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Jim McMahon


James Robert McMahon

Inducted 1998

Date of Birth



Jersey City, NJ


Brigham Young University (1977-1981)


Jim McMahon began his career at Brigham Young by being the back-up to Hall of Famer Marc Wilson and serving as the Cougar punter. The following season he became the starter when Wilson was injured and led BYU to a WAC title. The following year, he had knee surgery and missed the entire year, but came back to have a breakout year as a junior. In 1980, BYU went 12-1 as McMahon led the nation in passing and total offense, made All-America, and was Player of the Year in the Western Athletic Conference. Against Southern Methodist in the Holiday Bowl, BYU trailed 45-25 with four minutes left. He led a rally to score 21 points. BYU won 46-45 on a last second pass play from mid field. As a senior, McMahon again led the nation in total offense and passing, was All-America, conference Player of the Year, finished third in the Heisman vote, and won the Davey O'Brien and Sammy Baugh Quarterback Awards. The State of Utah named him Sportsman of the Year and the school picked him for the Cougar Crowd Pleaser Award. Against Utah State he passed for six touchdowns and ran for two. He set 80 records at the school, conference, and national levels. Next came 15 pro years, 1982-96 with the Chicago Bears, San Diego, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Arizona, Green Bay and Cleveland.


Height 6'0

Weight 185

Career Highlights

  • 1981 All-Conference
  • 1981 Heisman - Third
  • 1981 Led nation in passing
  • 1981 Led nation in total offense
  • 1981 Unanimous All-America
  • 1980 All-Conference
  • 1980 First Team All-America
  • 1980 Heisman - Fifth
  • 1980 Led nation in passing
  • 1980 Led nation in total offense
  • 1978 All-Conference
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