American Football Wiki
Joe Montana
Joe Montana
Joe Montana in 1989 game with the 49ers.
Personal Information
Jersey #(s)
Born June 11 1956 (1956-06-11) (age 68)
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
Year(s) 19791994
NFL Draft 1979 / Round: 3 / Pick: 82nd
College Notre Dame
Professional teams
Career stats
Career highlights and awards

Pro Bowl selection (1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1993)
All-Pro selection (1981, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1990)
S.F. 49ers Hall of Fame inductee
NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
San Francisco 49ers #16 retired
Super Bowl Champion (XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV)
Cotton Bowl Classic MVP (1979)

Ranked #4 on's Top 100 Players of All TimeII]], XXIV)

Joseph Clifford "Joe" Montana, Jr., (born June 11, 1956 in New Eagle, Pennsylvania), nicknamed Joe Cool and Comeback Joe, [1] is a retired American football player whose professional career in the National Football League (NFL) spanned the late 1970s through the mid-1990s. Montana started his NFL career in 1979 with the San Francisco 49ers, where he played quarterback (QB) for the next 14 seasons. He spent the 1993 and 1994 seasons, his final two years in the NFL, with the Kansas City Chiefs. [2] While a member of the 49ers, Montana started four Super Bowl games and the team won all of them. In 2000, Montana was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. his first year of eligibility.[3]

In 1989, and again in 1990, the Associated Press named Montana the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP), and Sports Illustrated magazine named Montana the 1990 "Sportsman of the Year". [4]Four years earlier, in 1986, Montana won the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Montana was elected to eight Pro Bowls, as well as being voted 1st team All-Pro by the AP in 1987, 1989, and 1990. Montana had the highest passer rating in the National Football Conference (NFC) five times (1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1989); and, in both 1987 and 1989, Montana had the highest passer rating in the entire NFL.

Noted for his ability to remain calm under pressure, Montana helped his teams to 31 fourth quarter come-from-behind wins. In the closing moments of the 1981 NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XXIII, Montana threw game-winning touchdown passes. The touchdown at the end of the NFC championship game was so memorable that sports journalists, fans, and many others, refer to the play simply as "The Catch". The touchdown in the closing moments of Super Bowl XXIII came at the end of a 92-yard drive.

The 49ers retired the number 16, the jersey number Montana wore while with the team. In 1993, Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs and led the franchise to its first AFC Championship Game in January 1994. In 1994, Montana earned a spot on the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team; he is also a member of the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. In 1999, editors at The Sporting News ranked Montana third on their list of "Football's 100 Greatest Players." Also in 1999, ESPN named Montana the 25th greatest athlete of the 20th century. In 2006, Sports Illustrated rated him the number one clutch quarterback of all-time.[5]

Early life[]

Montana was born to Joseph Clifford Montana, Sr. (born 1932) and Theresa Marie Bavuso Montana (1935–2004) in New Eagle, Pennsylvania, a borough of Washington County located in the western portion of the state. He grew up in the neighboring city of Monongahela, a coal mining town just 25 miles (40 km) south of Pittsburgh.[6] His maternal grandparents, Vincenzo "James" Bavuso and Josephine Savarino Bavuso, were both Italian immigrants. His maternal grandmother, Josephine Savarino Bavuso (1909–1993), emigrated from Sicily to the United States with her parents, Domenico Savarino (1885–1960) and Vincenza Diecidue Savarino (1885–1930), in 1921. Upon their arrival in the United States, the Savarino Family first settled in eastern Ohio in the small coal mining community of Harpersville, Smithfield Township, Jefferson County. A few years later, the family relocated to the Elm Grove area of Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia. Vincenzo "James" Bavuso and Josephine Savarino married in 1928 in Wheeling and later relocated to California, Washington County in Western Pennsylvania where their children — Samuel, Dominick, Theresa (Montana's mother), Virginia and Patricia Bavuso — were born and raised.

Joe Montana expressed an early interest in sports, and it was Montana Sr. who first taught him the game of football. Montana started to play youth football when he was just eight years old, aided in part by his father. Montana Sr. listed his son as a nine-year-old so that Montana could meet the league's minimum age requirement.[7]

During his formative years, Montana took an interest in baseball and basketball, in addition to football. In fact, basketball was Montana's favorite sport as a child.[8] Montana Sr. started a local basketball team that his son played on. The team practiced and played at the local armory and played their games in various regional tournaments.

Montana received his primary education at Waverly Elementary and his secondary education at Finleyville Junior High (known as Finleyville Middle School) and Ringgold High School.[8] While at Ringgold, Montana played football, baseball, and basketball.[6] Montana showed potential as a basketball player and helped Ringgold win the 1973 WPIAL Class AAA boys' basketball championship while being named an all-state player.[9] He was so good that during his senior year, North Carolina State offered Montana a basketball scholarship.[10] Although Montana turned down the scholarship, he seriously considered NCSU because of a promise that he could play both basketball and football for the university.

Montana spent his first two years on the high school football team as a backup. As a junior, Montana earned the job as the Ringgold Rams' starting quarterback.[6] Montana held the role for the final two years of his high school career; after his senior year, Parade named him to their All-American team.[10]

One of Montana's most notable performances during his high school years was during his senior year in a game against Monessen High School. Although Monessen scored a game-tying touchdown in the final moments,[8] Montana's performance garnered attention from college recruiters, particularly those from Notre Dame.[6] In the game, Montana completed 12 passes in 22 attempts, threw for 223 yards, and scored three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.[8]

Notre Dame eventually offered Montana a scholarship, and he accepted. One contributing factor in Montana's choice of colleges was that Terry Hanratty, his boyhood idol, had attended Notre Dame.[10] In 2006, thirty-two years after Montana had graduated, Ringgold renamed their football stadium "Joe Montana Stadium."[9]

College career[]


When Montana arrived at Notre Dame in the fall of 1974, the football program was coached by Ara Parseghian. Under Parseghian's tenure, Notre Dame had won the NCAA national championship in 1966 and 1973. Parseghian's success as a coach helped him recruit highly talented players. Though Montana was a talented player, under Notre Dame policy in 1974 freshmen were not permitted to practice with or play on the varsity team, and consequently Montana played only in a few freshman team games.[8] Montana's first significant contributions to the Notre Dame football team came during his sophomore year.

On December 15, 1974, Parseghian resigned due to health problems.[8] The university hired Dan Devine to replace Parseghian. Despite his limited playing time the previous year, Montana performed well during the 1975 spring practice. Devine was so impressed that he later told his wife: "I'm gonna start Joe Montana in the final spring game." When she replied, "Who's Joe Montana?", Devine said: "He's the guy who's going to feed our family for the next few years."[8]


Devine did not feel Montana was ready to be the full-time starter in 1975;[8] however, Montana played a key role in Notre Dame's victory over North Carolina.[8] During the game, played in Chapel Hill, Montana came in with 5:11 left to play. At the time, North Carolina led by a score of 14–6. Montana spent one minute and two seconds of game time on the field. In that time, he had 129 passing yards and Notre Dame won the game 21–14.[8]

Against Air Force, Notre Dame's next opponent, Montana again entered the game in the fourth quarter. Although Air Force led 30–10, Notre Dame won the game 31-30.[8] After the win against North Carolina, Devine said that Moose Krause, the Notre Dame Athletic Director, said that the game was the "greatest comeback I've ever seen."[8] After the game against Air Force, Krause was quoted as saying: "This one's better than last week."[8] In those two games, Montana had demonstrated his ability to perform well in high pressure circumstances. That characteristic would prove valuable, and Montana relied on it throughout his football career.[8]


Before the start of the 1976 season, Montana separated his shoulder,[8] and was unable to compete that year and redshirted, earning him one more year of eligibility than other members of his scholarship class.


When the 1977 season began, Montana was the third quarterback listed on the team's depth chart, behind Rusty Lisch and Gary Forystek.[10] Notre Dame won their season opener and then lost to Mississippi by a score of 20–13. Montana did not appear in either of those games.[11] In their third game of the season, Notre Dame played Purdue. Lisch started and was then replaced by Forystek. In one play, Forystek suffered a broken vertebra, a broken clavicle, and a severe concussion; it was the last play of Forystek's sports career.[8] Devine inserted Lisch back into the game before Montana finally had the opportunity to play. Montana entered with approximately 11 minutes remaining and Purdue leading 24-14; he threw for 154 yards and one touchdown, and Notre Dame won the game 31-24.[8]

After the game, Devine made Montana the first quarterback on the depth chart[10] and the team won their remaining nine games. In their final game of the season, Notre Dame defeated top-ranked Texas by a score of 38–10 in the Cotton Bowl.[12] Notre Dame's record of eleven wins and one loss earned them the NCAA national title, the only title the school won while Devine was head coach.


The following year, Montana helped Notre Dame to a come from behind win against the Pitt Panthers. He almost pulled off a second one against USC, Notre Dame's primary rival. Trailing 24–6 in the second half, Montana led a fourth-quarter rally to put Notre Dame ahead, 25–24 with 45 seconds remaining, only to see the Trojans win, 27–25, on a last-second field goal.

On January 1, 1979, Notre Dame returned to the Cotton Bowl, this time against Houston. Montana's performance in that game is one of the most celebrated of his entire football career;[8] the circumstances of the game have led to it being referred to as the "Chicken Soup Game".[13]

Montana fell ill during the game, received warmed intravenous fluids during halftime, during which he also drank chicken soup, and went back into the game in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame ran their last offensive play with four seconds remaining on the game clock. The Irish scored a touchdown and won the game 35 to 34. As a result of the game, Notre Dame went on to produce a promotional film called Seven and a Half Minutes to Destiny. Coach Devine later referred to the piece as a "Joe Montana film."[8]

Graduation and the NFL Draft[]

Montana graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in business administration and marketing. Although the NFL Combine was not formed until 1982, NFL scouts still evaluated potential draftees through the use of combines in 1979. Candidates were rated in a number of categories on a scale of one to nine, with one being the worst mark and nine being the best mark.[8] The categories they used were contingent on the position that the athlete played.[14]

Despite his performance on the field, Montana was not rated highly by most scouts. At one combine, Montana rated out as six-and-a-half overall with a six in arm strength, used to judge how hard and how far a prospect could throw the ball. By comparison, Jack Thompson of Washington State rated an eight, the highest grade among eligible quarterbacks.[8]

In the 1979 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected Montana at the end of the third round with the 82nd overall pick.[15] Montana was the fourth quarterback taken, behind Thompson, Phil Simms, and Steve Fuller, all selected in the first round.

Professional career[]

San Francisco 49ers[]


Although Montana appeared in all 16 regular season games during the 1979 season, he only threw 23 passes. He spent most of the season as the backup on the San Francisco depth chart behind starter Steve DeBerg.

Montana became the starting quarterback midway through the 1980 season.[16]

On December 7, 1980, San Francisco hosted the winless New Orleans Saints. The Saints took a 35–7 lead at halftime. At the start of the fourth quarter, New Orleans still led by a score of 35–21, but San Francisco tied the game by the end of regulation play. In overtime, Ray Wersching kicked a field goal to win the game for San Francisco, 38–35. This marked the first fourth quarter comeback victory in Montana's NFL career. During his 16 seasons in the NFL, this happened a total of 31 times with Montana at quarterback; 26 of those coming as a 49er.[17]

Though San Francisco finished 1980 with a record of 6-10, Montana passed for 1,795 yards and 15 touchdown passes against nine interceptions. He also completed 64.5 percent of his passes, which led the league.


Montana began the 1981 season as San Francisco's starting quarterback. The season ended up as one of the franchise's most successful seasons to that point. Backed in part by Montana's strong performance at quarterback, the team finished the regular season with a 13–3 record. In fact, Montana helped San Francisco win two of those games with fourth-quarter comebacks. The season was a precursor to one of Montana's most memorable moments as a professional quarterback.[18]

On January 10, 1982, San Francisco faced the Dallas Cowboys at Candlestick Park in the National Football Conference Championship Game. The final quarter was marked by one of the most notable plays in NFL history. Larry Schwartz of later defined the 1981 NFC Championship as Montana's signature game.[7]

When San Francisco took possession with 4:54 left in regulation play, Dallas led 27–21; the drive began on San Francisco's 11-yard line. Behind six successful Montana completions and four running plays, San Francisco moved the ball to the Dallas 13-yard line. After one unsuccessful pass and then a seven-yard gain, San Francisco faced third down from the Dallas 6-yard line. Montana took the snap and ran to his right. He then made an off-balance pass toward the back of the end zone, and San Francisco wide receiver Dwight Clark made a leaping catch for the game-tying touchdown. With just 51 seconds left on the game clock, Wersching kicked the extra point and San Francisco won the game 28–27. The catch by Clark was coined simply The Catch, and it put San Francisco into Super Bowl XVI.

San Francisco faced the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI. Montana completed 14 of 22 passes for 157 yards with one touchdown passing and one rushing touchdown. San Francisco won the game 26–21, and in recognition of his performance, Montana won the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award, which he accomplished two more times before he retired. The Super Bowl win also made Montana one of only two quarterbacks (along with Joe Namath) to win a college national championship and a Super Bowl.

Montana had a prolific season in 1982. However, the regular season was shortened to nine games when members of the Player's Association went on strike. Although San Francisco failed to make the playoffs, Montana threw for 2,613 yards and 17 touchdowns during the year. He also set what was then an NFL record with five consecutive 300 yard passing games.

The next year, Montana threw for 3,910 yards and 26 touchdowns in 16 regular season games. The team ended the regular season with a 10-6 record and finished first in the NFC West. In the divisional playoff game, they faced the Detroit Lions. Yet again, Montana demonstrated his ability to perform well in high-pressure situations. Despite being out-played in terms of total yardage, the 49ers trailed by just six points as the game neared its conclusion. However, with 1:23 remaining in regulation, the 49ers offense had the ball at the Lions 14-yard line. Montana completed a touchdown pass to wide receiver Freddie Solomon, and San Francisco took the lead on the ensuing extra-point.[19]

The victory placed the 49ers in the NFC Championship game against the Washington Redskins. As he had done before, Montana asserted himself late in the game. The Redskins led 21–0 at the start of the fourth quarter, but Montana helped lead the 49ers back. Aided by three fourth-quarter Montana touchdown passes, the 49ers tied the game at 21. However, Redskins placekicker Mark Moseley kicked a 25-yard field goal in the waning moments of the game. Despite Montana's efforts, the team lost 24-21.


Though the Miami Dolphins finished the 1972 NFL season with no losses, the regular season at the time comprised only 14 games. Thus, when the 49ers finished the 1984 NFL season with a 15–1 record, they became the first team to win 15 games in a single season.[20]

Montana again had an excellent season and earned his second consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl. In their first two playoff games, the 49ers defeated the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears by a combined score of 44-10. In Super Bowl XIX, the 49ers faced the Dolphins, whose quarterback was Dan Marino.

In the game, Montana threw for three touchdowns and completed 24 of 35 passes. He established the Super Bowl record for most yards passing in a single game (331) and supplemented his passing with 59 yards rushing. The 49ers defeated the Dolphins 38-16 and Montana earned his second Super Bowl MVP award. After the game, 49ers head coach Bill Walsh said: "Joe Montana is the greatest quarterback today, maybe the greatest quarterback of all time."[16]


Aided in part by Montana's performance at quarterback, the 49ers advanced to the NFL Playoffs again in 1985; however, they lost in the NFC Wild card game to the New York Giants.

In 1986, Montana suffered a severe back injury during week one of the season. The injury was to a spinal disc in Montana's lower back and required immediate surgery. The injury was so severe that Montana's doctors suggested that Montana retire.[21] On September 15, 1986, the 49ers placed Montana on the injured reserve list; however, he returned to the team on November 6 of that year.[22] In his first game back from injury Montana passed for 270 yards and three touchdown passes in a 43-17 49er victory against the St. Louis Cardinals. Despite the fact that Montana appeared in just eight games, and, though he threw more interceptions than touchdown passes for the only time in his career,[22] the 49ers finished the season with a record of 10–5–1. Montana was also the co-recipient of the 1986 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award, an award which he shared with Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer.

In 1987, Montana had 31 touchdown passes, a career high, in just 13 games. In 1987, he also set the NFL record for most consecutive pass attempts without an incomplete pass (22),[23] passed for 3,054 yards, and had a passer rating of 102.1.[24] Though the 49ers finished with the best record in the NFL, they lost in the NFC semi-finals to the Minnesota Vikings.[25]

Prior to the 1987 season, Bill Walsh completed a trade for Steve Young, then a quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[26] Young went on to appear in eight regular season games for the team and finished the year with a passer rating of 120.8.[27]


Young's performance in 1987 was strong enough that by the time the 1988 season began, a controversy was in place as to who should get more playing time at quarterback. Young appeared in 11 games that year and rumors surfaced claiming that Montana might be traded.[23]

Despite the competition for playing time, Montana received most of the playing time during the 1988 season. After a home loss to the Los Angeles Raiders that left the 49ers with a 6–5 record, the 49ers were in danger of missing the playoffs. Montana regained the starting position and led the 49ers to a 10-6 record and the NFC Western Division title.[28]

The 49ers earned a trip to Super Bowl XXIII when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears in the playoffs. In the NFC Divisional Playoffs, the 49ers faced Minnesota, who had eliminated them the year before. Montana threw three first-half touchdowns as the 49ers won 34-9. The victory over the Bears in the NFC Championship game is of particular note. Played at Soldier Field in Chicago, with temperatures in the single digits and a strong wind, Montana threw for 288 yards and 3 touchdowns. His first touchdown pass came on a play in which Montana threw a perfect sideline pass to Jerry Rice on a 3rd down play late in the first quarter, and Rice outran two Bears defenders for a 61-yard score. The 49ers won 28-3 to advance to Super Bowl XXIII.[28]

In January 1989, the 49ers again faced the Bengals in the Super Bowl. Of his third trip to the Super Bowl, Montana told the San Jose Mercury News: "This trip to the Super Bowl is more gratifying than the others because the road has been harder." Then, in Super Bowl XXIII, Montana had one of the best performances of his career. He completed 23 of 36 passes for a Super Bowl record 357 yards and two touchdowns. Despite his great performance, the 49ers found themselves trailing the Cincinnati Bengals 16-13 with only 3:20 left in the game and the ball on their own 8-yard line. But Montana calmly drove them down the field, completing 8 of 9 passes for 97 yards and throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to John Taylor with only 34 seconds left.[29]

1989 proved to be successful for Montana and the 49ers. The team finished the regular season with an NFL-best 14–2 record,[30] and their two losses were by a total of only five points. Montana threw for 3,521 yards and 26 touchdowns, with only 8 interceptions, giving him what was then the highest single-season passer rating in NFL history, a mark subsequently broken by Young in 1994. He also rushed for 227 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, and earned the NFL Most Valuable Player Award. In a memorable comeback win in week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Montana threw four touchdown passes in the 4th quarter. He finished with 428 yards passing and five touchdown passes in the victory. The 49ers were successful in the playoffs, easily beating the Minnesota Vikings 41–13 and the Los Angeles Rams 30-3. Montana threw for a total of 503 yards and 6 touchdowns in those 2 games, without a single interception. Then, in Super Bowl XXIV, Montana became the first player (and to date, the only player) ever to win Super Bowl MVP honors for a third time, throwing for 297 yards and a then Super Bowl record five touchdowns, while also rushing for 15 yards as the 49ers defeated the Denver Broncos 55-10, the most lopsided score in Super Bowl history.[31]


In 1990, Montana once again led the 49ers to the best regular season record (14–2) in the NFL.[32] He was named by Sports Illustrated as Sportsman of the Year. A highlight from the season was a rematch with the Atlanta Falcons. Intent on blitzing Montana most of the game, Atlanta's defense allowed Montana to throw for a career-best 476 yards (49ers single-game record) and six touchdown passes, five of them to Jerry Rice. He would end up throwing for 3,944 yards and 26 touchdowns, albeit while also throwing a career high 16 interceptions. (The 49ers went on to lose the NFC Championship Game that season to the New York Giants, by a score of 15-13.)


Montana missed the entire 1991 season and most of the 1992 season with an elbow injury sustained during the 1990 NFC Championship Game (he did appear in a Monday Night Football game vs. Detroit Lions at the end of the '92 season, and was very effective). However, by this point, Young had replaced him as the starting quarterback.

Kansas City Chiefs[]


Joe Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in April 1993. His trade, along with the free-agent signing of star Los Angeles Raiders running back Marcus Allen to the Chiefs, generated much media attention and excitement in Kansas City.

The Chiefs mailed three jerseys to Montana. One was number 3, his number from Notre Dame. Another was number 19, which he wore in little league and also briefly in training camp of the 1979 season with San Francisco, and the third was number 16, which Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson offered to let Montana wear since the organization had retired it. Montana declined Dawson's offer and wore 19 instead and signed a $10 million contract over three years.

Montana was injured for part of the 1993 season, but was still selected to his final Pro Bowl and led the Chiefs in two come-from-behind wins in the 1993 playoffs, reaching the AFC Championship Game where Kansas City lost to the Buffalo Bills. Including their two playoff victories that year (the Chiefs only had one prior playoff win since 1970 Super Bowl IV), the 1993 Chiefs won 13 games, tying the franchise record for wins in a season. The Chiefs have not won a playoff game since the 1993 season.

Montana returned healthy to the Chiefs in 1994, starting all but two games. His highlights included a classic duel with John Elway (which Montana won 31-28) on Monday Night Football, and a memorable game in week 2 when Montana played against his old team, the 49ers and Steve Young. In a much-anticipated match-up, Montana and the Chiefs prevailed and defeated the 49ers 24–17. Montana led his team to a final playoff appearance, in 1994.


On April 18, 1995, Montana announced his retirement before a huge crowd at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco. The event was broadcast live on local television, and included speeches from John Madden, Eddie DeBartolo, Jr, and others. Highlights from Montana's stay with San Francisco and interviews with former 49ers teammates were also shown. Bill Walsh served as the MC for the event. Montana's replacement with the Chiefs was his former backup in San Francisco, Steve Bono.

NFL records and accomplishments[]

Among his career highlights, "The Catch" (the game-winning touchdown pass vs. Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship Game) and a Super Bowl-winning 92-yard drive vs. the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII are staples of NFL highlight films.

For his career with the 49ers, Montana completed 2,929 of 4,600 passes for 35,142 yards with 244 touchdowns and 123 interceptions. He had 35 300-yard passing games including 7 in which he threw for over 400 yards. His career totals: 3,409 completions on 5,391 attempts, 273 touchdowns, 139 interceptions, and 40,551 yards passing. He also rushed for 1,676 yards and 20 touchdowns. When Montana retired, his career passer rating was 92.3, second only to his 49er successor Steve Young (96.8). He has since been surpassed by five other players, which ranks his passer rating at 7th all-time. Montana also had won 100 games faster than any other quarterback until surpassed by Tom Brady in 2008.[33] His record as a starter was 117-47. His number 16 was retired by the 49ers on December 15, 1997 during halftime of the team's game against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. Montana also held the record for most passing yards on a Monday night game with 458 against the Los Angeles Rams in 1989 (surpassed by Tom Brady in 2011).

Montana holds postseason records for most career touchdown passes (45), games with a passer rating over 100.0 (12) and is second in passing yards (5,772) and games with 300+ passing yards (6, tied with Kurt Warner). He also tied Terry Bradshaw's record for consecutive playoff games with at least two touchdown passes (7). In his four Super Bowls, Montana completed 83 of 122 passes for 1,142 yards and 11 touchdowns with no interceptions, earning him a passer rating of 127.8. Montana led his team to victory in each game, and is the only player ever to win three Super Bowl MVP awards. Montana also holds the record for most Super Bowl pass completions (83) and pass attempts (122) without throwing an interception.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times and selected All-Pro six times.[34] He is also the only player to have two touchdown passes of 95+ yards.[35]

Personal life[]

Montana has been married three times. His first wedding was in 1974, when Montana married his hometown sweetheart, Kim Moses, during his second semester at Notre Dame; however, they divorced less than three years later.[8] Montana wed again in 1981, to Cass Castillo; they divorced in 1984.[36] He met Jennifer Wallace, an actress and model, while the two worked on a Schick commercial, and the two married in 1985. He and Jennifer are still married and have four children: Alexandra Whitney (b. 10 October 1985), Elizabeth Jean (b. 20 December 1986), Nathaniel "Nate" Joseph (b. 3 October 1989), and Nicholas Alexander (b. 28 April 1992). Both of his sons played football for De La Salle High School (Concord, CA) and now play college football as quarterbacks. Nate for the University of Montana (after transferring from Notre Dame), and Nicholas for the University of Washington, but has announced he is transferring.

In 2008, Montana sued Moses and a Dallas auction house for "violating his 'copyright and privacy rights'" after Moses "sold a bunch of letters and memorabilia from [Montana's] college days at Notre Dame."[37]

In 1986, doctors diagnosed Montana as having a narrow spinal cavity. He elected to have an operation, which was successful, and was able to return to football and continue his career.[38]

Montana resides in San Francisco, California.[39] He placed his $49 million, Template:Convert/acre Sonoma County estate on sale in 2009, which was reduced to $35 million in January 2012.[40] He now owns horses and produces wine under the label Montagia.

The town of Ismay, Montana, unofficially took the name of Joe, Montana, as a publicity stunt coordinated by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993.

Career statistics[]

NCAA Collegiate Career Stats
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Season Passing Rushing
Comp Att Yards Pct. TD Int QB Rating Att Yards Avg TD
1975 27 66 1,141 42.4 4 8 102.7 7 -5 -0.7 2
Did Not Play - Injured
1977 99 189 1,604 52.4 11 8 134.4 9 32 3.6 6
1978 141 260 2,010 54.2 10 9 124.9 72 104 1.4 6
NCAA Career Totals 268 515 4,121 52.0 25 25 125.6 88 131 1.49 14
NFL Career Passing Statistics
Year GP Att Com Pct Yds TD Int Long QB Rating
San Francisco 49ers
1979 16 23 13 56.5 96 1 0 18 81.1
1980 15 273 176 64.5 1,795 15 9 71T 87.8
1981 16 488 311 63.7 3,565 19 12 78T 88.4
1982 9 346 213 61.6 2,613 17 11 55 88.0
1983 16 515 332 64.5 3,910 26 12 77T 94.6
1984 16 432 279 64.6 3,630 28 10 80T 102.9
1985 15 494 303 61.3 3,653 27 13 73 91.3
1986 8 307 191 62.2 2,236 8 9 48 80.7
1987 14 398 266 66.8 3,054 31 13 57T 102.1
1988 14 397 238 59.9 2,981 18 10 96T 87.9
1989 13 386 271 70.2 3,521 26 8 95T 112.4
1990 15 520 321 61.7 3,944 26 16 78T 89.0
1991 0 0 0 -- 0 0 0 0 --
1992 1 21 15 71.4 126 2 0 17 118.4
Kansas City Chiefs
1993 11 298 181 60.7 2,144 13 7 50T 87.4
1994 14 493 299 60.6 3,283 16 9 57T 83.6
! Career Totals 192 5,391 3,409 63.2 40,551 273 139 96T 92.3
Super Bowl Statistics
Super Bowls Comp Att Pct Yards TDs INTs QB Rating Result
XVI 14 22 63.6 157 1 0 100.0 W 26-21
XIX 24 35 68.6 331 3 0 127.2 W 38-16
XXIII 23 36 63.9 357 2 0 115.2 W 20-16
XXIV 22 29 75.9 297 5 0 147.6 W 55-10
Totals 83 122 68.0 1,142 11 0 127.8 W/L Record 4-0

Key to Abbreviations
GP = Games Played
Att = Passes attempted
Com = Passes Completed
Pct = Completion percentage
Yds = Yards
TD =Touchdowns
Int = Interceptions
Long = Longest Pass Play of season
QB Rating = Passer rating
W/L Record = Super Bowl/Postseason Won/Loss Record


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  5. Greule, Greule, Getty Images. "Clutch NFL QBs",, Sports Illustrated. Retrieved on 2007-07-16. 
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  7. 7.0 7.1 More Info on Joe Montana. Retrieved on 2007-07-16.
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 8.19 8.20 8.21 Zimmerman, Paul. "Born to be a quarterback",, Sports Illustrated, 1999-08-13. Retrieved on 2007-07-16. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Wald, Bruce. Stadium renamed. The Tribune-Review. Retrieved on 2007-07-16.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named sportscentury
  11. Devine has been quoted as saying that Montana was not cleared by the medical staff to play in either of those games. Montana has said he was not aware of that fact.
  12. Most regular season NCAA football games are played toward the end of the calendar year between late August and early December. Many bowl games are not played until January of the following calendar year. As a result, Notre Dame's 1977 season culminated with the 1978 Cotton Bowl Classic.
  13. The List: Greatest bowl games. ESPN. Retrieved on 2008-05-06.
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