Coleman attended Georgia Tech in college. Even though he only played three years, he left the school with a record 28 sacks. He earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors his junior year. In 1990, Coleman was named to the Sporting News All-American second team.
The Miami Dolphins drafted him in the first round of the 1992 NFL draft with the 12th overall pick. In his rookie season, Coleman split time between left outside linebacker and right defensive end. He recorded a total of six sacks along with 84 tackles and a forced fumble on his way to being named the Sports Ilustrated Rookie of the Year and also the Sporting News Defensive Rookie of the Year.
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1993 would see Coleman take over the right defensive end position, starting 15 games. He recorded five and a half sacks and forced two fumbles with a total of 54 tackles.
Displaying consistency, Coleman collected six sacks in 1994 with three forced fumbles and 34 tackles. He would rack up a progressive career high in 1995 with six and a half sacks. He started all 32 games over the two year period.
As an unrestricted free agent, Coleman left in 1996 to sign with the San Diego Chargers, playing three seasons there. He later played three seasons with the Washington Redskins, earning his first and only Pro Bowl selection in 2000. Coleman later also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos, retiring after the 2005 season.
For Miami, Coleman totalled 24 sacks in 63 games, forcing six fumbles and making 205 tackles. He would total 65.5 sacks over his 14 year NFL career. He currently coaches for Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, FL.