11 Best Football Colleges in California

Many people think of the South as the hotbed of college football in the United States. They may be right, but California also has a great college football scene. From massive D1 schools in California to D2 and D3 schools with loyal fans, there’s plenty going on in the Golden State when it comes to college football.

But what are the best football colleges in California? And what does it take to get a job at one doing what you love? 

How Many College Football Teams are in California?

There are more than 50 college football teams in California, and they play at various levels and have varying degrees of success on and off the field. But there are NCAA football jobs available at most of them for you to pursue.

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Top D1 Football Colleges in California

The best D1 football colleges in California stand out with great performance on the field and loyal fanbases filling stadiums. Here’s a look at 11 of the top programs in the state.

1. California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo (FCS) – San Luis Obispo, CA

Team: Cal Poly Mustangs
Conference: Big West

2. California State University – Fresno (FBS) – (Fresno, CA)

Team: Fresno Bull Dogs
Conference: Mountain West

3. California State University – Sacramento (FCS) – (Sacramento, CA)

Team: Hornets
Conference: Big Sky

4. San Diego State University (FBS) – (San Diego, CA)

Team: Aztecs
Conference: Mountain West

5. San Jose State University (FBS) – (San Jose, CA)

Team: Spartans
Conference: Mountain West

6. Stanford University (FBS) – (Stanford, CA)

Team: Cardinals
Conference: Pac-12

7. University of California – Davis (FCS) – (Davis, CA)

Team: Aggies
Conference: Big Sky

8. University of California – Berkeley (FBS) – (Berkeley, CA)

Team: Golden Bears
Conference: Pac-12

9. University of California – Los Angeles (FBS) – (Los Angeles, CA)

Team: Bruins
Conference: Pac-12

10. University of San Diego (FCS) – (San Diego, CA)

Team: Tritons
Conference: Big West

11. University of Southern California (FBS) – (Los Angeles, CA)

Team: Trojans
Conference: Pac-12

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Types of D1 Football Jobs in California


Salary: $32,000 – $75,000

You typically need previous coaching experience to get hired at the D1 level at a football college in California or elsewhere. There are also several types of assistant coaching jobs available. 

These range from working with specific position groups to leading the entire offense or defense with your play-calling. The more responsibilities you have, the more you can expect to earn.

Athletic Trainer

Salary: $43,000 – $62,000

Athletic trainers are responsible for keeping players fit and healthy so they can perform during games. They also help players resolve injuries by applying treatment before and after practices. You generally need a college degree to get this job.

Director of Recruitment

Salary: ~$58,000

Recruiting directors are responsible for bringing skilled players into the school, and they may also manage other scouts. The requirements for this job tend to be previous high-level football experience and potentially a college degree.


Salary: ~$75,000

You may also want to look into becoming an announcer or broadcaster. Previous broadcasting or announcing experience and a relevant degree will be a requirement for this job. It’ll give you the opportunity to stay involved in football without needing to get hired by the team to do so.

Are There Internships Available in D1 Football?

College football programs will often hire graduate assistants. These are graduate school students at the university who get to work with the football team in an entry-level role.

There are graduate assistant coaching jobs, and some schools also offer graduate athletic training positions, among other internship positions.

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How to Find a D1 Football Job in California

If you’re committed to finding jobs in D1 NCAA football, then it’s important to know what the process looks like to maximize your performance during each step. 

Here’s an overview.

1. Build a Resume

The first thing you need to do is build a resume that’s good enough to land your dream college football job. That means two things: getting some experience and finishing your education.

The experience you need will depend on the job you want. If you’d like to become an assistant coach, try your hand at coaching high school football first. Or, if you want to be an athletic trainer, take an internship somewhere – it doesn’t necessarily need to be a football job.

Many high-level college football job openings also require a college degree. So if you haven’t finished yours yet, now could be the time to do so.

2. Form Connections

NCAA football jobs are very competitive – especially in a state like California. That means hiring decisions are often made based on connections as much as they are based on merit. 

It’s why it’s never too early to begin forming connections in the state’s football communities.

3. Put Together Your Application Materials

Now you’re ready to put together an application that will get you your dream job. Ideally, you want to customize your resume and cover letter for every job you apply for. That way, you give yourself the best chance of standing out.

4. Know Where to Look for College Football Jobs

Finally, you need to know where to look for college football jobs. There are thousands available in the United States every year, and if you know where to find those quickly, it could be just what you need to get hired.

That’s why you should consider using JobsInSports.com.

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Start Your California Football Career with JobsInSports.com

At JobsInSports, we maintain an up-to-date list of the latest jobs in college football in California and other sports. When you create an account with us, you can sign up to receive notifications for the specific kinds of jobs that you want to pursue.

With our help, you can get notified about a new opportunity the minute it becomes available so that your resume can be the first to be reviewed.

So why wait? Take the first step toward finding your dream job by creating an account with us today.