Chris Spielman was born to Sandy and Nancy Spielman on October 11, 1965 in Canton, Ohio.Chris grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood with his parents and older brother, Rick. With a football coach for a father, Chris’ love of football started at birth.
As a shy 16-year-old, Chris was thrust into the national spotlight at a very young age.Between his junior and senior years of high school, Chris was selected by Wheaties as a winner of their nationwide Search of Champions and placed on box covers.
In 1984, Chris graduated from Washington High School in Massillon, Ohio and began his career at The Ohio State University.As a senior at OSU, Spielman led the team in tackles and interceptions in both 1986 & 1987. Chris was a 2x All-American, intercepted 11 passes, and ranked 3rd in Buckeye history with 512 tackles.
In 1987, Chris won both the Lombardi and the Harley Chic awards as the best college football lineman or linebacker and was named Ohio State’s team MVP.
The Detroit Lions drafted Chris in the 2nd round as the 29th pick. Chris played eight seasons with the Lions, which included 4 playoff appearances, 2 NFC Central titles, and a berth in the 1992 NFC Championship Game.Chris led the team in tackles for eight consecutive seasons, including the team’s highest single-season tally of 195 tackles in 1994.
He is Detroit’s all-time leader in career tackles with 1,138 (since the team began recording tackles statistically in 1973).He also represented the Lions in 4 Pro Bowls (1990–92, 1995) and was named the team’s defensive MVP in 1993 and 1994.
In addition to his many athletic achievements, Chris received his degree from The Ohio State University in Recreation Education.Then on June 24, 1989 Chris married his high school sweetheart, Stefanie Belcher.
Chris and Stefanie welcome their first daughter, Madison.The Spielmans would go on to have three more children. Their son Noah and two more daughters, Macy and Audrey.
Chris played for the Buffalo Bills in 1996 and 1997, and set a team and personal record with 206 tackles during the 1996 season.Unfortunately, his 1997 season was cut short as a result of a neck injury that required spinal surgery.
After taking the 1998 season off to take care of Stefanie, Chris joined the Cleveland Browns.Though before the season could begin Chris was forced to retire after suffering from another neck injury.
First a NFL studio-show analyst for Fox Sports Net, Spielman joined ESPN as a broadcast analyst as well as studio analyst for college football.Chris is also a contributor to the Columbus, Ohio based FM radio station 97.1 The Fan (an ESPN Radio affiliate). In addition he hosted his own 2 hour show called “Spielman on Sports”. Chris is now back with Fox Sports as a NFL analyst.
Chris coached in the Arena Football League with the Columbus Destroyers, compiling a 2-15 record.
On November 19, 2009 Stefanie Spielman lost her 10 year battle with Breast Cancer. The Stefanie Spielman Breast Cancer Research Fund, which Chris and Stephanie started in 1998 with a goal of raising $250,000, has now grown into a $10 million fund and nationally recognized organization.
After being selected in 2009 for the College Hall of Fame, Chris Spielman was inducted on July of 2010.
In July of 2013 Chris married Carrie Yocom, who brought 2 daughters to the family, Kendra and Gina.
Crhis Spielman has joined the Lions organization as Special Assistant to Chairman and President & CEO
Spielman is the 19th member of the Lions’ version of the ring of honor. He is the team’s all-time leading tackler, leading the entire NFL over the eight-year span he spent in Detroit (1988-1995) and earning four Pro Bowl nods and one first-team All-Pro (1991).
The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research is devoted to advancing research in breast cancer. 100 percent of every gift to the fund goes directly to research of at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center
- James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.