Cal State Fullerton Titans football
|Cal State Fullerton Titans football|
|Head coach||Gene Murphy (final Titans head coach)
13 year, 59–89–1 (.399)
|Home stadium||Titan Stadium (Cal State Fullerton)|
|All-time record||107–150–3 (.417)|
|Postseason bowl record||0–1–0|
Blue and Orange
The Cal State Fullerton Titans football team 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 1970-1973 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.
The Cal State Fullerton 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.1 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.1 Following moderate success in the inaugural 1970 season with a record of 6–4–1, the 1971 season was marked with tragedy 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. Just two weeks following the incident, Fullerton played before their largest ever home crowd of 60,415 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum against the Grambling State University Tigers.1
Entering the 1972 season, the Titans would move their home games from Anaheim Stadium to the Santa Ana Bowl, with Pete Yoder starting the season as the program's second all-time head coach. 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.1 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).1
For the 1975 season, Fullerton would hire former Pacific assistant coach Jim Colletto, as the third head coach in program history. 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.1 Colletto would be removed from his position following the 1979 season with Gene Murphy being announced as the program's fourth all-time head coach on December 16, 1979.1
Entering Murphy's first season, the Titans would move their home games to a temporary on-campus stadium, and continue to not see success on the field with losing seasons from the 1980 through the 1982 seasons.2 For the 1983 season, Fullerton would again move their home games, this time to Cerritos College in addition to making the 1983 California Bowl after winning their first conference championship.1 The Titans would build upon the successes in finishing the 1984 season again as conference champion with a record of 11–1. 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.1 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.2
By the late 1980s, the program was in financial trouble with the Fullerton Academic Senate voting 24–7 to recommend disbanding the program. Although halted by then-university president Milton A. Gordon, on December 7, 1992, Fullerton announced that it would suspend the program effective immediately for a year, with the intention of returning to play at the Division I-AA level for the 1994 season.1 However the move to I-AA never occurred and Fullerton has been without football since 1992.
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.3 The effort to resurrect the program continues to this day,4 complete with a petition5 to reinstate the football team.
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;6 the most kickoff returns per game with an average of 7.3 per game for the 1990 season;7 the 10th highest number of rushing yards in a single game with 357 by Mike Pringle on November 4, 1989, against New Mexico State;8 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, 1989.9
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,11 Damon Allen, the league's second all-time leading passer and former all-time pro football passing leader with 72,381 passing yards,12 and Allen Pitts, the league's all-time leading receiver until 2008 when he was surpassed by Milt Stegall.13
Amazingly, during the period between 2004 and 2008, the CFL all-time leaders in passing, rushing and receiving yardage were simultaneously former Cal State Fullerton Titans.