"I am honored to be part of the five Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame inductees. I only played one year of high school sports and was a late bloomer, but it just goes to show you that it’s not how you start, but how you finish!”
High School: Valley
College: University of Nevada
* NFL Career: 12 Years (Washington, San Francisco)
* 3 Time Super Bowl Champion (XXII, XXVI, XXIX)
* 4 Time Pro Bowl Selection (1987, 1988, 1989, 1991)
* Washington Redskins Ring of Fame
* Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee (1995)
Charles Mann was born in Sacramento and has one of the most unique stories of any athlete from the area. Despite his tremendous athletic ability and size at an early age, he didn’t play organized football until his final year of high school. He wanted to play football and did for awhile in Pop Warner without his parents knowing. Once his mom found out, she made him quit because she was afraid he might get seriously hurt. Even throughout his career, his mom would never watch his games until they were over and she knew he was safe. She would only watch them on video.
Being very independent, he decided to earn money on his own and had a paper route when he was 12 years old. While he was in high school he worked as a grocery clerk at Lucky’s. It wasn’t until his senior year at Valley High School that he decided to go against mom’s wishes and play football. He quickly made an impact as a tight end on offense and a fierce defensive tackle. In one short season, he impressed college coaches and had two scholarships offers from the University of Nevada and Oregon State. Charles decided to be a part of the Wolf Pack.
In college, he was a starting defensive end and was beginning to get noticed. Unfortunately, at the end of his junior year, Charles was notified by his family that his dad was diagnosed with cancer so he left school and returned home to take care of his mother. After the summer, she told Charles to return to school and get his degree so he could prepare for his future. He went back to Reno for his senior year, where he led the Big Sky Conference with 14 sacks and was named the Conference’s Most Valuable Defensive Lineman and was a Kodak All-American.
In 1983, Charles was drafted in the 3rd round by the Washington Redskins. In his first year, he was part of team that went 14-2 in the regular season and advanced to the Super Bowl. By his second season, he was the starting left defensive end. In only his 3rd season he led the team in sacks with 14½, which was third best in the NFL. He and fellow lineman, Dexter Manley, formed one of the best bookend defensive tandems in the NFL. During their 1989 season, each of them had 14 sacks.
The Redskins were one of the top teams in the NFL and were in playoff contention nearly every season during that time. In 1987, Washington was dominant with Charles leading the defense with 9½ sacks. Washington rolled into the playoffs and then crushed the Denver Broncos 42-10 to win Super Bowl XXII. The Redskins made it back to the Super Bowl again in the 1991 season, led by their staunch defense with Charles once again leading the team with 11 sacks. In Super Bowl XXVI, they held the Buffalo Bills high powered offense to only 43 rushing yards and sacked quarterback, Jim Kelly, four times in a 37-24 victory.
After his 11th season in Washington, the Redskins traded Charles to San Francisco. He played only one year there but he closed out his career with one more Super Bowl title, helping the 49ers to win Super Bowl XXIX over the San Diego Chargers. Charles is most remembered for his time in Washington, leading some of the best defenses in the history of the NFL. The Redskins won four NFC East Division titles and two Super Bowls in his 11 years in Washington. He was named to the Pro Bowl four times and had an amazing 83 sacks during his 12 year career. He was named as one of the 70 greatest Redskins of all time and is part of the hallowed Washington Redskins Ring of Fame. He has been nominated 14 times for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is a 3-time Super Bowl Champion.
He currently lives in the Washington D.C. area and is a successful entrepreneur operating Charles Mann Enterprises. He helped found the Good Samaritan Foundation which provides youth with the environment needed to equip themselves with the skills, training and resources necessary to compete successfully in society through the Student Training Opportunity Program (STOP). In 1993, he was voted the "Washingtonian of the Year." He will always be known as a great football player but an even better humanitarian and family man. Charles will always be proud of his Sacramento heritage which helped mold him into the successful man he has become today.