The Detroit Lions are getting even more help with their general manager and head coaching search. On Tuesday, the team announced that former Lions legend Chris Spielman has been hired to the full-time position of “Special Assistant to Chairman and President & CEO.”
Per the team’s official announcement, Spielman will participate in the upcoming interviews for the team’s general manager and head coach search.
“Chris Spielman has been a tremendous ambassador for the Detroit Lions since the day he first put on a uniform as a rookie in 1988,” team owner Sheila Ford Hamp said in a statement. “He brings great passion for people and the game of football, and we are thrilled to have him on board to help lead our team. This position is a full-time opportunity for Chris that will allow him to work across various departments on both the football and business sides of our organization.”
Spielman retired from play in 1999, but has since spent time close to football as an NFL announcer and radio personality. Since 2016, he had been working with FOX Sports as a weekly announcer for NFL games. However, he’s always remained close with the Lions organization, oftentimes calling games locally for the preseason and collaborating with DetroitLions.com for video content.
“I am humbled and excited about the opportunity to be involved with the franchise that is truly a part of me,” Spielman said in a statement. “The opportunity to work with Rod Wood and every single person in the Lions organization can’t get here fast enough. To Lions fans everywhere, I will do everything in my power to help Mrs. Hamp and the Ford Family achieve their vision of something we can all be proud of.”
Earlier this year, former Lions wide receiver Herman Moore campaigned to have Spielman hired as the team’s next general manager.
Many of you are saying that we can’t have another former @NFL linebacker-turned-broadcaster.— Herman Moore (@HMAN84) November 28, 2020
I hear you, but I am going to have to disagree. Chris Spielman checks a lot more boxes than Matt Millen.
My first points:
1. He’s respected
2. He’s played at the highest level#Lions pic.twitter.com/Ev988FAhSg
This isn’t quite that, but it is a nice start for Spielman, who will apparently have a big say in Detroit’s next hirings.
UPDATE: Spielman officially announced his time as a FOX analyst has come to an end:
@NFLonFOX thank you for an amazing 5yrs. From management to all my teammates you’ve been an incredible group both personally and professionally. I’ll always consider you my teammates no matter what life brings.— Chris Spielman (@chris_spielman) December 15, 2020
UPDATE 2.0: The Lions will also have Barry Sanders at the table when it comes to the GM and coaching searcH:
In addition, #Lions announce that Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation Executive Director Rod Graves, Rock Ventures Vice President of Business Development Mark Hollis and Hall of Fame RB Barry Sanders will serve as advisors to the team's search for a GM and head coach.— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 15, 2020
And don’t sleep on the inclusion of Rod Graves. He was general manager of the Arizona Cardinals for 10 years and spent a couple of years as a senior director of football administration with the New York Jets. Another experienced voice in the room, as the Lions make a pivotal decision on their next GM and coach.