San Jose State Hires Craig Stutzmann As New Offensive Coordinator

On Monday Jan. 22, San Jose State announced that Craig Stutzmann will be hired as the team’s new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Stutzmann’s hiring marks newly minted SJSU head coach Ken Niumatalolo’s first staff hire after replacing Brent Brennan who left for Arizona.

The move from Niumatalolo, the winningest head coach in Navy history, means current SJSU offensive coordinator Kevin McGiven will slide over to wide receiver and passing game coordinator. 

Stutzmann comes to San Jose after guiding Texas State’s offense to the most yards per game (457.6) in the Sun Belt and the 12th-most points per game in the nation (36.7) last season.

“Having played for June Jones and working with Nick Rolovich in the run and shoot system, I’m looking forward to having the chance to bring the Spread-N-Shred offense to San José State,” Stutzmann said in an SJSU issued press release. “Coach Niumatalolo has been a coaching mentor to me from the beginning and I can’t wait to get started.”

His hiring is especially important because it answers a critical question: How will Niumatalolo transition away from the triple option? It was the only offense Niumatalolo ran in his 25 seasons as a coach at Navy and 15 as a head coach.

From 2007-22, with Navy Niumatalolo at the helm, Navy went to 10 bowl games, and from 2015-19, he was named American Athletic Conference coach of the year three times and the Midshipmen had four AP Top 25 poll finishes.

With running back Quali Conley announcing he’d enter the transfer portal on Monday, SJSU’s offense won’t return its starting quarterback, top-two rushers, tight end and four offensive lineman from last year. It’s likely Conley will follow former SJSU associate head coach, running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Alonzo “Zo” Carter to Tuscon.

The news of Stutzmann’s hiring also comes hours after Brock Purdy’s younger brother, Chubba, flipped his transfer commitment from SJSU to Mountain West foe Nevada. 

Potential quarterbacks to run the “Spread-and-Shred” are Jay Butterfield, Trevor Voss, Anthony Garcia and Walker Eget. Although, it would be interesting to see if Stutzmann will try to get former LSU, Auburn and Texas State quarterback T.J. Finley to flip his commitment from Western Kentucky to SJSU. 

Before Stutzmann was at TSU, he was at Utah Tech in 2022 and at Washington State for two seasons from 2020-21 as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. The Cougars had the third-best passing attack in the conference in 2020. And while working for Rolovich at Hawaii, the Rainbow Warriors had the ninth-ranked passing offense in the nation in 2018 and fifth-rated passing attack in 2019.

Several years earlier, he coached Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota at Saint Louis High School. 

In three seasons as a wide receiver at UH, Stutzmann totaled 2,025 receiving yards — fifth-most in school history.

It’ll be intriguing to see how SJSU’s offense will do with Stutzmann working alongside McGiven, who’ll help replace former Spartan wide receiver coach Eric Scott.

McGiven has been offensive coordinator at SJSU since 2018 after spending several seasons with Brennan at Oregon State and has been the Spartans quarterbacks coach since 2021. 

There’s plenty of work cut out, but if the offense can adapt SJSU could make three-straight bowl games for the first time in program history.

Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire