Former Detroit Lions player Chris Spielman joins team’s front office

Barry Sanders will help with GM, coach search

WORTHINGTON, OH - DECEMBER 06:  Chris Spielman addresses students as Muscle Milk teams up with Chris Spielman to support high school athletics at Thomas Worthington High School on December 6, 2011 in Worthington, Ohio.  (Photo by Greg Bartram/WireImage)
WORTHINGTON, OH - DECEMBER 06: Chris Spielman addresses students as Muscle Milk teams up with Chris Spielman to support high school athletics at Thomas Worthington High School on December 6, 2011 in Worthington, Ohio. (Photo by Greg Bartram/WireImage) (2011 WireImage)

DETROIT – Former Detroit Lions linebacker and Fox NFL analyst Chris Spielman is joining the organization’s front office.

Spielman is taking the role of special assistant to the team’s chairman and president and CEO. He will report directly to President and CEO Rod Wood and participate in interviews for the team’s general manager and head coach search, the Lions announced Tuesday.

“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,” reads a statement from Chairman Sheila Hemp Ford. “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.”

Lions Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders also will be part of the advisory committee for general manager and head coach search. Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation Executive Director Rod Graves and Rock Ventures Vice President of Business Development Mark Hollis also will serve on that committee.

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

From the Lions:

Spielman was drafted by the Lions in the second round (29th overall) of the 1988 NFL Draft following an All-American career as a linebacker at Ohio State. The Lions’ all-time leader in career tackles with 1,138, Spielman led the Lions defense for eight seasons (1988-95) and helped the team to four playoff appearances, two NFC Central titles and a berth in the 1992 NFC Championship Game. He earned four Pro Bowl selections and was twice named the team’s defensive MVP.

PONTIAC, MI - DECEMBER 17: Linebacker Chris Spielman of the Detroit Lions looks on from the field after a game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Pontiac Silverdome on December 17, 1994 in Pontiac, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Vikings 41-19. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) (1994 George Gojkovich)

After finishing his playing career with the Buffalo Bills (1996-97) and Cleveland Browns (1999), Spielman entered the field of sports broadcasting with FOX Sports in 1999 before joining ESPN in 2001, where he worked primarily on “ESPN College Football Saturday.” He returned to FOX in 2016 as an analyst for NFL games and spent seven years as an analyst for Lions Preseason TV.

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.