Detmer was an all-around athlete in his youth. In high school, he lettered in golf, football, baseball, track, and basketball. His father, Sonny Detmer, was his high school football coach. (His brother, Koy, also plays professional football.)
Detmer red-shirted at the beginning of his BYU career, and then played astonishingly well as a substitute quarterback. He became a full-time starter in 1989, eventually becoming one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, "passing for 4,560 yards and 32 touchdowns during the regular season. His passer rating of 175.6 led the NCAA, and he finished second to Houston's Andre Ware in total offense. He led BYU to a WAC Championship, their first since 1985. Detmer finished the season with a strong performance against Penn State in the 1989 Holiday Bowl, setting NCAA records for most passing yards (576) and most yards of total offense (594) in a single bowl game." 
Detmer's junior year season in 1990 was one of the best seasons ever achieved by a college quarterback. The end of the season was marred by losses and injuries (to both shoulders, requiring surgery), but his greatness wasn't diminished. The 1991 season got off to a slow start, but ended with stunning victories for BYU. Detmer was named First Team All-American by several organizations. His final career statistics were 1,530 pass attempts; 958 completions; 15,031 passing yards; 121 touchdown passes; 14,665 yards of total offense; 135 touchdowns responsible for; and 162.7 passer rating. All of these totals established NCAA records. In all, Detmer finished his college career with 59 NCAA records (and tied for three others). Including statistics from bowl games, Detmer totaled 16,206 passing yards and 127 touchdown passes at BYU. 
Ty Detmer's relatively small size handicapped him in the professional draft. He was drafted in the 9th round of the 1992 draft, and played four seasons as a backup quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. He signed a free-agent contract in 1996 with the Philadelphia Eagles. He became the starting quarterback, when Rodney Peete suffered a knee injury. The Eagles posted a 7-4 record with Detmer as the starter during the 1996 season, good enough to enter the NFC playoffs. The following season, Detmer shared quarterback duties with Rodney Peete and Bobby Hoying.
In 1998, he left Philadelphia and joined the San Francisco 49ers as a backup to Steve Young, also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He only spent one season in San Francisco; his lone start came against the Panthers. He passed for 276 yards and 3 touchdowns in the 49ers' 25-23 victory. He was traded to the Cleveland Browns in 1999, then sat out the 2000 season with an Achilles tendon injury. Detmer then played three seasons for the Detroit Lions, then spent the 2004-2005 season with the Atlanta Falcons, not seeing much action. Detmer is now in "unofficial retirement," willing to come back if needed by any team.
Detmer retired from pro football in 2005 after a 14-year NFL career and then invested in and worked at Triton Financial, an investment firm in Austin until its collapse in 2009. In December 2009, Detmer was named head football coach at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, a small private institution in southwest Austin, Texas. St. Andrew's was winless in 2009, and lost handily most of its games. Under Detmer the team’s percentages improved each year. In 2015, Detmer led the team to its best season with an 8-1 record.
In December 2015, Detmer became part of the BYU coaching staff appointed after the departure of Bronco Mendenhall. Under head coach Kalani Sitake, Detmer is the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
At the end of 2012, Detmer was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.  He is the seventh BYU Cougar to enter the College Football Hall of Fame. "The All-American quarterback and 1990 Heisman Trophy winner joins fellow Cougars Gordon Hudson (2009), LaVell Edwards (2004), Steve Young (2001), Jim McMahon (1998), Marc Wilson (1996) and Gifford Nielsen (1994) in being inducted into the prestigious Hall." Detmer left BYU as one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in college football history. "Including the 2012 FBS class, only 918 players and 200 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly five million people who have played or coached the game over the past 144 years."
To learn about Ty's code of health, see Word of Wisdom.
- Wikipedia:Ty Detmer