Jeff Garcia has found ways to overcome the improbable. He has been a leader and a winner in everything that he has done and he has done it with a passion that has utilized hard work, perseverance, and a die trying mentality. His humbleness precedes the accolades and the contributions that he has personally been a part of.
Motivation and Empowerment
It’s not just his 18 year professional career that you will take notice of but more so, the dedicated and personable way that he carries himself that has allowed him to be a leader throughout his life. He had to learn difficult life lessons as a child, suffering the tragic losses of his younger brother and younger sister. It would be from experiences like these that would help to mold him into the competitor and survivor, who knew all to personally that the life given was a precious one. “Respect it, appreciate it, and live it”, is the motto that drives him. He has lived, he has succeeded, and he has given.
He has utilized his professional accomplishments on the field as a springboard to help give back and support others. Whether out of his own pocket or through the various works of The Garcia Pass It On Foundation and partnering organizations, he has been instrumental in helping to provide educational support through scholarships, shelter and care support for the abused and abandoned, medical support through various cancer research centers and the Ronald McDonald House Charities, as well as facility upgrades at his high school, junior college, and university, respectively. Millions of dollars have gone out to support these causes that have touched the Garcia Family’s heart.
Nothing has ever been handed to Jeff, he has worked for it effortlessly, leaving blood, sweat, and tears, literally, along the path to success. He always carried a label as being, “not big enough, not strong enough, not fast enough”, as a reason why the so called experts would continue to overlook his accomplishments on the field. His life around the game of football started at an early age, having a father who was a college coach and a grandfather who played the game professionally. He was wired for this game and found ways to beat you because he was smarter, worked harder, and had no fear to out compete you.
As a kid growing up in Gilroy, California, a small farming town one hour south of San Francisco, he was a 3 sport star but found that his enthusiasm and passion for the game of football would be his calling. He was an all league quarterback at Gilroy High School, yet started at free safety in the 1988 Santa Clara County All Star Game, intercepting a pass and earning MVP honors. In 1989, he joined forces with his father, Bob, at Gavilan Junior College and helped lead the Rams to a bowl victory with an upset win over previously undefeated Solano Junior College, with an MVP performance of 3 passing touchdowns and 3 rushing touchdowns. Along with earning All American honors that year, Garcia was offered a scholarship to San Jose State University. In 3 seasons as the starter, he earned All American honors along with setting the school’s record for all purpose yardage. He was invited to play in the prestigious East West Shrine All Star Game where he rallied the West from a 3 touchdown deficit in the 4th quarter to win the game and MVP honors.
All of that and you would think that the NFL was the next step but, “he’s not big enough, not strong enough, and not fast enough”, sounds like we heard that before. Jeff headed north of the American border where he joined the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. There he became a 4 time CFL All Star and helped to lead the Stamps to a 1998 Grey Cup Championship with a game winning drive and MVP performance. Jeff’s childhood dreams would become reality when he was signed by the San Francisco 49ers. He would enjoy an 12 year NFL career, spanning 7 teams. Great character and passion, as well as the ability to get people to believe in one common goal would help him to lead 5 playoff runs with 4 separate teams, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Houston, 3 times bringing those teams back to playoff life after experiencing losing seasons the year before.
He was a 4 time NFL Pro Bowl Selection, he is one of only 8 quarterbacks in NFL history who have achieved 2 consecutive 30 touchdown pass’ seasons. He is the 20th player all time to surpass 40,000 passing yards in his professional career that spans 18 seasons and has one of the best ever touchdown to interception ratios in NFL history. While with the 49ers, he set the all time single season passing yardage mark with 4,278 yards and is the only QB in their storied history to have 3 consecutive seasons of 3000 plus passing yards. Not bad for a guy who was overlooked in the 1994 NFL draft, maybe because he was “not tall enough, not strong enough, and not fast enough”, or at least that’s what the so called “experts” said.
Jeff has always believed that it’s not the physical measurements of the person but the size of the heart, the knowledge, and the will to work that helps determine the results. Jeff currently resides in Rancho Santa Fe with his beautiful wife, Carmella, and their 4 greatest joys, Presley, Jason, Jax and Faith, which he believes are Carmella and his greatest accomplishments to date.