Jim McCusker was a star defensive lineman at Jamestown High School and was named a Western New York High School All-Star two times.
He went on to the University of Pittsburgh where he is still considered one of the Panthers' greatest linemen. He was named an Associated Press All-Star 3 three times and a United International All-Star twice. He played in the East-West Shrine Game, the Senior Bowl and played for the College All-Stars against the NFL Champion Detroit Lions. The All-Stars defeated the Lions who were quarterbacked by Bobby Layne.
McCusker played in the NFL for seven years with the Chicago Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns and was a member of the Eagles when they won the NFL title by defeating Green Bay 17-13 in the 1960 championship game. His final year was played with the New York Jets in 1964.