The university that became San Diego State University was actually two different schools in the early 20th century. At the time, San Diego Normal School and San Diego Junior College were two separate entities until they merged schools in 1921. At this point, it was known as San Diego State College.
The new school had their first football game in that same year, with their central athletic figure being none other than Charles E. Peterson. He was appointed in 1916 as a Phys-Ed instructor, but after serving in World War I, he was convinced to return and oversee the schools athletics program.
At first, Peterson taught all the men’s phys-ed classes and coached all of the teams. At this time, the school didn’t have a name for the team. So news outlets called them the “Staters” or “Professors”. And the media urged the school to choose a name and names were even suggested including the Panthers, Balboa, and Thoroughbreds. But the student leaders chose the nickname “Aztecs” over the suggestions. Because it was felt that the name better represented the school’s southwest image.
As time passed, the school went through what was known as the Small College period. Which included two undefeated seasons led by head coach Don Coryell. And later, the university entered the Western Conference and then landed in The Mountain West conference where they are today.
This was a period of success for the team that was capped off recently when the team won their 21st Conference Championship in 2016 by defeating the Wyoming Cowboys. And many of the players thank San Diego State’s “Win 21” campaign as providing the moral support they needed for this victory.
There’s no telling what will come for the team in 2022, but with a brand new stadium to play in, fans are hoping for another big winning season.
About the Stadium
Snapdragon Stadium, the home of the San Diego State Aztecs, was original known as Aztec Stadium while it was under construction. It is slated to be an incredible 166-acre non-contiguous expansion parcel to the university campus. And it will have seating for 35,000 spectators and is more than a fitting home for San Diego State University football. It will also serve as the home for the San Diego Wave FC of the National Women’s Soccer League as well as the home of the San Diego Legion of Major League Rugby.
The stadium first broke ground on August 17, 2020 and is scheduled to open on September 3, 2022. Just in time for the Aztec’s season opener versus the Arizona Wildcats.
The stadium is being built at the site of San Diego Stadium, which had been home for the school’s football program since 1967. The original stadium, also known as Jack Murphy Stadium, was also home for the former San Diego Chargers of the NFL from 1967-2016.
As you can imagine, the stadium is producing a lot of hype in the world of sports. Which likely explains why it is set to be the home of the 2023 World Lacrosse Championships as well as its primary venue. And earlier this year, on February 2, 2022, the San Diego Legion of Major League Rugby announced that the stadium would be its new home starting in 2023.
Fans are already snatching up tickets so they can be the first fans to help break in the new stadium.
Football Team Summary
San Diego State University’s football team, The San Diego State Aztecs, are an incredible team playing in the NCAA Division I. They are members of the West Division of the Mountain West Conference. Currently, the program is led by coach Brady Hoke and will be playing with Snapdragon Stadium as their home stadium as of 2022.
The program has had a stunning record thus far with 21 Conference Championships and 3 National Championships at the small college division. The program has also had 11 consensus All-American players to wear the team colors since they first took the field.
Back in 2013, the team was scheduled to become a football-only member of the Big East Conference, but on January 17, the Mountain West board of directors voted to reinstate San Diego State.
One thing’s for sure, the San Diego State Aztecs are a team to keep up with in the NCAA.
It’s no surprise that a team like the Aztecs have several time honored traditions. And these are just a few of the ones that bring fans back to every Aztecs home game.
SDSU football games tend to be played at night ever since their first night game on September 25, 1930 at Lane Field. Over 5,000 fans attended the game to watch the Aztecs crush the San Diego Marines 39-0. Since then, over 75% of all Aztec games, home or away, take place at night.
The Aztec Warrior figure associated with the university first appeared at an SDSU event nearly six decades ago. The figure is based on the historical Aztec ruler Montezuma II. SDSU often refers to the character as “Monty”.
An honorary team captain, usually a former team member, is chosen to lead the team onto the field before kickoff.
An Aztec warrior shield accompanies the team on the sidelines during home andd away games. The shield is held high by the captains during the singing of the school fight song following victories.
The San Diego State Aztecs have a long history of successful seasons. And here’s a brief run down of some of their most notable achievements.
Since it formed, SDSU has won 3 NCAA Championships at the College Division Level (1966, 1967, and 1968). The program have also won 20 Conference Championships from as far back as their 1922 season to their most recent success in 2016. The team has also earned 6 division championships from 1998 to their most recent victory in 2021. Finally, the team has a strong 19 appearances in bowl games with a 10-9 record under their belts.