Eric Hipple is a former National Football League (NFL) quarterback whose ten-year career was spent with the Detroit Lions. Born in Lubbock, Texas, and raised in Downey California, Eric graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Business administration and was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1980.
Hipple’s accomplishments include two playoff bids, a divisional championship, and the Detroit Lion’s most valuable
player award for the ‘81season. From 1995-2000 Hipple was the color analyst for the FOX NFL pre-game show in Detroit. Since his 15-year-old son Jeff’s suicide, Hipple has devoted his life to building
awareness and breaking down the stigma surrounding depressive illnesses. Hipple received an honorary Doctorate for his work in Mental Health from his Alma Mater while giving the commencement speech
to the 2019 class at Utah State University. He also
received the University of Michigan 2015 Neubacher Award for work with the stigma
associated with disabilities, the Detroit Lions 2010 Courage House award and the
prestigious 2008 Life Saver Achievement award given by the American Foundation
for Suicide Prevention.
Eric co-authored a study examining depression among retired football players, the study appeared in the April 2007 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports in Sports & Exercise. He was awarded a presidential citation at the American Psychological Association’s 2006 Annual Convention for his six years of national community-based work combating adolescent depression and suicide prevention.
His message of resilience has provided mental fitness awareness to professional
groups, military, law enforcement, schools, communities, and thousands of high
school and youth coaches. In conjunction with Navy U.S. Fleet Forces, he has
provided workshops on destructive behavior and suicide prevention over an eleven-
year span by focusing on Mental Fitness. His book “Real Men Do Cry” received a
publisher Presidential Award. After retiring from the University of Michigan he joined the
Comprehensive Depression Center, where he spent ten years as outreach
coordinator. He helped found the After The Impact Fund supporting mental health
treatment for NFL Legends and military veterans. Most recently, Hipple was
the recipient of the One Heart Award from the Detroit Has Heart Foundation and is
currently working to provide Mental health awareness serving the public with
an emphasis on military veterans, youth, and employees in the workplace. Eric's
commitment to helping others find a quality in life is demonstrated through work
with nonprofit foundations and their missions.