Barry Sanders will help Detroit Lions search for new GM, coach

Chris Spielman hired to front office

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 28: Former Detroit Lions Barry Sanders talks with Head Coach Matt Patricia prior to the start of the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on November 28, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 28: Former Detroit Lions Barry Sanders talks with Head Coach Matt Patricia prior to the start of the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on November 28, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) (2019 Getty Images)

DETROIT – The Detroit Lions announced Tuesday that Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders will serve as an advisor and participate in interviews for the team’s general manager and head coach search.

This news comes as the team announced the hiring of another former player, Chris Spielman, to the front office. Spielman will report directly to President and CEO Rod Wood and participate in interviews for the team’s general manager and head coach search.

Spielman, Sanders, Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation Executive Director Rod Graves, and Rock Ventures Vice President of Business Development Mark Hollis all will serve on that committee.

The Lions need a new GM and coach after firing Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia in November. The duo was the latest in a long list of general managers and coaches that failed to help the franchise win over the last several decades, something Sanders knows all too well.

Sanders officially retired from football in 1999, just weeks before the NFL season. He had just turned 31 years old when he decided to call it a career, and boy was it a career.

Barry Sanders #20, Running Back for the Detroit Lions runs the ball during the American Football Conference East game against the New England Patriots on 12 September 1993 at the Foxboro Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts, United States. The Lions won the game 19 - 16. (Photo by Damian Strohmeyer/Allsport/Getty Images) (2017 Getty Images)

Sanders goes down as one of the greatest ever to carry the football. He was a Pro Bowler in each of his 10 NFL seasons and a two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Sanders led the league in rushing yards four times, and he did this on the obnoxiously hard green turf at the Pontiac Silver Dome.

The Lions enjoyed some of their better seasons of the past 50 with Sanders on the field. He helped them win a playoff game in 1991, the only playoff game the franchise has won in the modern era.

Hopefully Sanders’ presence can help this once-storied NFL franchise get some kind of winning spirit back. Lions fans deserve only the best.

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