Jim McMahon Athlete Profile | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Jim McMahon Athlete Profile

#9 Jim McMahon

Position: Quarterback Height: 6-1 Weight: 182 Roster Years: 1977-1981 Hometown: Roy, UT Hall of Fame: 2014 Last School: Roy High School

Jim McMahon arrived at BYU in fall 1977 and finished his career in 1981 with an astonishing 70 NCAA football records. In his final two seasons as a Cougar, McMahon threw for 8,126 yards and 77 touchdowns. He led the nation in numerous offensive categories both years, including passing yards, total offense and touchdown passes. He was first-team All-America as a junior in 1980, and was a consensus choice as a senior in 1981.

At the conclusion of his senior season, McMahon won the inaugural Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and the Sammy Baugh Trophy. He was named NCAA Co-Offensive Player of the Year along with Marcus Allen of USC and finished third in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. From 1977-81 he was part of five consecutive WAC championship teams (redshirted in 1979) and was a three-time All-WAC First Team quarterback in 1978, 1980 and 1981.

McMahon will forever be known as the quarterback who led the Cougars to 21 points in the last 2:33 minutes of the 1980 Holiday Bowl to defeat SMU 46-45 and give BYU its first bowl victory. McMahon was named Offensive MVP of the 1980 and 1981 Holiday Bowls.

Following a historic career at BYU, McMahon was the fifth player selected in the first round of the 1982 NFL Draft — the highest Cougar ever taken. McMahon was drafted by the Bears and played seven seasons in Chicago, leading them to the Super Bowl title in 1986. He played 16 seasons in the NFL for seven teams and won two Super Bowl rings. McMahon was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

McMahon has also been very active in civic service with the Jim McMahon Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network, Jim McMahon Ronald McDonald House Golf Tournament, Juvenile Diabetes Fund, American Cancer Society, Society for the Prevention of Blindness, Think First Foundation for Children and BYU Y-Quarterback Weekend. In 2006, McMahon traveled to Iraq with the USO Supporting Freedom program to visit American forces in the field.

“Thanks so much for having me back and for inducting me into the BYU Hall of Fame,” said McMahon during his induction speech. “I had a wonderful time playing football at BYU. I played with some great players and had some outstanding coaches. We won a lot of ballgames. I want to thank my family and those behind the scenes who got me to where I am today. I'm happy I graduated. I especially want to thank my mom and dad.”





All-America

  • 1978 AP Honorable Mention
  • 1980 College and Pro Football Weekly First Team
  • 1980 Kodak First Team
  • 1980 AP Second Team
  • 1980 UPI Second Team
  • 1981 Consensus

Personal

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey ... parents are Jim and Roberta ... brother Mike wrestled at Weber State ... majoring in public relations.

Before BYU

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).

Summary

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

Stats

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