Where Are They Now: Dan Doornink


Professional football in Seattle has produced several individuals fans won’t soon forget.

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The players, coaches, radio voices and front office staff played vital roles in shaping the franchise. Although their contributions to the team are well known, fans may not know about their post-Seahawks life.

I hope to provide information on that and more in articles throughout the season.

Where Are They Now?

#33 Dr. Dan Doornink RB (1979-1985)

Hall of Famers who once wore number 33:

This number was also used by players not Hall of Fame worthy, but significant contributors none the less. In the late 70s and half of the 80s, Dan Doornink was that guy for the Seattle Seahawks.

Born in 1956 in Yakima, Washington, Dan Doornink was raised in Wapato. He attended Wapato High School where he excelled in athletics and academics. His hard work on the field and in the classroom paid off when he was extended the opportunity to attend Washington State University,

In his time as a Cougar, he showed great talent and potential. Because of this, Doornink was a 7th round pick of the New York Giants in 1978. After just one season, the Giants sent Doornink to Seattle for a 7th round pick, to be used in 1980.

While Seattle was seeing an immediate impact, the Giants had to wait a year. Their patience was not rewarded, as New York selected a defender who played just one NFL season.


Doornink was a talented running back with a high football IQ. He was reliable, a hard worker and a solid example to the players. When Seattle acquired new players, Doornink made them feel accepted. In 1983, with Seahawks drafting RB Curt Warner, he mentored the rookie. Some may have felt threatened. To Doornink, the team’s success was priority.

On the field that year, he played running back at times, fullback at times. Incredibly, his yards per catch increased to 13.7. His penchant for converting on 3rd down would become legendary. In fact, he was nicknamed Mr. 3rd Down. Once again, ‘Mr. 3rd Down’ showed himself to be of great worth to the Seahawks.

Chuck Knox would lead the Hawks to their first playoff appearance in ’83, reaching the AFC Championship. Marcus Allen and the Raiders were simply too much, however, ending Seattle’s magical run. Still, 1983 ranks as one of the greatest seasons in franchise history. Dan Doornink would play a crucial roll both on and off the field.

Doornink went on to play two more seasons, his last being 1985. Smart, tough, unselfish and talented, he was a beloved Seahawk player. A Washington State Hall of Famer, Mr. Doornink gave his hometown and state a true hero of football and life. Local boy done good.

As some players retire, life seems to slows down. While playing for Seattle, Dan was a student in the University of Washington school of medicine. This was well know by teammates and fans, earning him the nickname, Dr. Dan. In 1990, Dr. Doornink became an Internist in Yakima. In the last 24 years, he has built a strong reputation in the community, as well as earning their faith and respect as a M.D.

Now 58-years-old, he’s still a big fan of WSU Cougar football. As for the Seahawks, Dr. Doornink remains loyal. He was honored during the 2007 preseason by raising the team’s 12th Man flag. Based on the reception, Mr. 3rd Down (or Dr. Dan), is still in the hearts and memories of the 12s.

Dan has a wife, Sharon, and together they have raised four children. Looks like his life hasn’t slowed down and neither have the blessings.

Thank you 33!