York High graduate Chris Doleman to have surgery to remove brain tumor
Former York High football standout Chris Doleman will have surgery Thursday in Atlanta to have a brain tumor removed.
The surgery was originally set for Wednesday, but was postponed for a day.
Pro Football Talk first reported Tuesday that Doleman, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who starred for the Minnesota Vikings from 1985-93 and in 1999, would have the procedure.
Vikings radio sideline reporter and former punter Greg Coleman told the Pioneer Press on Tuesday he spoke to Doleman on Monday night and learned about the impending surgery.
“What I’m doing is praying for his health,’’ said Coleman, Doleman’s Minnesota teammate from 1985-87. “I’m praying it isn’t serious but it sucks whenever you go into somebody’s head (for surgery).’’
Coleman had wanted to go Atlanta, where Doleman lives, to be with him during the surgery but has a commitment is Los Angeles. Coleman said former Vikings defensive lineman Henry Thomas, Doleman’s teammate from 1987-93, will be in Atlanta with him.
Coleman got some details from Doleman, 56, when they spoke Monday.
“He noticed (recently) that he had some drooping in his face and noticed stuff starting to drip out of his mouth when he drank, so he said, ‘Something is going on,’’’ Coleman said. “The last couple of days, when he got it checked out, he went to see the Falcons doctor and they recommended some folks and he got a CT scan and an MRI and both revealed the same thing, that there was a mass in the frontal lobe.
“He was coherent and talking, so that’s always a good sign. Hopefully, he’s got some good doctors down there in Atlanta so that they can get this taken care of.”
Doleman played in the NFL from 1985-99, and made eight Pro Bowls. He had 150 1/2 sacks to rank fifth in league history, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.
Coleman said Doleman had been planning to attend Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium, and said he was looking forward to it.
“When I talked to him, I was trying to give him some comfort and just trying to assure him that this thing is going to be all right,’’ Coleman said.
A standout at York High: Doleman is arguably the greatest athlete in the illustrious history of York High athletics.
In football, the Associated Press named him first-team all-state at tight end. The UPI, meanwhile, named him first-team all-state as a defensive end. He was also an all-star punter, including an 84-yard kick in the 1979 season.
He was also an All-York County League performer in basketball, posting averages of 12.9 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks per game. He was the center on the 1980 York High team that won the school’s first district title since 1971. That team eventually lost in the state semifinals.
During that season, Doleman helped hold Sam Bowie, a 7-foot, 1-inch star at Lebanon High School, to a career-low 11 points. Bowie went on to star at Kentucky and became a first-round NBA draft pick.
During his senior season at York High, Doleman added volleyball to athletic resume and became a standout in that sport, as well.
Doleman eventually attended Valley Forge Military Academy for a year, before getting a scholarship to Pitt, where he again excelled.
The Vikings drafted him with the fourth overall pick in the 1985 NFL draft,.