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Joe Montana

Photo of Joe Montana

A true football great and San Francisco 49ers legend, quarterback Joe Montana played college football for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. At the beginning of the 1977 season, Montana was listed third on Notre Dame’s depth chart. Partway through the season, Fighting Irish coach Dan Devine named Montana the team’s starting quarterback, and the Fighting Irish won all 9 of their remaining game. Notre Dame’s record of 11 wins and one loss earned the Fighting Irish the National Championship. Perhaps the most memorable moment of Montana’s college career came in the 1979 Cotton Bowl, during which Montana, who was battling the flu, sat out for the better part of the third quarter, ate a bowl of chicken noodle soup returning to the game late in the third quarter. With Houston leading 34-12, Montana led the Fighting Irish to 3 touchdowns in the final 8 minutes of the game. Notre Dame won 35-34. A third round pick of the 49ers in the 1979 NFL draft, Montana mainly served as a backup during his rookie year, but became starting quarterback midway through the 1980 season. Throughout his NFL career, Montana won 4 Super Bowls (XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV) and was Super Bowl MVP 3 times (XVI, XIX, XXIV). Montana was also an 8 time Pro Bowler, and a 2 time NFL MVP. Montana has also won accolades from organizations outside the NFL such as being a 2 time Associate Press Male Athlete of the Year and a Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. In 1993, Montana was traded to the Kanas City Chiefs where he spent 2 seasons before announcing his retirement on April 18th, 1995. Montana has received several post-retirement accolades. These include being named to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time team and being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000. He retired as the 49ers all time leader for passing touchdowns, passing yards, pass completions, pass attempts and career wins. His number 16 has been retired by the 49ers.