Champions of The Round Table

Jim McElwain

Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Alma Mater:
Eastern Washington, 1984

Jim McElwain is the newest member of the Alabama coaching staff as he was hired January 30th of this year by head coach Nick Saban.

McElwain is the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Crimson Tide after serving in the same role at Fresno State last year. He spent the 2006 season in the NFL as quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders. McElwain made an immediate impact in his first season at Fresno State as he helped lead the Bulldogs to a 9-4 record, a significant turnaround from the previous year in which Fresno State posted a 4-8 mark.

McElwain's offense at Fresno State averaged 419.5 yards per game (38th nationally) and 32.9 points per game (32nd) last season. That was a significant increase from the 2006 campaign when the Bulldogs averaged 338.2 yards per game in total offense and 23.0 points per game in terms of scoring offense. After Fresno State rolled up 571 yards of total offense and defeated Georgia Tech 40-28 in the Humanitarian Bowl, McElwain moved up to No. 18 in the national power rankings (offensive coaches). His quarterback, Tom Brandstater, finished 2007 with a passing efficiency rating of 140.5, which ranked 23rd in the country. Brandstater showed remarkable improvement under McElwain's watch as he had posted a pass efficiency rating of 106.7 (89th) the previous year.

McElwain served as the assistant head coach, receivers coach and special teams coach at Michigan State from 2003-05. The 2003 team reached the Alamo Bowl behind a receiving corps that set school records for receptions (312) and yards (3,510). He coached 2004 All-America punter Brandon Fields and kicker Dave Rayner, who led the Big Ten Conference in scoring. In 2005, five Spartan receivers had at least 28 receptions and the group combined to a set another school record with 24 touchdown catches.

Prior to his stint at Michigan State, McElwain spent three seasons (2000-02) at Louisville as the receivers coach and special teams coach as the Cardinals earned bowl bids in each of those three seasons. He coached four first team All-Conference USA selections at Louisville and also tutored three of the Cardinals' all-time leading receivers, including Deion Branch and Arnold Jackson.

From 1995-99, McElwain was the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and receivers coach at Montana State. Under his direction, quarterback Rob Compson threw for nearly 7,000 career yards and a school-record 54 touchdowns. McElwain also coached the Bobcats' all-time leading receiver Chip Hobbs, who caught 144 career passes for 2,060 yards and 18 TDs. Montana State led the Big Sky Conference in scoring in 1998, averaging 31.6 points per game.

McElwain was at Eastern Washington from 1985-94 in a variety of capacities, starting as a graduate assistant and working his way up to quarterbacks and receivers coach. The Eagles made two NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances (1992 and 1995) and earned a share of the Big Sky Championship in 1992. McElwain coached EWU's all-time leading receiver, Tony Brooks (2,969 career yards), who earned third team AP All-America honors in 1993.

An all-state quarterback at Missoula (Montana) Sentinel High School, McElwain played quarterback at Eastern Washington from 1980-83 and earned his degree in Education from EWU in 1984. He and his wife, Karen, have three children, JoHanna, Elizabeth and Jerret.