Cris Dishman to Donate Record Total to Purdue

Former football star and current Washington Redskins standout provides donation.

Feb. 3, 1998

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Former Purdue football star and current Washington Redskins standout Cris Dishman will donate all the necessary funds to Purdue University for the renovation of the football locker room in the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility. It is the largest donation ever by a former Boilermaker who went on to success in the professional sports ranks. Dishman, 32, will formerly make the announcement at the Purdue-Indiana men's basketball game in West Lafayette on Feb. 10.

"This is a very significant gift from Cris Dishman to Purdue," Boilermaker athletic director Morgan Burke said. "It is special in that it comes from a player who is still active in the NFL. Cris is doing this because he feels that the faculty and staff at Purdue made a real difference in his life. When called upon to help, he stepped forward to provide these facilities for future Purdue players."

"It was easy for me to contribute to Purdue," Dishman said. "My experiences there helped make me the person I am today."

Dishman started at cornerback with the Old Gold and Black in 1984, 1985 and 1987. He helped Purdue to a Peach Bowl appearance and second-place tie in the Big Ten in 1984.

Dishman intercepted nine career collegiate passes, just two shy of the school record, and had 30 passes broken up, two short of the mark at that time. He also compiled 169 tackles. Dishman also ran track, finishing second in the 60 meters and third in the 300 meters at the Big Ten Championships.

Dishman has played the last 10 years in the NFL. He was a fifth-round draft choice of the Houston Oilers in 1988 and quickly established himself as one of the league's top cornerbacks. The two-time Pro Bowl selection (this season and 1991) played with the Oilers every season until joining Washington this past year.

He won the Redskins' first-ever Jack Kent Cooke Trophy as their 1997 Player-of-the-Year with a team-high four pass thefts and career-best 101 tackles. It is unusual for a first-year player in a new organization to win MVP honors. Dishman ranks second in Oilers' career interceptions (31), and has 565 tackles, 35 pass picks, 16 forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries and five touchdowns for his NFL career.

Dishman, who made five consecutive playoff appearances from 1988 to 1992, recently was recognized by Pro Football Weekly as one of the NFL's top 50 players. He also made the most recent All-John Madden Team for the 1997 campaign.

Dishman, a native of Louisville, Ky., was voted the state of Kentucky's top player as a senior at DeSales High School, where he was a three-sport star (football, basketball, track). He set a still-standing 400-meter record as state track champion, and was an all-district basketball forward. He was enshrined in DeSales' Hall of Honor in 1993.

Dishman has made extensive charitable contributions during the last decade. He donates time and money to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Foundation, and is a popular speaker/visitor to Houston and Louisville schools and hospitals. Dishman has been honored by the Catholic Archdiocese and the Star of Hope Homeless Shelter for his charitable contributions, On the field as Dishman has gained experience and success, he has become a leader and role model for many younger teammates and has helped them in their development as NFL players. This is exemplified in Bubba McDowell, Darryl Lewis, Marcus Robertson and Blaine Bishop, all of whom have been chosen for the Pro Bowl. This positive leadership helped him to be named MVP in his first year with Washington.

Dishman and his wife, Karen, have one son, Cris, age three. They have made Houston their home but live in the Washington, D.C., area during the football season. His father, Clarence, was a swimmer at Indiana, and his mother, Nella, is a registered nurse. He also has two sisters, Cassandra and Cynthia, and two brothers, Billy and Colan.