Eric Hipple
refer to caption
Hipple at a book signing in September 2009.
No. 17
Personal information
Born: (1957-09-16) September 16, 1957 (age 65)
Lubbock, Texas
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:196 lb (89 kg)
Career information
College:Utah State
NFL Draft:1980 / Round: 4 / Pick: 85
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
QB Rating:68.7
Player stats at

Eric Ellsworth Hipple (born September 16, 1957) is a public speaker and a retired professional American football player.

Early life and education

Eric Hipple was born in Lubbock, Texas.

Hipple attended Utah State University with an athletic scholarship.[1] At 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) and 198 lb (90 kg), he was a star quarterback for the team. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the university's Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.[2]


Hipple was selected by the Detroit Lions in the fourth round of the 1980 NFL Draft. He played his entire 10-season NFL career for the Lions from 1980 to 1989. He missed the whole 1987 season with a sprained thumb. His best year as a pro came during the 1985 season when he threw 17 touchdown passes.

Career statistics

Post-athletics career

As a result of the suicide in 2000 of Hipple's 15-year-old son, Hipple is involved in educating people about the dangers of depression.[1] Hipple delivers speeches on suicide prevention and mental illness at high schools, youth groups, members of the military and their families, local organizations and corporations.[3] He is the Outreach Coordinator of the Depression Center of the University of Michigan.[3] A documentary film by the Depression Center features Hipple.[3] He also co-authored a study about depression and pain in retired professional football players.[3]

Hipple's book, Real Men Do Cry, was published in 2008.[4] It discusses Hipple's playing career with the Lions, his bouts with depression, and details of the warning signs of teens who have died from suicide.[5]

Personal life

In 2000, Hipple's 15-year-old son Jeff died by suicide via shotgun.[5] Hipple has acknowledged he has also suffered from bouts with depression,[5] including his adolescence.[1] After his son's death, Hipple abused drugs and alcohol.[5] and was convicted of drunk driving and served time in jail.[1] He filed for bankruptcy as well.[5]

In 2005, Hipple disarmed a man wielding a knife at a party in Michigan.[6]

In other media

A football poster of Hipple can be seen on the wall in the 1983 feature film Mr. Mom.

He was a guest star in the show Home Improvement as himself in Season 3 Episode 18 building a house for Habitat for Humanity guest starring several top name athletes and Former President Jimmy Carter.


  1. ^ a b c d Bloch, Jim (November 29, 2006). "Hipple and Kramer deliver tips on recognizing depression, preventing suicide". Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  2. ^ "Alumni and Friends". Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d Johnson, Beth (September–October 2007). "Sharing experience and hope: Telling His Story to Save Others". Inside View. University of Michigan Depression Center, University of Michigan Health System, University of Michigan. Retrieved June 7, 2018 – via
  4. ^ Hipple, Eric; Horsley, Gloria; Horsley, Heidi (2008). Real Men Do Cry: A Quarterback's Inspiring Story of Tackling Depression and Surviving Suicide Loss. Quality of Life Publishing Company. ISBN 9780981621920.
  5. ^ a b c d e Pluto, Terry (September 30, 2010). "Guilt and pain: Ex-NFL QB Eric Hipple preaches understanding when it comes to suicidal depression". Plain Dealer. Retrieved June 7, 2018 – via
  6. ^ Emkow, Bill (July 26, 2005). "Eric Hipple subdues knife-wielding man". Muskegon Chronicle. Retrieved January 5, 2013 – via