Lions owner Sheila Hamp gets prestigious local honor

As a steward of the positive direction the Detroit Lions have taken, owner Sheila Hamp has been given a nice local honor.
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

When an organization has success, in sports or any other area, it usually flows from the top-down. For a long time the Detroit Lions mostly exemplified that in the opposite way, with some bad hires to run football operations leading to a run of losing. Sheila Hamp, daughter of long-time former owner William Clay Ford Sr., took over as principle owner in June of 2020 and went about changing the culture of the franchise.

Bringing back former linebacker Chris Spielman in a key organizational role led to the hiring of Brad Holmes as general manager, then the hiring of Dan Campbell as the new head coach. A strong run to finish the 2022 season led to a division title, two playoff wins and a trip to the NFC Championship Game last year. Expectations of course remain high this year.

Last season, via, Campbell took another opportunity to praise Hamp in the locker room.

"I’m just telling you, I’m just freakin’ telling you — I’ve been around as a player and a coach in this league,” Campbell said. “We’ve got the best owner. Everything you could possibly need, every resource. She thinks about you guys all the time, man. She knows everything about you, she’s rock solid and as good as they come. She’s competitive. And, boy, she loves to win.”

Lions owner Sheila Hamp gets nice local honor

The Detroit News has named Hamp as one of its 2024 Michiganians of the Year. As she has changed things in a clearly positive way, including the location of her office at Allen Park so it was not isolated from everyone else, she summarized her mission as Lions' owner.

"I think of myself as a steward of the Lions", Hamp said. "The team belongs to the city of Detroit, and Detroit is a football town, for sure. If we could actually put together a winning organization for our fans, for the city, it would really be something. And you know, that's turned out to be the case."

Hamp has made herself visible when appropriate, while also letting the people that have been hired to their jobs do their jobs. Some other NFL owners could take a lesson from how she has done things.