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Gifford Nielsen


Stanley Gifford Nielsen

Inducted 1994

Date of Birth



Provo, UT


Brigham Young University (1975-1977)


Gifford Nielsen was a star basketball and football player for Provo High School and was voted the top high school athlete in the state of Utah. He first made good at the college level in 1975, his sophomore year at Brigham Young. The team lost its first three games and was losing again to New Mexico 12-0 with four minutes left in the third quarter. Nielsen went in, hit 10 of 12 passes, and led the way to a 16-15 victory. Brigham Young went 6-2 the rest of the season with Nielsen in charge. As a junior in 1976, he helped Brigham Young to a 9-3 record. He led the nation in touchdown passes (29). He was Player of the Year in the Western Athletic Conference and broke every conference passing record. Early in 1977, he passed for five touchdowns in a 54-19 victory over New Mexico and was Sports Illustrated's Player of the Week. He threw six touchdown passes in a 65-6 victory over Utah State and was picked by United Press as its Player of the Week. But he was injured and missed the last seven games. Nielsen had a career average of 243 yards per game passing. In 1978, he received an NCAA post-graduate award for academic achievement. Nielsen played professionally with the Houston Oilers 1978-83, then went into broadcasting.


Height 6'4

Weight 203

Career Highlights

  • 1977 NCAA Postgraduate Scholar
  • 1976 All-Conference
  • 1976 Conference MVP
  • 1976 First Team All-America
  • 1976 Heisman -Sixth
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