Born in Jersey City, New Jersey ... parents are Jim and Roberta ... brother Mike wrestled at Weber State ... majoring in public relations.
A three-sport letterman at Roy High ... was all-region, all-state and all-intermountain ... averaged around 45 yards per punt ... was scholar-athlete award winner prep All-American for Adidas, Joe Namath and Coach and Athlete ... was team MVP ... Roy was undefeated 20-0 for his last two years ... coached by Ernest Jacklin (BYU).
Broke 75 NCAA Records (37 on total offense and 38 in passing) ... drafted by the Chicago Bears in the first round ... career pass efficiency rating of 156.9 in 44 games ... broke 23 school records and set 29 WAC records ... missed only three games (USU and UNLV in 1981 and Hawai`i in 1978) ... presented the Dale Rex Award in 1982 by BYU
Year Rushes Net Rush TDR Comp. Att. HI P-Yards PTD
1977 7 -20 0 10 16 1 103 1
1978 99 248 4 87 176 8 1,307 6
1980 95 56 6 284 445 18 4,571 47
1981 64 -97 0 278 423 7 3,555 30
Career 265 187 10 653 1060 34 9,536 84
1977 | Freshman Year
Had one TD pass against UTEP ... in Japan he threw three TD passes against the Japanese All-Stars in post-season play ... most varsity quarterback experience was at UTEP where he was four of seven in passing and one TD pass.
1978 | Sophomore Year
Started the season primarily as a punter until the third game .. replaced an injured Marc Wilson in the Colorado State game ... in the CSU game he accounted for 112 yards passing, 80 yards rushing, two TDs and a victory ... as a result, he was named Chevrolet player of the game and WAC player of the week ... in the second half of the Oregon game Jim claimed the number one QB role and led BYU to a come-from-behind victory ... he was named WAC player of the week against Wyoming when he completed 24 of 36 passes for 317 yards along with 49 yards rushing ... Jim was 15 of 38 for 249 yards passing against Utah, but he was injured during that game ... McMahon rested onj the sidelines during the entire Hawaii game, but came back to start against UNLV in Japan one week later ... was the first sophomore selected as an All-WAC quarterback and honorable mention All-America Associated Press.
1980 | Junior Year
Threw the "Hail-Mary" pass to Clay Brown in the 1980 Holiday Bowl to help BYU come from 20 points behind with four minutes remaining and upset SMU, 46-45, resulting in BYU?s first bowl victory ... battled Royce Bybee for the QB slot in spring drills and looked impressive ... had a spectacular season, breaking 32 NCAA passing and total offense records and tying two other national records ... balloted fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting ... named to four All-America teams, including a first-team selection on the Kodak-Coaches' team ... WAC Player of the Year and unanimous first-team All-WAC ... three times selected as WAC Player of the Week (San Diego State, Wyoming and Utah State) ... was named Sports Illustrated Player of the Week against Utah State ... selected as Utah Sportsman of the Year and Deseret News Athlete of the Year ... named co-offensive player of the Holiday Bowl with SMU's Craig James ... best overall statistical game was against Utah State when he was 21 fo 33 for 485 yards, threw for six touchdowns and rushed for two more TD's ... among his spectacular plays for 1980 was a left-footed 33-yard punt (he normally punts right-footed) which was downed on Hawai`i's one-yard line ... led the NCAA in pass efficiency and total offense ...although he played in all 12 of BYU's games, he only played three entire games ... in his total time on the bench he missed nearly two games of playing time.
1981 | Senior Year
Consensus First-Team All-American by Associated Press, United Press International, Football Writers Association and the American Football Coaches Association (Kodak) and College & Pro Weekly ... won the Davey O'Brien Trophy and the Sammy Baugh Award and the Utah Sportsman of the Year ... third in Heisman Trophy balloting ... Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year ... unanimous All-WAC first team ... NCAA Co-Offensive Player of the Year with Marcus Allen by the Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., ... Sports Illustrated Offensive Player of the Week (Colorado State) ... WAC Player of the Week against Long Beach State, Colorado State and San Diego State ... entered the season with a string of 11 consecutive 300-pluss passing games, not including the Holiday Bowl ... played in the Hula Bowl and the Senior Bowl