, Cal Poly would experience another NCAA first as two more players would win the award: Chris Gocong in 2005 and Kyle Shotwell in 2006. In 2005, the Mustangs saw their first FCS playoff berth and a 35–21 win over Montana. 2008 would prove to be another exciting season for the Mustangs as they had one of the most productive offenses in the country. They went on to beat FBS San Diego State as well as experience a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison 36-35. The 2008 Mustangs made the playoffs and but lost a shootout in the first round against Weber State. Wide receiver Ramses Barden was drafted by the New York Giants. After the season, coach Rich Ellerson accepted a coaching offer to become the head coach of the Army Black Knights.

Season-by-season records[1][edit]

D.W. Schlosser (1915–1917)
1915D.W. Schlosser1-0-10-0-0
1916D.W. Schlosser1-2-00-0-0
1917D.W. Schlosser2-1-00-0-0
D.W. Schlosser:4-2-10-0-0
Flu Epidemic (1918–1918)
1918No Games0-0-00-0-0
H. Hess (1919–1920)
1919H. Hess3-0-00-0-0
1920H. Hess1-4-00-0-0
H. Hess:4-4-00-0-0
Al Agosti (1921–1932)
1921Al Agosti3-1-10-0-0
1922Al Agosti1-3-00-0-0
1923Al Agosti3-3-00-0-0
1924Al Agosti1-5-00-0-0
1925Al Agosti4-5-00-0-0
1926Al Agosti5-4-00-0-0
1927Al Agosti2-4-10-0-0
1928Al Agosti3-4-20-0-0
1929Al Agosti3-5-00-0-0
1930No Games0-0-00-0-0
1931Al Agosti3-5-10-0-0
1932Al Agosti4-4-00-0-0
Al Agosti:32-44-50-0-0
Howie O'Daniels (1933–1941)
1933Howie O'Daniels7-0-00-0-0
1934Howie O'Daniels6-2-00-0-0
1935Howie O'Daniels5-2-10-0-0
1936Howie O'Daniels5-4-00-0-0
1937Howie O'Daniels4-2-20-0-0
1938Howie O'Daniels7-2-00-0-0
1939Howie O'Daniels4-4-10-0-0
1940Howie O'Daniels6-3-00-0-0
1941Howie O'Daniels5-3-10-0-0
Howie O'Daniels:45-22-50-0-0
Bob Dakan (1942)
1942Bob Dakan4-2-10-0-0
Bob Dakan:4-2-10-0-0
World War II (1943–1944)
1943No Games0-0-00-0-0
1944No Games0-0-00-0-0
Ronnie Henderson (1945)
1945Ronnie Henderson1-5-10-0-0
Ronnie Henderson:1-5-10-0-0
Howie O'Daniels (1946–1947)
1946Howie O'Daniels6-2-10-0-0
1947Howie O'Daniels1-9-00-0-0
Howie O'Daniels:56-33-60-0-0
Chuck Pavelko (1948–1949)
1948Chuck Pavelko3-5-00-0-0
1949Chuck Pavelko4-6-00-0-0
Chuck Pavelko:7-11-00-0-0
LeRoy Hughes (1950–1961)
1950LeRoy Hughes3-7-00-0-0
1951LeRoy Hughes5-4-10-0-0
1952LeRoy Hughes7-3-00-0-0
1953LeRoy Hughes9-0-00-0-0
1954LeRoy Hughes6-4-00-0-0
1955LeRoy Hughes7-3-00-0-0
1956LeRoy Hughes7-3-00-0-0
1957LeRoy Hughes8-1-00-0-0
1958LeRoy Hughes9-1-00-0-0
1959LeRoy Hughes6-3-00-0-0
1960LeRoy Hughes1-5-0*0-0-0
1961LeRoy Hughes5-3-00-0-0
LeRoy Hughes:73-37-10-0-0
Sheldon Harden (1962–1967)
1962Sheldon Harden4-5-00-0-0
1963Sheldon Harden2-8-00-0-0
1964Sheldon Harden0-10-00-0-0
1965Sheldon Harden2-8-00-0-0
1966Sheldon Harden6-4-00-0-0
1967Sheldon Harden3-7-00-0-0
Sheldon Harden:17-42-00-0-0
Joe Harper (1968–1981)
1968Joe Harper7-3-00-0-0
1969Joe Harper6-4-00-0-0
1970Joe Harper8-2-00-0-0
1971Joe Harper6-5-00-0-0
1972Joe Harper8-1-10-0-0L Camellia Bowl
1973Joe Harper9-1-00-0-0
1974Joe Harper5-4-10-0-0
1975Joe Harper6-4-00-0-0
1976Joe Harper7-1-10-0-0
1977Joe Harper6-4-00-0-0
1978Joe Harper7-3-00-0-0
1979Joe Harper7-3-00-0-0
1980Joe Harper10-3-00-0-03-0 Div. II national champions
1981Joe Harper4-5-00-0-0
Joe Harper:96-43-40-0-0
Jim Sanderson (1982–1986)
1982Jim Sanderson6-5-00-0-0
1983Jim Sanderson5-6-00-0-0
1984Jim Sanderson6-4-00-0-0
1985Jim Sanderson4-7-00-0-0
1986Jim Sanderson5-5-00-0-0
Jim Sanderson:26-27-00-0-0
Lyle Setencich (1987–1993)
1987Lyle Setencich7-3-00-0-0
1988Lyle Setencich5-4-10-0-0
1989Lyle Setencich5-5-00-0-0
1990Lyle Setencich10-2-00-0-01-1 Div. II quarterfinals
1991Lyle Setencich4-6-00-0-0
1992Lyle Setencich4-5-10-0-0
1993Lyle Setencich6-4-00-0-0
Lyle Setencich:41-29-20-0-0
Andre Patterson (1994–1996)
1994Andre Patterson7-43-01st
1995Andre Patterson5-62-1
1996Andre Patterson5-60-0
Andre Patterson:17-165-1
Larry Welsh (1997–2000)
1997Larry Welsh10-10-0
1998Larry Welsh3-80-0
1999Larry Welsh3-80-0
2000Larry Welsh3-80-0
Larry Welsh:19-250-0
Rich Ellerson (2001–2008)
2001Rich Ellerson6-50-0
2002Rich Ellerson3-80-0
2003Rich Ellerson7-40-0
2004Rich Ellerson9-24-11st
2005Rich Ellerson9-44-1T-1st
2006Rich Ellerson7-42-23rd
2007Rich Ellerson7-42-23rd
2008Rich Ellerson8-34-01stNCAA Division I First Round
Rich Ellerson:56-3416-6
Tim Walsh (2009–present)
2009Tim Walsh4-71-35th
2010Tim Walsh7-42-23rd
2011Tim Walsh6-53-1T-1st
2012Tim Walsh9-37-1T-1stNCAA Division I Second Round
2013Tim Walsh6-65-3T-4th
Tim Walsh:32–2518-9
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl, or College Football Playoff (CFP) game.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
*Last 3 games of the season cancelled after plane crash killed 16 players in Toledo, OH

Coaching history[edit]

1D.W. Schlosser1915-173431.5630
2H. Hess1919-202440.5000
3Al Agosti1921-321132445.4250
4Howie O'Daniels1933-41, 46-471156336.6210
5Bob Dakan19421430.5710
6Ron Henderson19451151.1670
7Chuck Pavelko1948-4927110.3890
8Roy Hughes1950-611273371.6620
9Sheldon Harden1962-67617420.2880
10Joe Harper1968-811496434.6622
11Jim Sanderson1982-86526270.4910
12Lyle Setencich1987-93741292.5831
13Andre Patterson1994-96317160.5150
14Larry Welsh1997-00419250.4320
15Rich Ellerson2001-08856340.6222
16Tim Walsh2009–Present426190.5780
  Totals  1915–present  93 445 353 20.556 5

Bowl and Playoff history[edit]

Bowl and DateWinning teamLosing teamResult
Camellia Bowl Dec 9, 1972North Dakota38Cal Poly21Lost
NCAA Division II National Football Championship Dec 13, 1980Cal Poly21Eastern Illinois13Won

Current NFL Players[edit]

Current CFL Players[edit]

Other Notable Players[edit]


External links[edit]