Skip to main content

NFL Salute to Service |


Detroit Lions

Headshot of Eric Hipple at the Training Facility in Allen Park, MI on March 11, 2022. (Jeff Nguyen/Detroit Lions)
Headshot of Eric Hipple at the Training Facility in Allen Park, MI on March 11, 2022. (Jeff Nguyen/Detroit Lions)

Eric Hipple (NFL Legend)

Eric Hipple is a former NFL Quarterback whose ten-year career was spent with the Detroit Lions. Since his 15-year-old son Jeff's suicide in 2000, Hipple has devoted his life to building awareness and breaking down the stigma surrounding depressive illnesses. Hipple is a recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and numerous other awards for his community-based work combating adolescent depression and suicide while reducing the stigma associated with disabilities. His commitment to helping others increase their quality of life is demonstrated through work with numerous organizations. Hipple's message of resilience has provided mental fitness awareness to service members, law enforcement officers, professional groups, and students. He has provided workshops with the Navy's U.S. Fleet Forces Command on suicide prevention and destructive behavior over the last 12 years. These suicide prevention workshops for the U.S. Navy are conducted at bases on the East Coast, in Europe and in the Middle East. Additionally, Hipple has conducted suicide prevention workshops for numerous units within the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force over the previous two decades. His 2008 book Real Men Do Cry: A Quarterback's Inspiring Story of Tackling Depression and Surviving Suicide Loss received a publisher Presidential Award. Hipple currently serves as Outreach Specialist for the Center for Neurological Studies, a research and clinical foundation serving military veterans and former NFL players. Hipple organized the "After the Impact" treatment program at the Michigan-based Eisenhower Center that places veterans and NFL legends together in a 30-day inpatient stay. Hipple continues his service by serving on the boards for Vet Life, an organization dedicated to helping veterans transition to civilian lifestyle, and the Michigan Heroes Museum.