While Jim Young attended Queen’s University, he was an all-star running back each season from 1962-65 and an all-star on both offense and defence in 1963. He began his professional career with the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, playing two years before the Toronto Argonauts, who held his Canadian rights, traded them to BC for Dick Fouts and Bill Symons. The Vikings then traded Young to BC for Joe Kapp.
Young played his entire Canadian professional career, from 1967-79 with the BC Lions. His versatility saw him catching passes, carrying the ball, and in his first three years with the team, returning kick-offs. In 1978, for example, when the Lions were plagued by injuries, Young played ten different positions in one season!
At the end of the 1971 season, Young had moved into the wide receiver position, earning the nickname “Dirty Thirty” for his aggressive style of play. By the finish of the 1975 season, he owned all of the Lions’ club records for pass receptions, yardage, and touchdowns on pass receptions.
If there was one thing that distinguished Young it was the time, energy, and incredible effort he put into developing his talent. As a BC Lion, he received five Schenley nominations—the most in the team’s history—for Most Outstanding Canadian (1967, 1969-72) and three for Most Outstanding Player (1967, 1969, 1972). Young was awarded the Schenley for Most Outstanding Canadian in 1970 and 1972.
During his twelve-year career with the Lions, Young exceeded 1000 yards in receptions twice, with 1041 yards in 1970 and a league-leading 1362 yards in
1972. 1972 also saw him make Western Conference All-Star and CFL All-Star. He had a career total of 552 receptions for 9,248 yards and 68 touchdowns.
Young is a member of both the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton and the Queen’s University Hall of Fame.
Called back to the Lions in 1989, Young acted in the capacity of receiver’s coach, adding the duties of the director of community relations the next season. In 1990, Young accepted the position of vice-president of business operations.