First, Pitt Alumni and all time football great, Chris Doleman passed yesterday after a battle with cancer. It was too early. He was only 58.
Per Pitt’s SID:
All-Time Pitt Football Great Chris Doleman Passes Away
PITTSBURGH—Chris Doleman, a star defensive end at Pitt from 1981-84 who went on to a Hall of Fame career as a dominant pass rusher in the NFL, has passed away. He was 58.
While at Pitt, Doleman displayed the athletic and ferocious style that would characterize his pro career. An immediate starter upon his arrival from Valley Forge Military Academy in 1981, he would be a vital part of some of the greatest defenses in school history.
Doleman finished his college career third all-time at Pitt with 25 sacks, a total that still ranks eighth nearly four decades later. He played in the Sugar, Cotton and Fiesta bowl games, while helping the Panthers earn three Top 20 finishes, including a No. 2 ranking in 1981 and No. 9 finish in 1982.
As a senior, Doleman was elected a Pitt tri-captain with linebacker Troy Benson and offensive tackle Bill Fralic. In addition to his immense athletic gifts, the 6-foot-5 Doleman also set a standard with his desire and relentless play.
The late Foge Fazio, Doleman’s defensive coordinator in 1981 before serving as head coach from 1982-85, said: “Sometimes we’ll stop the game film just to point out to the team Chris’ desire and hustle to get there.”
The fourth-overall pick of the 1985 draft by the Minnesota Vikings, Doleman played 15 seasons in the NFL and holds status as one of the most productive pass rushers of all time. A defensive end and outside linebacker, he was an eight-time Pro Bowler, earning six berths as a member of the Vikings and one each as a member of the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers.
He was a first team All-Pro three times and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s. Upon his retirement in 1999, Doleman’s 150.5 career sacks ranked fourth in league history and he was tied for third with eight seasons in which he recorded 10 or more sacks.
Doleman received his Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement in 2012.
“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 coachPat 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.”
Second…also per Pitt’s SID
Pitt Places Five on All-ACC Academic Football Team
PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh placed five student-athletes on the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Football Team, it was announced by the ACC this morning.
Pitt’s 2019 All-ACC Academic Football Team honorees are sophomore defensive endDeslin Alexandre, sophomore punter Kirk Christodoulou, graduate linebacker Kylan Johnson, redshirt freshman offensive guard Jake Kradel and junior center Jimmy Morrissey.
Morrissey received his third consecutive All-ACC Academic honor, while Christodoulou was honored for the second straight year.
The Panthers have had at least five All-ACC Academic selections in each season of Pat Narduzzi’s tenure (since 2015).
“Pitt is annually well represented on the All-ACC Academic Football Team and that’s a big point of pride for us,” Narduzzi said. “Our goal as a football program is to achieve excellence in all that we do. These five young men really embody that. They are not only outstanding players, but also decorated students and leaders. We’re extremely proud of Deslin, Kirk, Kylan, Jake and Jimmy.”
To be eligible for consideration, a student-athlete must have earned at least a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a minimum 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career. Athletic achievements during the most recent season are also considered in selecting the team.
Alexandre (Pompano Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) started all 13 games for Pitt’s nationally ranked defense and compiled 38 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. Alexandre is a communication major.
In his second season as Pitt’s starting punter, Christodoulou (Melbourne, Australia/Balwyn) averaged a career-high 42.9 yards on 57 punts. He placed 22 inside the 20-yard line and 21 of his punts resulted in a fair catch, both personal highs. Christodoulou completed his bachelor’s degree in finance this past December.
Johnson (Dallas, Texas/Skyline) provided an immediate impact upon joining Pitt as a 2019 graduate transfer from Florida. A starter in every game, he totaled 54 stops, 10.5 TFLs, 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Johnson is enrolled in Pitt’s School of Social Work.
In his first active season, Kradel (Butler, Pa./Butler Senior) became a lynchpin on the Panthers’ offensive line, starting the final seven games at right guard. His play was instrumental for a unit that passed for more than 3,400 yards, Pitt’s highest total through the air since 2003. Kradel is an economics major.
Morrissey (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./La Salle College H.S.) established himself as one of the top centers in all of college football. The first-team All-ACC performer did not surrender a sack the entire season and also rated as the Panthers’ top run blocker. Selected a Pitt team captain as a junior, he went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing in December.