Pitt football legend Chris Doleman has died at the age of 58, the Minnesota Vikings confirmed early Wednesday morning.
Doleman, who played for the Vikings, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers in his long and successful NFL career, played collegiately at Pitt from 1981-84 as a linebacker and defensive end.
Over his four seasons as Pitt, Doleman recorded 25 sacks, which is eighth all-time in program history.
He was selected by the Vikings with the No. 4 overall pick in the 1985 NFL Draft and went on to have an illustrious NFL career.
Playing in the NFL from 1985-99, Doleman was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, a five-time All-Pro choice and was selected as a member of the NFL’s 1990s all-decade team. After his retirement, Doleman was named to the Minnesota Vikings’ Ring of Honor.
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In 2012, Doleman was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
An Indianapolis native and graduate of William Penn High School in York, Pa., Doleman settled in the Atlanta area after his retirement. He had been battling glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor, since 2018.
“The Minnesota Vikings express our deepest sympathies to Chris Doleman’s family and friends upon his passing,” the team said in an official statement. “Chris was a great example for players past and present, as he embodied all the best characteristics of a Viking — resilience, toughness and a competitive spiri. Chris always carried himself with dignity and class. Vikings fans will greatly miss him.”
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Chris Doleman after a prolonged and courageous battle against cancer,” Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker said in a press release. “I had the honor of getting to know him not only as a great football player but an outstanding human being. … 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.”