Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Shane Conlan

Shane Conlan


  • Position: Linebacker
  • School: Penn State
  • High School: Frewsburg Central (N.Y.)
  • Years: 1983-1986
  • Inducted: 2014
  • Place of Birth: Frewsburg, N.Y.
  • Date of Birth: Mar 04, 1964
  • Jersey Number: 31
  • Height: 6-3"
  • Weight: 225

Member Biography

The epitome of “Linebacker U,” Shane Conlan led Penn State to a perfect 12-0 national championship season in 1986. He becomes the 17th Nittany Lion to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.

A 1986 Consensus First-Team All-American and finalist for the Butkus Award, Conlan recorded eight tackles and two interceptions in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl over Miami (Fla.) to give Penn State the national title. He led the Lions to three bowl appearances, including back-to-back national titles games, and he earned Defensive MVP honors in both the 1986 Orange Bowl and the 1987 Fiesta Bowl. The co-captain and team MVP his senior season, Conlan was the leader of the 1986 defensive unit, which held every opponent to fewer than 19 points. Twice leading Penn State in tackles, he finished his career ranked second on the Lions’ career tackles list with 274, and his 183 solo tackles still rank third in school history. Leading Penn State to an impressive 31-10-1 record during his time in Happy Valley, Conlan was named the Exemplary Player of the Year in 1986 by Football Roundup Magazine, and he was selected to play in the 1987 Japan Bowl.

Selected eighth overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 1987 NFL Draft, Conlan played six seasons with the Bills and three for the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams before retiring after the 1995 season. The 1987 Rookie of the Year and three-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection played in three straight Super Bowls with the Bills, and he was named to their 50th Anniversary Team.

Coached by Hall of Famer Joe Paterno, Conlan was named to Penn State’s All-Time Team, and he is enshrined in the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame and the Chautauqua County (N.Y.) Sports Hall of Fame. A community leader, he organizes the Shane Conlan Classic golf tournament, which raises money for the Heritage Valley Health System, the Shane Conlan Scholarship Fund at his old high school and various projects at Penn State. The Frewsburg, N.Y., native currently serves as the vice president of Corporate Partnerships for the Pittsburgh Power Arena Football League team.