Jim McMahon: BYU Graduate & Soon-to-be BYU Hall of Famer

Today, the greatest quarterback at a school that boasts itself as “Quarterback U.”, Jim McMahon, tweeted that he passed his stats class today and is soon to be a graduate at BYU.

This is great news for Jimmy Mac because now he will finally get his place in the BYU Sports Hall of Fame.

Over the past few years there has been much debate over whether McMahon should get an exception into the hall of fame because he was such an accomplished quarterback at BYU.  Now the debate can end, and McMahon can etch his name with all of the greats BYU Football has produced over the years.


Jim with father, James after 1980 Holiday Bowl.

My instant reaction to McMahon’s tweet was that I hope Jim’s father, James McMahon is enjoying this.  Back in 2008, the elder McMahon wrote a letter to BYU Athletic Director, Tom Holmoe asking BYU to put his son in the BYU Hall of Fame.  It was a great letter with tons of valid points; points that I whole heartedly agreed with.  But it’s special that Jim came back and finished his schooling.  You have to remember, McMahon once said in his autobiography, “Happiness was Provo in his rearview mirror.”  It was a rare day that McMahon showed his face on the BYU campus after he finished the most prolific career for a college quarterback at the time in 1981.

McMahon came back to BYU in 1998 during a Thursday night San Diego State game when he was honored for his College Football Hall of Fame induction.  After that rainy Thursday night in Provo, there would be another long hiatus before we saw Jimmy Mac on campus.

Things started to change when Tom Holmoe, a former teammate of McMahon’s, joined the athletic department in 2005.  McMahon came back for the quarterback celebration in 2010 versus Washington.  He also made appearances on BYU Football Media Day’s, and would take summer trips to Provo to check in on the program.  It was great to see the man who took BYU Football to a national stage, being involved with the program once again.

I know many people have mixed opinions about McMahon.  But in my opinion, he is no question the greatest quarterback to ever put on the pads at BYU.  Not only was he a phenomenal talent, but the way he did it, that’s what will always separate him from the rest.  He played with an edge, and a swagger that we all yearn to see in the BYU Football program today.  There’s truly nobody like Jimmy Mac.

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Tags: BYU Cougars Jim McMahon

  • randeoertle

    I’ve never believed Jim McMahon’s graduation and thus installation into the BYU Hall of Fame, has been about the fans and what they want. It’s always been about Jim and his decision to fulfill the requirements of the university. It took me 12 years going to night school to get my college degree. It was always about whether I had the guts and personal fortitude. I had issues with some teachers but I determined that they were not going to stop my getting my degree. Jim did the same, he will respect himself because he knows he did it and nobody can take that away from him. I am just thrilled to see the did what he had to do and he won’t be able to imagine how welcomed he will be by the fans. I hope he will come back to a game, walk out to the 50-yard line and soak up the cheers for him that will rock the stadium.

  • mabramso

    Considering that Jim McMahon has admitted to having problems with early stages of dementia or memory related problems, this is an extraordinary accomplishment. Very inspiring.

  • bakerb60

    Great Job, Jim! I admire the fact that you took the Bull by the Horns and resolved this issue yourself. Thanks for representing well (even now!).

  • cy1951

    I agree completely that McMahon was the best of all the BYU QBs. ‘Bout time he was inducted into BYU HOF.