James McAlister
No. 43, 37     
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1951-09-05)September 5, 1951
Place of birth: Little Rock, Arkansas
Date of death: March 31, 2018(2018-03-31) (aged 66)
Place of death: Corona, California
Career information
College: UCLA
NFL Draft: 1974 / Round: 6 / Pick: 148
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Southern California Sun (1974)
Career highlights and awards
Rushing yards     677
Average     3.6
Touchdowns     5
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com

James Edward McAlister (September 5, 1951 – March 31, 2018) was an American football running back in the National Football League during the 1970s. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the sixth round of the 1974 NFL Draft. He played college football at UCLA, where he was also a star on the track and field team. He had the best long jump in the world in 1973 set at home in Westwood.

In 1974, the World Football League gained a large measure of recognition the day before the NFL draft when the Southern California Sun announced the signing of three potential NFL first-round selections, including McAlister. McAlister was one of a trio whose agent, 22-year-old Michael L Trope, decided not to wait for competitive bidding by the NFL. "Their value was at a peak, 30% to 35% higher than it would have been later, because of the publicity the WFL could get by our signing," said Trope, who approximated the total package at close to $1 million for his three clients.[1]

McAlister also played for the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1971.[2]

McAlister died on March 31, 2018 in Corona, California.[citation needed]


  1. Joe Marshall, "Full Of Sound And Fury," Sports Illustrated, February 11, 1974.
  2. James McAlister Sports Illustrated cover
Sporting positions
Preceded by
United States Randy Williams
Men's long jump best year performance
Succeeded by
United States Arnie Robinson

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