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San Jose State Spartans
The San Jose State Spartans is the name of the athletic teams representing San José State University. SJSU sports teams compete in the Mountain West Conference (MWC) at the NCAA Division I level. (Football Bowl Subdivision formally known as Division 1-A for football.) The university has participated in athletics since it first fielded a baseball team in 1890.
San José State University sports teams have won NCAA national titles in track and field, golf, boxing, fencing and tennis. As of July 2014, SJSU has won 10 NCAA national Division 1 team championships and produced 50 NCAA national Division 1 individual champions. SJSU also has achieved an international reputation for its judo program, winning 47 National Collegiate Judo Association (NCJA) championships in 53 years (as of 2014). SJSU alumni have won 19 Olympic medals (including seven gold medals) dating back to the first gold medal won by Willie Steel in track and field in the 1948 Olympics. Alumni also have won medals in swimming, judo and boxing. The track team coached by "Bud" Winter earned San Jose the nickname "Speed City," and produced Olympic medalists and social activists Lee Evans, John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Smith and Carlos are perhaps best remembered for giving the raised fist salute from the medalist's podium during the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City.
Due to the school's original designation as a teachers' college, SJSU's mascot changed many times before the school finally adopted the Spartans as the official mascot and nickname in 1942. Mascots and nicknames prior to 1942 included the Daniels, the Teachers, the Pedagogues, the Normals, and the Normalites. The school's current mascot is Sammy the Spartan or Sammy Spartan for short. After 1887, the official name of the San Jose campus was the State Normal School at San Jose. The school's athletic teams initially played under the "Normal" identity, but they gradually shifted to the State Normal School identity, as evidenced by images of the SNS football and basketball squads from this era. Despite the SNS identity, the school continued to be referred to as the California State Normal School, San José in official publications.