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August 3, 2021

Coach Jim Shofner Left a Legacy Through Mentorship

The TCU Hall of Famer’s career spanned teams and decades.

Jim Shofner was head coach of TCU football from 1974 to 1976. Courtesy of TCU Special Collections

Jim Shofner was head coach of TCU football from 1974 to 1976. Courtesy of TCU Special Collections

August 3, 2021

Coach Jim Shofner Left a Legacy Through Mentorship

The TCU Hall of Famer’s career spanned teams and decades.

Jim Shofner ’60, dual-sport letterman and head coach of TCU football from 1974 to 1976, died July 17. His legacy endures through the athletes he influenced.

Shofner started on the 1954 Wog team and then graduated to Horned Frog halfback from 1955 until 1957. Shofner was named All-Southwest Conference after the ’57 season. He lettered in baseball as a third baseman and shortstop and played basketball during his first year at TCU.

After six years in the NFL. Jim Shofner had a 30-year coaching career. Courtesy of TCU Special Collections

After six years in the NFL, Jim Shofner had a 30-year coaching career. Courtesy of TCU Special Collections

The Cleveland Browns picked Shofner in the first round of the 1958 NFL draft. He played six professional seasons before transitioning to coaching.

As a quarterback and wide receiver coach for the San Francisco 49ers, Shofner coached John Brodie, who was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1970. Shofner stayed in San Francisco for six years before returning to Fort Worth to coach the Horned Frogs.

In 1981, Shofner was inducted into the TCU Block T Association Hall of Fame.

Shofner also coached quarterbacks for the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills. He coached for the Browns when Brian Sipe earned the 1980 NFL MVP award and was on the coaching staff of the Bills’ 1992 and 1993 Super Bowl teams.

In the 1993 NFL wild card game between the Buffalo Bills and Houston Oilers, Frank Reich, a backup quarterback and Shofner’s mentee, led the Bills in a now-fabled comeback from a 32-point deficit.

“Jim Shofner was not only a great coach, but in all my years associated with this sport and in the NFL, Jim Shofner is one of the finest human beings I have ever known,” said Reich, now head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. “His love for people and for football was so genuine and sincere. He left a lasting impact on many of his players and I am thankful to be counted among them.”