Christopher Robert Zorich (born March 16, 1969) is a former American football defensive tackle who played in college for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. Zorich is currently the athletic director at Chicago State University.
Zorich in 2006
|No. 97, 78|
|Born:||March 13, 1969|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||282 lb (128 kg)|
|High school:||Chicago Vocational|
|NFL Draft:||1991 / Round: 2 / Pick: 49|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 1998|
|Player stats at PFR|
An only child of African American and Croatian descent, Zorich was raised by his mother (Zora) on the South Side of Chicago, where he attended Chicago Vocational High School. Chris is nephew to character actor Louis Zorich and his wife, Olympia Dukakis.
Zorich received a scholarship to play college football at the University of Notre Dame in 1987 and began as a linebacker but was moved to nose tackle early in the season and did not play. However, Zorich then earned All-American honors the following season. In his first game, he had one and a half sacks and ten tackles against the University of Michigan and finished the year third on the team in tackles as Notre Dame went undefeated and won the national championship.
During his junior year, he followed his initial season with a consensus All-America year in 1989 and was also one of four finalists for the Lombardi Award. Also in 1989 he was voted the UPI Lineman of the Year award as the top lineman in college football. As a senior, Zorich won the Lombardi Award and was recognized as a unanimous All-America.
Zorich was drafted in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. He played for the Bears from 1991 until 1996, and he was named an alternate for the 1993 Pro Bowl. He also played one season (1997) for the Washington Redskins. In his NFL career, Zorich tallied 16.5 career quarterback sacks and scored one touchdown off a fumble.
Zorich earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree at Notre Dame and established the Christopher Zorich Foundation in 1993 to assist disadvantaged families. He is a past recipient of USA WEEKEND's Most Caring Athlete Award and the Jesse Owens Foundation Humanitarian Award. Zorich has also worked as a motivational speaker.
On May 9, 2007, Zorich was announced as one of the specially selected inductees of the 2007 class at the College Football Hall of Fame. Not only was he one of the youngest players to ever be inducted, he is only the third defensive lineman from tradition-rich Notre Dame to call the College Football Hall of Fame home.
On December 8, 2009, Zorich was also inducted into the FedEx Orange Bowl Hall of Fame for his outstanding performances in back-to-back Orange Bowl appearances (1990 and 1991).
Zorich lives in Chicago and continues to be an active member of the community. From 2015 to 2018, he served as the athletic director at Prairie State College, a community college in Chicago Heights, Ill. In May 2018, he was named the athletic director at Chicago State University.
The 1988 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame during the 1988 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Irish, coached by Lou Holtz, ended the season with 12 wins and no losses, winning the national championship. The Fighting Irish won the title by defeating the previously unbeaten and No. 3 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers in the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona, by a score of a 34–21. The 1988 squad, one of 11 national title squads for the Irish, is considered to be one of the best undefeated teams in the history of college football. The Irish beat the teams which finished the season ranked #2, #4, #5, and #7 in the AP Poll. They also won 10 of 12 games by double digits. The 1988 squad is best remembered for its 31-30 upset of No. 1 ranked Miami, ending their 36-game regular season winning streak. The game is remembered to this day as one of the most memorable games in all of college football.1989 College Football All-America Team
The 1989 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1989. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recognizes five selectors as "official" for the 1989 season. They are: (1) the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA); (2) the Associated Press (AP) selected based on the votes of sports writers at AP newspapers; (3) the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA); (4) the United Press International (UPI) selected based on the votes of sports writers at UPI newspapers; and (5) the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WC). Other notable selectors included Football News, the Gannett News Service, Newspaper Enterprise Association in conjunction with World Almanac, Scripps Howard (SH), and The Sporting News (TSN).1990 College Football All-America Team
The 1990 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1990. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recognizes five selectors as "official" for the 1990 season. They are: (1) the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA); (2) the Associated Press (AP) selected based on the votes of sports writers at AP newspapers; (3) the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA); (4) the United Press International (UPI) selected based on the votes of sports writers at UPI newspapers; and (5) the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WC). Other notable selectors included Football News, the Gannett News Service, Newspaper Enterprise Association in conjunction with World Almanac, Scripps Howard (SH), and The Sporting News (TSN).1990 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team
The 1990 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1990 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Lou Holtz and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.1991 Chicago Bears season
The 1991 Chicago Bears season was their 72nd regular season and 21st postseason completed in the National Football League (NFL). The Bears returned to the playoffs for a second consecutive season as one of three NFC Wild Cards, finishing with an 11–5 record and in second place in the NFC Central. They were beaten, however, by the Dallas Cowboys in their first playoff game. This was Mike Ditka's last playoff game as a head coach.1991 Orange Bowl
The 1991 Orange Bowl was a college football bowl game on January 1 which determined the national championship. Played at night in Miami, Florida, the 57th edition of the Orange Bowl featured the independent Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Colorado Buffaloes of the Big Eight Conference.Colorado came into the game with a 10–1–1 record and a #1 AP ranking; Notre Dame was 9–2 and fifth in the AP poll. The game was a rematch of the previous year, in which #3 Notre Dame took a national championship away from #1 Colorado, 21–6.1993 Chicago Bears season
The 1993 Chicago Bears season was their 74th regular season completed in the National Football League (NFL). It was the Bears' first season since 1981 without Mike Ditka as head coach, as he had been fired following the team's 5–11 finish the year before. Under new head coach Dave Wannstedt, the Bears improved their record to 7–9 but again failed to make the playoffs.1994 Chicago Bears season
The 1994 Chicago Bears season was their 75th regular season completed in the National Football League (NFL). The Bears matched their 9–7 record under head coach Dave Wannstedt for their first winning season since the end of the 1991 season. The club was one of four teams from the NFC Central to make the playoffs. This was also the NFL's 75th Anniversary so the Bears wore 1920s-era throwback jerseys in a few games. The Bears celebrated their first playoff win since January 6, 1991, with a hard-fought road victory over the NFC Central champion Minnesota Vikings 35–18 before being knocked out by the eventual Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers 44–15 at Candlestick Park.
1994 was the last time the Bears made the playoffs during the 1990s as the following seasons would be disastrous. They wouldn't return to postseason contention until 2001.1996 Chicago Bears season
The 1996 Chicago Bears season was their 77th regular season completed in the National Football League (NFL). They failed to improve on their 9-7 record from 1995 and finished with a 7–9 record under head coach Dave Wannstedt. It was the team's first losing season since 1993 when it was Wannstedt's first season.1997 Chicago Bears season
The 1997 Chicago Bears season was their 78th regular season completed in the National Football League (NFL). The club posted a 4–12 record under head coach Dave Wannstedt. It was the club's first 4-win season since the club posted a 4–10 record in 1975. The team allowed a franchise-record 421 points in 1997.Brian Piccolo Award
The Brian Piccolo Award is an honor that is given to players of the Chicago Bears. The award is given to one rookie and one veteran per season who best exemplifies the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late Brian Piccolo. Piccolo was a running back for the Bears from 1966 until his untimely death from embryonal cell carcinoma on June 16, 1970, at age 26.Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Award
The Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Award has been awarded by the National Football League Players Association continuously since 1967. The most recent winner, for the 2017 season, is Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles. The award honors work in the community as the NFL player who best served his team, community and country in the spirit of Byron "Whizzer" White, who was a Supreme Court justice, professional American football player, naval officer, and humanitarian. Past winners have included Drew Brees, Warrick Dunn, Gale Sayers, Bart Starr, Archie Manning, Peyton Manning, Troy Vincent, and Ken Houston. Prior to his ascension to the Supreme Court, White had been All-Pro three times (1938, 1940, 1941) and the NFL rushing champion twice (1938 and 1940).
The 2001 recipient, Michael McCrary, was the child in the Supreme Court case Runyon v. McCrary (1976) in which Justice White had participated nearly a quarter of a century before McCrary's award. White had dissented from the position taken by the lawyers for McCrary.Chicago Vocational High School
Chicago Vocational High School (commonly known as CVCA, Chicago Vocational Career Academy or CVS) is a public 4–year vocational high school located in the Avalon Park neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Operated by Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Vocational High School opened in 1941. The school was barely opened when the outbreak of World War II caused a change in plan. The school would be a vocational school, but one under the control of the United States Navy, where many mechanics who would build and repair aircraft, among others, were trained. After the war, the school was instrumental in helping returning veterans who went off to war prior to graduation to earn their diploma. The school is also closely associated with a few of its notable alumni, particularly Dick Butkus.James O. Williams
James Otis "BigCat" Williams (born March 29, 1968) is a former American football player. He played for the Chicago Bears throughout his 12-year NFL career. Williams was 6'7" and 330-pounds. He has two children, Jai and Jia.
Williams was signed as a free agent by Bill Tobin after the 1991 draft. He played defensive tackle on a 0-11 team at Cheyney State. Williams worked his way into the defensive line rotation his rookie season, substituting for Steve McMichael and William Perry when needed. As a rookie, he blocked a field goal at Buffalo, picked up his first sack at Green Bay, and helped with the "push" on William Perry's game-saving field goal block against the New York Giants.
Williams played sparingly on defense in 1992 and was inactive for five straight games. The second-year tackle did not make the starting lineup following the drafting of 1991 second-rounder Chris Zorich. He was moved to offensive tackle midway through November, then to right tackle. Soon after, Williams relieved Keith Van Horne against Tampa in September, then was inactive for the final 12 games of the 1993 season.
From 1994 through his final game with the Bears in 2002, Williams started 134 games at right tackle. He missed limited action throughout those seasons and played every snap in 1995. In addition to his starting duties, Williams blocked or deflected eight field goal attempts through 2001. He was chosen as a Pro Bowl alternate after the 1998 season and voted to his first all-star game following the 2001 season, during which the Bears finished 13-3.
Williams was a team ambassador throughout his career, and was the veteran recipient of the Bears' Brian Piccolo award following the 2001 season. He appeared in an E-TV Wild on Chicago episode prior to the 2001 season.
Williams was released by Chicago on February 26, 2003.Jim Seymour (American football)
James Patrick Seymour (November 24, 1946 – March 29, 2011) was an American football wide receiver who played three seasons for the Chicago Bears in the National Football League. He was originally selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the first round of the 1969 NFL Draft, 10th pick overall. In 1974, he played for the Chicago Fire of the WFL.
Seymour played high school football at Shrine of the Little Flower High School, Royal Oak, Michigan, and college football at Notre Dame, where he was a two-time First-team All-American (1967, 1968) while also being a Second-team All-America selection in 1966. He is widely considered to be one of the Top 50 players in Notre Dame history, and is one of only five three-time football All-Americans at the school (Leon Hart, Ken MacAfee, Chris Zorich, Luther Bradley). Seymour was featured on the cover of Time Magazine in the October 28th, 1966 issue, along with Terry Hanratty. He was the older brother of former professional football player Paul Seymour.
Seymour died on March 29, 2011 from cancer.NFL Quarterback Club 96
NFL Quarterback Club 96 is an American football video game released in December 1995. The game was released on the Sega Saturn, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, Sega Game Gear, DOS, and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game's cover features San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young passing while being tackled by Chicago Bears defensive lineman Chris Zorich and an unidentified defender. The Saturn, SNES and DOS versions were developed by Iguana Entertainment, while the Game Boy edition was developed by Condor Inc.UPI Lineman of the Year
The United Press International Lineman of the Year award was given annually by United Press International (UPI) to the lineman of the year in college football. With the demise of UPI in 1997, the award was discontinued. Offensive and defensive linemen were eligible, including offensive ends, with one, Howard Twilley, winning in 1965. Like all UPI college awards at the time, it was based on the votes of NCAA coaches. Ross Browner of Notre Dame was the only two-time winner.Washington D.C. Touchdown Club
The Washington D.C. Touchdown Club was started in 1935 with a passion for charity and sports. In the ensuing years the Club has benefited many local charities as well as providing scholarships to deserving student/athletes.
The Touchdown Timmies, the club's trophies, are given each year to athletes who excelled in their respective arenas including professionals, college and scholastic players. Additionally, the Club provided monies to 15 charitable organizations each year.
Recently, the name was changed to "Touchdown Club Charities of Washington, DC". It was founded by a group of college football enthusiasts in 1935, among them Dutch Bergman. The motto is "Children, Scholarship, and Community".
The Timmie Awards began with a formal dinner at the Willard Hotel in 1937 where All-American Quarterback Marshall Goldberg was honored as Best Player of the Year. Over the past sixty years, the club's dinner awards programs honoring of more than 200 outstanding college players and hundreds of professional high school athletes, have attracted celebrities from many fields and national media attention.Zorich
Zorich is a family name of Slavic origin. The following people share this name:
Alexander Zorich, a collective pen name
Vladimir A. Zorich (born 1937), Russian mathematician, father of Anton
Anton Zorich, Russian mathematician teaching in Paris, son of Vladimir
Chris Zorich (born 1969), American football player
Louis Zorich (1924–2018), American actor
Semyon Zorich (1745–1799), Serbian noble
Lombardi Award winners
UPI College Lineman of the Year winners
1989 College Football All-America Team consensus selections
1990 College Football All-America Team consensus selections