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Joe Montana

Siefert Takes Over As 49ers' Coach

After the retirement of coach Walsh in early 1989, coaching duties were turned over to defensive coach George Siefert. It was a good year for both Montana and the 49ers. Montana completed 70.2 percent of his passes

Joe Montana

for 3,521 yards and twenty-six touchdowns, helping to power San Francisco into the playoffs once again. The 49ers handily disposed of their three playoff opponents with a combined score of 126-26 to win another trip to the Super Bowl. Montana, who led his team to a landslide 55-10 victory over the Broncos with a record five touchdowns, received his third Super Bowl MVP Trophy. Hoping to win their third Super Bowl in as many years, San Francisco compiled a sterling record of 14-2 during the regular season in 1990. Montana provided plenty of help, throwing for a career-high 3,944 yards and twenty-six touchdowns. With nine minutes to go in the NFC championship game, the 49ers were leading the Giants by a score of 13-9 when Montana broke his finger. Young took over the ball, performing well, but a fumble by running back Roger Craig gave the Giants the break they needed to win the game, 15-13.

Related Biography: Coach Dan Devine

Joe Montana didn't always see eye to eye with coach Dan Devine during their years together at Notre Dame, but in the years before Devine's death in 2002 the two had established an uneasy peace. For his part, Devine made it clear that he thought Montana was the greatest quarterback ever to play the game. Montana, however, still harbored a degree of resentment toward Devine for what he believes was the coach's failure to give him his fair share of playing time. One thing is clear. Despite any lingering hard feelings, the two proved a powerful combination that fueled Notre Dame's drive to the national college championship in 1977 and a memorable Cotton Bowl victory over the University of Houston in 1979.

Devine was born in Augusta, Wisconsin, on December 23, 1924. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Minnesota at Duluth in 1948 and a master's degree in guidance counseling from the University of Michigan. He began his football coaching career at Arizona State University in 1955, where he compiled a record of 27-3-1 over three seasons. He next moved on to the University of Missouri, where he coached for thirteen seasons, compiling a record of 93-37-7 and winning for his team six bowl appearances and two Big Eight championships. He jumped to pro ball in 1971, taking over the reins at Green Bay. Although he coached the Packers to a NFC Central Division championship in 1972, his other three seasons with the team was disappointing, and fans turned against Devine.

In 1975 Devine replaced legendary Notre Dame coach Ara Paraseghian and over five seasons at the helm of the Fighting Irish compiled a record of 53-16-1. The brightest moments came in 1977, when Notre Dame won the national college championship, and in a brilliant come-from-behind victory against Houston in the Cotton Bowl. Montana figured prominently in both those victories.

Devine left coaching in 1980 and returned to Arizona State as executive director of the Sun Angel Foundation, a fund-raising group. In 1987 he

Montana injured his elbow at the 49ers' 1991 training camp and missed all but one game of the 1991 and 1992 seasons. Although he performed well in the final game of the 1992 regular season, it was apparent that the job of starting quarterback had passed to Young. In April 1993 Montana asked to be traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. In his first year, he proved a welcome addition to the Chiefs, which had won only one playoff game since 1970. Despite missing at least part of six games because of a variety of injuries, Montana managed to throw for 2,144 yards and thirteen touchdowns, powering the Chiefs to a season record of 11-5. They won their first and second playoff games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Houston Oilers, respectively, but fell to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC championship game. With Montana's help, Kansas City made it into the playoffs again in 1994 but lost to the Dolphins in the first round. Although it had been an excellent season for Montana, who threw for 3,283 yards and twenty-two touchdowns, he was increasingly troubled by injuries, particularly to his knees. On April 18, 1995, he announced his retirement from professional football.

A master of the come-from-behind victory, Montana will be forever remembered as one of the great quarterbacks of all time. The Pennsylvania native won the NFL's passing title in both 1987 and 1989 and topped the NFC in passing five times (1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1989). In an incredible thirty-nine games, Montana passed for 300 yards or more. He also holds the career playoff records for attempts, completions, touchdowns, and yards gained passing. In 2000 he was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Looking back on his career, Montana told the Detroit Free Press: "I must admit that I've been very fortunate. It's been like living a dream for me…. The fortunate thing for me is that allthat became a reality."

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