This story originally ran in the program for the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner in December 2016, where Pat McInally was officially inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame
- Named a First Team All-American and an NFF National Scholar-Athlete in 1974.
- Finished second in the nation in receptions in 1973 and sixth in 1974 while also punting for Harvard.
- Ended his career as the Crimson’s single-game, single-season and career record-holder for touchdowns and receptions and career receiving yards.
- Coached by Joe Restic.
- Becomes the 18th Crimson player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
Pat McInally wrapped athletics and academics together maybe like no one before him or since.
The 6-foot-6, 210-pounder finished his college career as the Crimson’s career-leader in several receiving categories. But even more impressive, McInally was and maybe still is the only college player to score a perfect “50” on the Wonderlic Test, which gauges intelligence for National Football League teams.
“It is very interesting how the NFL views it,” said McInally, a punter and wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals (1976-85), who was selected 120th in the 1975 NFL Draft. “They want scores for certain positions, not too high, not to low. George Young was the general manager at the New York Giants, And he said, ‘McInally, that perfect score you got actually hurt you in the draft. We don’t like them too smart.’ …I wasn’t going to go higher anyway, but it’s funny.”
Literally the night before he found out he was going to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame last January, McInally was going through an old storage bin and found a sterling silver bowl commemorating his selection as an NFF National Scholar-Athlete in 1974. He said he hadn’t seen the bowl in 40 years.
McInally was no recent stranger to the Waldorf either because he was there in 2011. His nephew, kicker-punter Connor Loftus who later played at Penn, was honored as one of the NFF’s five National High School Scholar-Athletes that year at the NFF Chapter Luncheon.
The first Harvard graduate to play in both the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl, McInally was the New England Player of the Year his senior season when he helped lead the Crimson (7-2) to a share of the 1974 Ivy League football title with Yale. He also twice earned First Team All-Ivy League honors and Frist Team All-East honors in 1974.
“My goal in life was to go to Harvard and be an All-American,” McInally recalled. “I know that was crazy. My parents always thought that was the most bizarre goal. But I wanted to show you could have an education and you can excel in football of all sports.”
He did. It all clicked at Harvard, where he graduated cum laude.
“I happened to go to Coach Joe Restic, (who) had a very progressive offense,” McInally said. “And they put me at wide receiver and they got me the ball and had some great quarterbacks. So it was just-again—for me, football is a step and an aid to accomplish goals off the field.”
After professional football, McInally formed Kenner’s Starting Lineup action sports figures in 1987, and the company realized more than $700 million in sales during the following 13 years. He also authored a syndicated column, “Pat Answers for Kids” along with articles in other publications.
He is now the head football coach of Brethren Christian High School in Huntington Beach, California, where he typically has less than 50 kids out for football each season. “We have to spread it out,” McInally said of his spread offense that he coaches because of lack of numbers. “I love the new game. But we did this at Harvard back in the day. We did a lot of spread and no huddle. And it works.”