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Detroit Lions hiring USC’s Brandon Sosna as senior director of football administration

The “architect” behind the “search for Lincoln Riley as (USC’s) head coach” is joining the Detroit Lions as Senior Director of Football Administration.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 01 Arizona at USC Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to a report from ESPN’s Pete Thamel, the Detroit Lions are hiring USC’s chief of staff for athletics Brandon Sosna as their new senior director of football administration. Lions’ coach Dan Campbell confirmed the hiring of Sosna at his Thursday press conference.

“Sosna comes to the Lions with NFL experience,” Thamel wrote. “He spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, where his roles included salary cap and contract analyst. He started with the Browns in the football administration department.”

Sosna’s time in the NFL was when John Dorsey—the Lions’ current senior personnel executive—was the Browns' general manager, making the connection from California to Detroit an easy one to see.

After Sosna left the Browns, he returned to the University of Cincinnati—when he worked in the athletic director’s office from 2013 to 2017 before he joined the Browns—this time taking on the role of senior associate athletic director/chief revenue officer. During that time, Sosna was named to Forbes 30 under 30 list for 2020, a list of 30 individuals under the age of 30 who were considered up and comers in the sports industry—Lions’ cap guru Mike Disner was named to this same list in 2014.

After a year at Cincinnati, their athletic director Mike Bohn was hired by USC’s athletic department, and Sosna followed him to California.

“Sosna has operated as the No. 2 to USC athletic director Mike Bohn essentially since Bohn’s hiring late in 2019, including a promotion to executive senior associate athletic director,” Thamel continued. “During that time, Bohn credited Sosna as the architect for the ‘brilliant’ search for Lincoln Riley as head coach.”

Sosna’s role with the athletic department and day-to-day operations with the football team led to an August 2021 interview with the Lions. The two sides were able to reach an agreement on a new position in Detroit, despite USC’s attempts to retain him.

“USC was aggressive in trying to retain Sosna, sources said, but the lure of a career in the NFL trumped anything the school could come up with,” Thamel noted.

Sosna's exact role in Detroit is new to the front office and Campbell noted that the organization would talk more about the hiring at a later date.