Jay McDonald was a talented three-sport athlete at Washington and Lee in the early 1920's, earning four letters in football, baseball, and basketball.
McDonald broke onto the scene with the 1919 football team, scoring a touchdown in his first collegiate game against Randolph-Macon. Playing nearly every backfield position, he tallied four rushing touchdowns and another passing in helping the Generals to an 8-1 record and a Southern Championship.
McDonald went on to start at fullback, halfback, quarterback, and left end over the next three years, helping W&L to a 16-9-1 record during that time.
On the basketball court, McDonald played every position promting the Ring Tum Phi to claim "A rangy athlete, McDonald can get the tip-off on most centers, however tall, and only one field goal shot over him in the second half is adequate proof of his shining qualities as a guard."
McDonald excelled on the baseball diamond as well, losing just one game on the mound. His senior season proved to be his best as he went undefeated and batted .361 with two home runs. The team finished with a 16-4 overall record, the best by any baseball team to that point.
McDonald served as the president of the University Athletic Council for the 1921-22 school year and was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa.