|Boston College Eagles No. 20|
|High school||Archbishop John Carroll|
|Date of birth||January 20, 1963|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg)|
|Career highlights and awards|
Phelan is best remembered for his game-winning catch in the coined Hail Flutie game on November 23, 1984, in which the Boston College Eagles faced off against the University of Miami Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl in Miami. The game is often ranked among the greatest college football games of all time, where Phelan caught eleven of quarterback Doug Flutie's forty-six pass attempts for a total of 226 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Most notably, Phelan caught the 48-yard game-winning Hail Mary touchdown that cemented him in Boston College lore. With possession on Miami's 48-yard line, the Eagles trailed the Hurricanes 45-41 with just six seconds left. A desperation play known as "55 Flood Tip" was signaled, which called for the receivers to run toward the end zone and attempt to tip a jump ball to an open receiver. Miami's defensive backs stopped before the goal line, most likely because they did not believe Flutie could throw the ball further than that, which allowed Phelan to get behind them. As the game clock expired, Flutie eluded a Miami pass rusher, scrambled to his right to his own 37-yard line, and launched the ball. It traveled an impressive 63 yards, over the Miami defenders, and into the arms of an untouched Phelan in the end zone. The catch gave Boston College a 47-45 victory. To this day, it is considered one of the greatest offensive plays in college football history.
A graduate of the Boston College class of 1985, Phelan currently works in Boston for RR Donnelley as Senior Vice President. He is the cousin of professional soccer player Pat Phelan. He currently resides in Walpole, Massachusetts.
- Weinberg, Rick. "Doug Flutie's Hail Mary beats Miami, 47–45". ESPN.com.
- "Gerard Phelan profile". Boston College Eagles Athletic Association. Retrieved 2010-10-24.