PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Former Pitt Football defensive end Chris Doleman has died at age 58 following a two-year battle with brain cancer.
Doleman played for the Panthers from 1981 to 1984 and recorded 25 sacks over four seasons, which still ranks eighth all-time in Pitt Football history.
He was drafted fourth overall by the Minnesota Vikings in 1985.
In 15 seasons, Doleman recorded 150.5 sacks, was first-team all-pro in 1987, 1989, and 1992. He also was named to the Pro Bowl eight times.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 2012.
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Chris Doleman after a prolonged and courageous battle against cancer,” David Baker, the president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said in a statement. “I had the honor of getting to know him not only as a great football player but an outstanding human being. One of the honors of my life was witnessing Chris get baptized in the Jordan River during a Hall of Fame trip to Israel. The legacy of Chris Doleman will live forever in Canton, Ohio, for generations to learn from how he lived a life of courage and character.”
“I had only been at Pitt for a few months when I first met Chris and he could not have been more supportive and enthusiastic about the University of Pittsburgh,” Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said. “It was obvious that he took great pride in being a Panther. I remember we had him as our honorary captain when we played at Georgia Tech one year and he was so energetic with our kids. You know he wanted to put on that Pitt helmet one more time. Our deepest sympathies to the Doleman family. His passing is a great loss for all of us, but his memory and legacy, on and off the field, will never be forgotten.”
Doleman was diagnosed with glioblastoma and underwent surgery in January 2018 to remove a tumor in his brain.