Montana was the face of the 49ers’ franchise throughout 1980s, and is one of the most celebrated football players in NFL history.
In addition to his surplus of football accolades, the 64-year-old has amassed a small fortune through his career in the NFL and endorsement deals. But just how rich is Joe Cool?
Early Life and College Career
Joseph Clifford Montana Jr. grew up in New Eagle, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh, to parents Joseph Clifford Montana Sr. and Theresa Marie Bavuso Montana. He started playing sports at a young age, taking particular interest in football and basketball.
He maintained his passion for sports throughout his youth and played both basketball and football at Ringgold High School. Montana was recruited for both sports but eventually decided to play football at Notre Dame.
At Notre Dame, Montana featured in a total of 27 games across three active seasons. He spent five years at the university but didn’t play his freshman year in 1974 and redshirted due to injury in 1976. Montana took over the starting job midway through the season in 1977 and led the team to an 11-1 record, going undefeated in games he started.
Montana’s 1978 season is most renowned for the “Chicken Soup Game.” Montana and the Fighting Irish took on Houston in the Cotton Bowl, playing in extremely cold temperatures. Montana was fighting off hypothermia during the game, and during halftime and part of the second half was literally being warmed up by the Notre Dame medical staff.
The trainers were using blankets, warming fluids and chicken soup to try to heat Montana up. Montana was able to return to the field and led Notre Dame to a miraculous comeback to win 35-34.
Believe it or not, Joe Montana wasn’t even drafted in the first round. Montana was a third round pick in the 1979 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers after his college football career at Notre Dame. He took over the starting QB position midway through the 1980 season.
In 1981, Montana led the 49ers to a 13-3 regular season record. After handling the New York Giants in the NFC Divisional Round, the Niners hosted the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship. In a tight game, the 49ers and Montana took possession with just under five minutes on the clock. Montana marched the team down field and threw a touchdown pass to Dwight Clark, in what has since been dubbed as “The Catch.”
The 49ers won the game 28-27 and advanced to his first Super Bowl. The Niners defeated the Cincinnati Bengals and Montana was named Super Bowl MVP.
Montana’s next Super Bowl appearance came in 1984 as he led the 49ers to victory once again in a matchup with Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins. Montana was once again named Super Bowl MVP. The Niners were fresh off a regular season that saw them become the first team in NFL history to win 15 games.
Montana wouldn’t win another ring until 1988, at which point he was facing an uncertain future in San Francisco after the team acquired quarterback Steve Young. Montana proved his worth however, leading the team, along with wide receiver Jerry Rice, back to the Super Bowl, where they defeated the Bengals once again.
In 1989, the 49ers were back in the Super Bowl after a 14-2 season and managed to dismantle John Elway and the Broncos, 55-10. Montana became the first player to win three Super Bowl MVP after throwing for 297 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Injury sidelined Montana for the entire 1991 season and most of 1992, and he requested a trade out of San Francisco in 1993 due to the emergence of Steve Young as the Niners starter of the future.
Across his career, Montana made eight Pro Bowls and earned three First-Team All Pro selections. He won regular season Most Valuable Player twice and Super Bowl MVP three times and had four Super Bowl wins with the 49ers. His four Super Bowl rings were tied for the most by a quarterback in NFL history until current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady shattered it by winning six rings with the New England Patriots.
The Comeback Kid was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year in 1990 and was rated the 25th greatest athlete of all time by ESPN in 1999. Montana was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Joe Montana has been married three times. The 64-year-old was first married to Kim Moses during his freshman year at Notre Dame, though the pair divorced a few years later. He was married again in 1981 to Cass Castillo but divorced her in 1984.
Montana is currently married to actress and model Jennifer Wallace. He and Wallace met while filming a commercial and got married in 1985. The couple have four children together: Alexandra Whitney, Nicholas Alexander, Elizabeth Jean and Nathaniel Joseph.
Joe Montana’s Net Worth and NFL Career Earnings
Montana earned $25.5 million throughout his 15-year NFL career, according to Spotrac. His most expensive contract was a four-year, $13 million deal he signed with San Francisco in 1990.
The four-time Super Bowl champ boasts an astounding net worth of $100 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Montana is active in real estate, as well. He listed his Calistoga, California home for a whopping $49.5 million in 2009, but has since reduced the asking price to $28.9 million, per Forbes.
Montana has also started his own vineyard since retiring, producing wine under the Montagia label. Clearly, Montana hasn’t missed a step since the curtain call of his American football career.