American Football Database
Chris Doleman
No. 56     
Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1961-10-16) October 16, 1961 (age 60)
Place of birth: Indianapolis, Indiana
Career information
College: Pittsburgh
NFL Draft: 1985 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Debuted in 1985 for the Minnesota Vikings for the [[{{{debutteam}}}]]
Last played in 1999 for the Minnesota Vikings for the [[{{{finalteam}}}]]
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Sacks     150.5
Interceptions     8
Touchdowns     2
Stats at
Pro Football Hall of Fame

Christopher John Doleman (born October 16, 1961 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is a former American Football defensive end who played in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, and San Francisco 49ers from 1985 to 1999.[1] He was an 8-time Pro Bowl selection and a 3-time First-team All-Pro, recording 150⅓ career sacks.[2] He is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame class of 2012.[3]

Early life

Doleman attended William Penn High School in York, Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1980. He spent a postgrad year at Valley Forge Military Academy in 1981.[4]

College career

Doleman played football collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh.[5] He was a star linebacker and defensive end for the Pitt Panthers from 1981 to 1984. He ended his career at Pitt with 25 sacks which was good for third all-time at the time of his departure. That total still ranks sixth in Pitt annals.

NFL career

Doleman was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st round (4th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft.[6] He began his NFL career as an outside linebacker in the Vikings 3-4 defense. However, the team switched to a 4-3 defense early in his career. The move paid off for Doleman, who recorded 21 sacks in the 1989 season, the highest total recorded that season and the fourth highest total ever.[7][8] The 21 sacks in a single season was a Vikings record until Jared Allen recorded 22 sacks in 2011. Doleman later played for the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers before returning to the Vikings in 1999 for his final season.[9]

He was a first-team All-Pro in 1987, 1989 and 1992. He garnered second-team All-Pro selections in 1990 and 1993.[10]


As of 2010, Doleman ran a technology marketing company called Gateway Fusion.[11] One of their products was an antimicrobial product for NFL and NCAA locker rooms.

Doleman was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in February of 2012.[12] On August 4, 2012 Doleman was officially inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame at the Enshrinement Ceremony where his bust, sculpted by Scott Myers, was unveiled.