John James (American football)

John James (American football)

John James
No. 6
Personal information
Date of birth: (1949-01-21) January 21, 1949
Place of birth: Panama City, Florida
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 197 lb (89 kg)
Career information
High school: Gainesville (FL)
College: Florida
Undrafted in 1972
Debuted in 1972 for the Atlanta Falcons
Last played in 1984 for the Houston Oilers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 1984
Punts 1,083
Punting yards 43,992
Average distance 40.6
Stats at
Stats at

John Wilbur James, Jr. (born January 21, 1949) is an American former college and professional football player who was a punter in the National Football League (NFL) for thirteen seasons during the 1970s and 1980s. James played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Atlanta Falcons, the Detroit Lions and the Houston Oilers of the NFL.

Early life

James was born in Panama City, Florida in 1949.[1] He attended Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Florida,[2] where he played for the Gainesville Purple Hurricanes high school football team. James has three older sisters.

College career

James attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he was a walk-on punter for the Florida Gators football team under coaches Ray Graves and Doug Dickey from 1969 to 1971.[3] He was the Gators' starting punter in 1970 and 1971, and kicked fifty-seven punts for an average distance of 40.3 yards during his senior year in 1971.[3] James graduated from Florida with a bachelor's degree in 1971, and was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 1978.[4]

Professional career

James played in the NFL from 1972 to 1984 for three teams: the Atlanta Falcons (ten years), the Detroit Lions (three games) and the Houston Oilers (three years).[5] He reached the peak of his profession, being selected three times for the Pro Bowl,[2] an NFL all-star game pitting the best players from the American Football Conference (AFC) against the best of the National Football Conference (NFC). James finished his thirteen-season NFL career with a total of 1,083 punts for 43,992 yards and an average distance of 40.6 yards.[5]

Life after the NFL

James is the father of four children, Helen Storey, Scott James, Matthew James, and Susanna James and grandfather of five. He has held the position of executive director of Gator Boosters, Inc. at the University of Florida since 1986, and oversees the booster fund-raising operation to fund athletic scholarships for Gator athletes.[6]

See also


  1. ^, Players, John James. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  2. ^ a b, Players, John James. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  3. ^ a b 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 85, 152, 182 (2011). Retrieved August 29, 2011.
  4. ^ F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved June 23, 2010. " Bean And Koch Inducted," The Ledger, p. 1D (March 30, 1978). Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  5. ^ a b National Football League, Historical Players, John James. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  6. ^, University Athletic Association Department Directory. Retrieved June 4, 2010.


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  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • McEwen, Tom, The Gators: A Story of Florida Football, The Strode Publishers, Huntsville, Alabama (1974). ISBN 0-87397-025-X.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.