San Jose state coach Brent Brennan has emerged as one of the rising stars of college football in the Spartans undefeated season. Rumors have it that he could be a candidate for a Power Five job this off-season.
Brennan avoided a question about the possibility of such a job during a video call with reporters Monday.
After Kevin Sumlin was fired in Arizona, several media outlets listed Brennan as a potential candidate for the Wildcats’ next head coach. However, Brennan said he was only focused on the task at hand: beating Boise State and claiming the Mountain West title.
“We’re climbing the mountain and that’s all I’m worried about right now,” Brennan said on Monday. “That’s it. This team, which is evolving, is playing the biggest game in our school’s history.”
On Saturday, the state of San Jose (6-0) will have its first appearance in the program history in the championship game Mountain West after its exciting 30:20 win against Nevada in the final of the regular season. The opponent will be Boise State (5-1, 5-0 Mountain West), who will appear in his fourth championship game in a row at Mountain West.
Along with the conference championship, the Spartans and Broncos qualified for a bowl game, the details of which will be announced after the title fight in Mountain West.
San Jose State was originally scheduled to play at Boise State on November 28, but the game was abandoned when the Broncos tested positive for coronavirus. This weekend, the Spartans and Broncos, both unbeaten in the conference game, will face each other in Las Vegas.
“This team won and was forever successful,” Brennan said of Boise State. “They brought good teams to the field throughout. They are talented, they are extremely well trained, they play extremely hard. ”
While Boise State has clearly been the best team at the conference since joining Mountain West, Brennan San Jose State has leaned in that direction.
Last winter, Brennan signed a three-year extension of $ 2.55 million to stay in San Jose state through the 2024 season after the Spartans set a 5-7 record, including road wins against Arkansas and Army.
At the time, Brennan said he intended to train the Spartans for the next 15 years. On Monday, Brennan explained why he wanted to build a lasting legacy in San Jose state.
“I grew up here,” said Brennan. “My father played here. I went to these games as a young man. As a child, he rolled down the hill before the stands were at the north end. It’s been my whole life When I said that, it came from the heart. I love this place. I love what we do I believe we can build a successful football program in San Jose state and I think we are in the process of demonstrating that. ”
Should Brennan stay, the trend for coaches to leave San Jose state to attend Power Five schools as soon as they introduce the Spartans would buck the trend.
Jack Elway coached five seasons in the state of San Jose from 1979 to 1983, leading the Spartans to a 35-20-1 record before moving to coach at Stanford.
Terry Shea led the state of San Jose to consecutive conference championships in 1990 and 1991, but left after these two seasons to become an assistant at Stanford under Bill Walsh.
Most recently, Mike MacIntyre, who led the Spartans to a 10-2 record in 2012, left San Jose to train weeks ahead of the Colorado Military Bowl.
Brennan makes sense as a candidate for a Power Five job with the Spartans being one of only eight remaining undefeated teams, but ties with Arizona are deepening.
In 2000, Brennan was Dick Tomey’s graduate assistant. After that lonely season with the Wildcats, Brennan was an assistant to Cal Poly for four years under Rich Ellerson, who was Arizona’s defensive coordinator when Brennan was a graduate assistant. Brennan’s brother Brad also played wide receiver in Arizona.
Since the turn of the millennium, only Tomey has trained for at least five seasons in the state of San Jose. If the 15-year timeline is really Brennan’s goal, his fourth season, his fourth, could give him enough goodwill at SJSU to guarantee he gets at least halfway there.
Even so, Brennan says he and his team focus on the here and now. When asked how his team handled their unbeaten regular season, Brennan reiterated that his team’s only priority is to beat Boise State.
“We’re worried right now,” said Brennan. “You could say, in a way, that we’re very similar to Boise (State) in that way. We haven’t talked about it once. I haven’t had a player talk to me about it yet. I haven’t spoken to anyone about it. I’ve seen it on social media but we’re really focused on it now. ”