Attorney James D. (Jim) McFarland is a former state senator who represented Lincoln’s 28th legislative district from 1986 to 1991. He was first appointed by then-Governor Bob Kerrey in March 1986, winning the election to a four-year term in November of the same year. A 1970 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in sociology, he also holds a UNL Master’s degree in the sociology of education, earned in 1974, and a JD from Cornell Law School, awarded in 1980. A high school All-Conference football and basketball player in his native North Platte, McFarland rejected an offer to play professional baseball after high school as a pitcher in the Atlanta Braves organization in hopes of playing football for the University of Nebraska. He was a walk-on at the University of Nebraska who worked his way up to first team in 1968 and 1969 and received All Big 8 and All-American recognition. He previously held the Nebraska record for most passes caught by a tight end in a single game (7 vs. Texas A&M, 1969). In 1999, he was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame. Jim was drafted as a professional football player in 1970, playing five years for the St. Louis Cardinals and one year for the Miami Dolphins. During his professional career, he was active in the NFLPA. After retiring from professional sports, he returned to Nebraska to teach and coach in 1976-77.
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