Joseph Clifford Montana, Jr. (June 11, 1956-) (QB) solidified his nickname at “Comeback Joe” in college as led the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish to two come from behind wins to begin his college career and the 1978 and 1979 Cotton Bowl titles. Though he wasn’t the first string quarterback in South Bend, Montana threw for 4,121 yards with 268 completions on 515 attempts and 25 touchdowns. The San Francisco 49ers took Montana in the third round of the 1979 NFL Draft. Joe began his professional career backing up Steve DeBerg for his first two seasons, and once he became the Niners number one gunslinger, he led them to the 1981 Super Bowl XVI victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Joe was named the Super Bowl MVP after throwing for 157 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing for 18 yards and a score. In 1982, Montana threw a game winning touchdown pass to receiver Dwight Clark to win the NFC Championship Game over the Dallas Cowboys. The play has earned legendary status and is referred to simply as “The Catch.”
Joe Montana and the 49ers played in four Super Bowls (XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV) and was named MVP three times. He was a six-time NFL All-Pro First Team selection and played in eight NFL Pros Bowls. Montana led the NFL in passing attempts and yards per game, twice in passing touchdowns, and five times in completion percentage. His best season came in 1989 when he threw for 3,521 yards and 26 touchdowns with a league leading 70.2% completion percentage as the Niners went 11-2-0 before destroying the Denver Broncos 55-10 in Super Bowl XXIV. Joe was named the 1989 AP Offensive Player of the Year, the 1989 Bert Bell Award winner, the 1989 PFWA and NEA NFL MVP and the AP NFL Most Valuable Player for his first of two consecutive seasons. He played his 15-year career with the 49ers (1979-1992) and the Kansas City Chiefs (1993-1994). Montana wowed fans and opponents with his incredible poise and his knack for engineering game winning drives as well as his unmatched accuracy during his career as one of the most dangerous NFL players in the league. Joe retired with the Kansas City Chiefs after amassing 40,551 passing yards and 273 touchdowns on 3,409 completions in 5,391 attempts. He rushed for an additional 1,676 yards and 20 touchdowns for a total of 120 career points. Joe Montana was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.