Chris Doering has been announced as the keynote speaker for the 21st Lou Groza Awards Banquet to be held Dec. 4 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. The night will be highlighted by honoring the three finalists for the prestigious Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award.
Born and raised in Gainesville, Doering always dreamed that one day he would be able to run out of the tunnel as a member of the University of Florida Gators football team. In 1991 that dream became reality as Doering walked on to the Florida football team. Over the next four years he went from little-known walk-on to being remembered as a Gator legend.
After redshirting in 1991, Doering received a scholarship and would play wide receiver for Florida from 1992 to 1995. During his time at Florida, Doering rewrote the school record books. He finished 6th in receptions with 149, 10th in receiving yards with 2,107, and his 31 touchdown receptions were the most all-time in Gator history. This also set the all-time record in the Southeastern Conference, a mark which Doering still owns today.
In addition to his record setting individual performances, Doering played a vital role in the Gators capturing three consecutive SEC championships from 1993 to 1995. In 1995, Doering’s senior season, he was named a team captain by head coach Steve Spurrier. In his final season, Doering received first-team All-SEC and second-team All-American honors.
Despite all these accolades, Doering is most remembered in Gator football lore for what has become known as “the catch” or “Doering’s got a touchdown,” which Gator radio play-by-play man Mick Hubert repeatedly yelled after the catch. The play occurred during his 1993 sophomore season against Kentucky. With only 3 seconds remaining in the game, Doering caught the game-winning touchdown on a pass from quarterback Danny Wuerffel to give the Gators the 24-20 victory.
Doering graduated from UF in with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications. He was selected in the sixth round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Prior to the season, Doering was traded to the Indianapolis Colts. After playing for the Colts and the Denver Broncos, Doering signed with the Washington Redskins and his former Gator coach, Steve Spurrier, in 2002. Doering played in 15 games that season, including three starts for the Redskins, finishing with 18 catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns. The following season, Doering signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers and played in 19 games over the next two seasons from 2003 to 2004. Doering finished with 18 catches for 240 yards and one touchdown as a member of the Steelers.
Doering officially retired from the NFL in 2006, after amassing career totals of 42 receptions, 476 yards and three touchdowns. Once retired, Doering moved back to Gainesville, where he became the president of his own home loan mortgage brokerage, Chris Doering Mortgage.
In 2006, Doering was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame. He is currently co-host of The Sports Fix on ESPN Radio AM 900 and AM 1230 in Gainesville and Ocala. Doering also works as a color analyst for ESPN’s SEC football coverage.
For more information on the Lou Groza Award, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, or to purchase tickets for the Lou Groza Awards Banquet, visit www.lougrozaaward.com.
Above: Chris Doering