Jimmy McElwain played quarterback at Sentinel High School in Missoula where he was chosen as an all-state quarterback. He then went on to play quarterback in college at Eastern Washington from 1980 to 1983.

After graduating he stayed there as a Grad Assistant and was eventually given the job of quarterbacks and receivers coach. During his stint as a coach there from 1985 to 1994 his team made its way to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs twice and won the Big Sky championship in 1992 under head coach Dick Zornes. From Eastern Washington, McElwain took an offensive coordinator position at Montana State.

He enjoyed a successful career with the Bobcats from 1995 to 1999, and coached the offense to the number one scoring offense in the Big Sky Conference in 1998 with 31.6 points per game. From there he went  to University of Louisville, Michigan State, the Oakland Raiders, Fresno State and then in 2008 Nick Saban of Alabama asked him to be his offensive co-ordinator.

He’s been hired as the new head coach of the Colorado State Rams. He’s certainly come along way since his days as a Sentinel High School Spartan quarterback.