Written By: Philip Casteel - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Billy Joe Tolliver, born February 7, 1966 in Dallas, Texas, is a former NFL and CFL Quarterback who played for twelve seasons. Over the course of his career, he played in 79 games, completed 891 of 1,707 passes for 10,760 yards, threw 59 touchdowns and 64 interceptions, and finished his career with a passer rating of 67.7.
Tolliver played high school football at Boyd High School. During his senior season, he led the Boyd Yellow Jackets to a 15-0-1 record and the 2-A state championship. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram named Tolliver player of the year.
After Toliver graduated from high school, he played college football at Texas Tech University. Texas Tech Coach David McWilliams said, "He throws the ball harder, and with more velocity, than anyone I've ever seen." He became the starting quarterback in 1985. In that year, Tolliver had his first breakout performance at Texas Tech as he threw for a record-setting 422 yards and five touchdowns in a 63–7 win over Texas Christian University (TCU).
By the end of Tollivers senior season, he set 16 school records, and was awarded the Southwest Conference Sportsmanship Award by the league's officials. After four seasons with the Texas Tech Red Raiders, he set the school record for career passing yards with 6,756, career pass attempts with 1,008, career pass completions with 493, career touchdown passes with 38, season passing yards with 2,869 in 1988, and single game passing yards with 446 against Oklahoma State University in 1988, among others. Tolliver was inducted into Texas Tech's Hall of Honor in 2002.
Tolliver was selected 51st in the 1989 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He started 19 games in two seasons at San Diego before being traded to Atlanta, where he saw playing time as a backup for three seasons. In 1994, he became one of three starting quarterbacks for Houston, and then became the quarterback of the Shreveport Pirates during their final season of activity. Tolliver played for both Atlanta and Kansas City in 1997. He then started 11 games for New Orleans in two seasons. Saints signed Tolliver to a two-year deal. Tolliver finished the year with one of his most statistically impressive seasons, completing 110 of 199 passes for 1,427 yards, eight touchdowns, four interceptions, and finishing with a QB rating of 83.1.
Throughout the 1999 season, Tolliver remained a vocal supporter of coach Ditka despite the Saints' 3-13 record, saying "I think he's a heck of a football coach, a great motivator. We just got to start buying what he's selling." Ditka was fired by the Saints, Tolliver to compete for the third-string spot alongside Jake Delhomme. As the final cuts were made to reduce the Saints' roster to 53 players, Tolliver was among those cut.
In July 2001, Tolliver was signed by the Green Bay Packers. This briefly reunited him with Brett Favre, with whom he was fellow teammates in Atlanta. However, he was cut in the preseason.
Tolliver is an avid golfer and has played many celebrity tournaments. He is a three-time winner of the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, and also won the $75,000 Isuzu Celebrity Golf Challenge in 1996. Tolliver is a regular competitor at the American Century Championship. He won the tournament in 1996, 2005, and 2010 with a new point record of 84 points and has a total of ten top ten finishes.
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