Eric Hipple is a former National Football League (NFL) quarterback whose ten year career was spent with the Detroit Lions. Hipple’s accomplishments include two playoff bids, a divisional championship, and the Detroit Lion’s Most Valuable Player award for the ’81 season. He is currently ranked fifth in career passing yards for Detroit. From 1995-2000 Hipple was 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 recently received the Detroit Lions 2010 Courage House award. He also received the prestigious 2008 Life Saver Achievement award given by 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 through the “Under theHelmet” program, thousands of High School and youth coaches across the Country. In conjunction with US Fleet Forces, he has provided workshops on suicide prevention during the last four years by focusing on positive Mental Fittness. Most recently, Hipple was instrumental in forming a collaboration between the NFLPA Former Players and the U of M comprehensive Depression Center as a destination site for evaluation and consultation. He co-authored a study examining depression among retired football players; the study appeared in the April 2007 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. His book “Real Men Do Cry” received a publisher Presidential Award, in addition, he was featured in a 2008 documentary and national community outreach program called Men Get Depression (www.mengetdepression.com) The film, produced by State of the Art, INC., has been broadcast on public television stations across the U.S. Hipple currently serves as outreach specialist for the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center.
He and his wife Shelly live in Fenton, MI. With daughters Taylor and Tarah. His daughter Erica and her husband Ben live in Arlington, VA.