Fresno State Bulldogs


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Fresno State Bulldogs

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Fresno State Bulldogs

Fresno State Team News and History

Fresno State University has been fielding a football team since 1921, playing as an independent in its first season before starting a moving around of conferences for the rest of its history. The team will play its 100th season in 2021.

The Bulldogs have been to 28 bowl games and won 28 conference titles in their history, putting together a record of 618-436-27 (.536) under 20 different head coaches.

Fresno State Bulldogs Standings

The Fresno State Bulldogs are a well-respected team in the NCAAF, known for their outstanding stats and impressive performance on the field. With a talented roster of athletes, the Bulldogs consistently rank high in the NCAAF standings, always striving for success. The team’s focus on improvement and excellence has earned them a strong reputation among fans and opponents alike, making them a top pick for an exciting and competitive game.

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Recent History

Kalen DeBoer took over as head coach entering the 2020 campaign, which saw the Bulldogs go 3-3. DeBoer replaced the very successful Jeff Tedford, who in three seasons went 26-14, including a 12-win season in 2018. Tedford won 22 games in his first two campaigns at the helm but stepped down after the 2019 season due to health reasons.

From 1980 to 2011, the Bulldogs only had two head coaches: Jim Sweeney and Pat Hill. Unfortunately, since 2012, DeBoer is now the fourth man in the head coaching position. was the coach for four seasons and partway into a fifth but was let go after a 1-7 start to the 2016 campaign. Eric Kiesau took over as interim coach for the rest of that season before Tedford was hired.

Key Players in History

The quarterback has been a good position for the Bulldogs, with future NFL stars Trent Dilfer and brothers David and Derek Carr all starting under center for the team and Kevin Sweeney. He finished his career in 1986 as the all-time leading passer in NCAA history with 10,308 yards.

Dilfer was the No. 6 pick of the 1994 NFL Draft after throwing for 7,631 career yards and earning WAC Offensive Player of the Year honors as a junior. He led Fresno State to two bowl games, including a win over USC in the 1992 Freedom Bowl.

David Carr was the No. 1 pick in the 2002 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans, becoming the first Player from a non-BCS school to be selected first in 30 years. Carr finished fifth in the balloting for the 2001 Heisman Trophy and won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as a senior. Carr held school records for career passing touchdowns (70), passing yards in a season (4.839), touchdowns in a season (46), and total offensive yards in a season (4,906) when he graduated.

Carr’s younger brother, Derek, played for the Bulldogs from 2009 to 2013 and took over the school record book with his passing prowess. He helped Fresno State to back-to-back Mountain West titles in his final two seasons and helped the team to get as high as No. 13 in the national rankings. Carr led the nation in 2013 in total offense (5,199 yards), total passing yards (5,082), passing yards per game (390.9), and passing touchdowns (50). He won the 2013 Sammy Baugh Award, which goes to the nation’s top passer, and was selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the then-Oakland Raiders.

Wide receiver Henry Ellard set an NCAA record with 1,510 receiving yards in 1982, earning co-Offensive Player of the Year in the PCAA. He was a second-team All-America by the Associated Press and was a second-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Rams in the 1983 NFL Draft.

Key Championships

The Bulldogs have won 28 conference titles, including three in their current conference, the Mountain West. Fresno State tied for the conference crown in 2012 before winning it outright in 2013. The most recent Mountain West title came in 2018.

Fresno State also earned three conference crowns in the Western Athletic Conference, tying for the title each time. In 1992 and 1993, the Bulldogs tied for the top spot, then did it again in 1999.

The Bulldogs also won three titles in the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (1977, 1982, 1985) and the Big West Conference (1988, 1989, 1991), which is what the name of the PCAA was changed to in 1988.

Conference Outlook

Fresno State began its conference affiliations in the California Coast Conference in 1922, spending three seasons in the league. The Bulldogs moved on to the Far Western Conference for 13 seasons before moving to the California Collegiate Athletic Association in 1939.

In 1969, Fresno State moved to Division I football by joining the PCAA. The 20th year of existence of the league coincided with changing the name to the Big West Conference. In 1992, the Bulldogs moved to the WAC for 20 seasons before joining the Mountain West Conference in 2012.

The league currently has 12 schools in its football membership, split into the Mountain and West divisions. Fresno State is among six teams in the West Division.

Coaching History

Twenty men have been the head coach at Fresno State, including the current boss, DeBoer. Of those 20, Jim Sweeney has the most wins, going 143-75-3 in his 19 seasons at the helm from 1976 to 1977 and from 1980 to 1996. Sweeney’s 221 games coached at the school are the most of any of the head coaches in school history. He won eight conference titles and took the Bulldogs to seven bowl games, going 5-2 in those contests.

Pat Hill went 112-80 over 15 seasons from 1997 to 2011. Hill won just one conference title but guided the team to 11 bowl games, winning four times.

James Bradshaw had the best winning percentage of all head coaches in school history, winning 75 percent of his games over eight seasons. Bradshaw was the coach from 1936 to 1942 and in 1946, going 59-18-5 and winning three conference titles and the only bowl game the team played in during his reign.


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Fresno State Bulldogs FAQ’s

What is the Fresno State football team’s record?

The Bulldogs entered the 2021 season with a record of 618-436-27.

Who is the winningest coach in Fresno State football history?

Jim Sweeney has recorded the most wins of any Fresno State head coach, going 143-75-3 over 19 seasons.

How many bowl games has Fresno State appeared in?

The Bulldogs have appeared in 28 bowl games in their history, going 14-14.

Who is the all-time leading rusher in Fresno State history?

Robbie Rouse rushed for a school record 4,647 yards over his career at Fresno State, which spanned from 2009 to 2012.

Who is the all-time leading passer in Fresno State history?

Derek Carr holds the Fresno State record for most passing yards in a career, throwing for 12,842 yards from 2009 to 2013.

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