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Lions assistant retires after 27 years with the team

Detroit Lions 2011 Headshots

He arrived in 1985, four years before Barry Sanders was drafted.  He departs as the team seems to be ready to finally make a run at its first Super Bowl berth.

Defensive assistant Don Clemons, 58, is retiring.

“Don Clemons has been one of the great contributors to the Lions organization,” Lions president Tom Lewand told the team’s official website.  “He has served nine head coaches, and particularly in our business, that tells you what kind of person and what kind of worker Don Clemons is.

“Nine head coaches have seen his value as a person and as a football coach, and I do it in that order, because as good of a coach as he’s been for us, he’s been a better person.”

Clemons has coached every position on defense during his time with the team.

So why now?  “Well,” Clemons said, “Dick Modzelewski, who I worked with when I first started here, he had played and coached for a long time and he retired the third or fourth year I was here and I asked him, ‘Dick, what are you retiring for?’ and he said, ‘You just know, and when it comes you just look around at the people and know its time to let someone else do it.'”

Hopefully, if the Lions win the Super Bowl this season, they’ll let Clemons have a ring.

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18 Responses to “Lions assistant retires after 27 years with the team”
  1. yevrag3535 says: Feb 19, 2012 10:30 PM

    What the team implode. It begins.

  2. akshunj says: Feb 19, 2012 10:30 PM

    That’s dedication, 27 years the through the good times and the bad. You don’t see that too often nowadays…

  3. emaimo80 says: Feb 19, 2012 10:40 PM

    Lions should never be in the same sentence as Super Bowl!

  4. raqaiw says: Feb 19, 2012 10:41 PM

    Man, that guy has a high pain tolerance.

  5. djaehne says: Feb 19, 2012 10:46 PM

    That guy has been dedicated to the Lions org.
    Thats as good as it gets!

  6. howiefeltersnatch says: Feb 19, 2012 10:47 PM

    If he retired like Bruce Arians he will be with another team by Tuesday

  7. stevenfbrackett says: Feb 19, 2012 10:48 PM

    I wonder who he will hired by in two weeks…..

  8. megatronownsyou says: Feb 19, 2012 11:10 PM

    Hey yevrag-are you attempting to type in the english language? If so it’s not going too well.

  9. mjkelly77 says: Feb 19, 2012 11:25 PM

    megatronownsyou …

    Please don’t pick on yevrag3535. Judging by not only his command of the English language but also by his messages themselves, he obviously is mentally challenged.

  10. duanethomas says: Feb 19, 2012 11:38 PM

    27 years as an assistant coach? Guess his reach never exceeded his grasp. The Lions or any team never sawthis guy as a DC or HC material in 27 years?

  11. hotdog113 says: Feb 19, 2012 11:43 PM

    You just know, and when it comes you just look around at the people and know its time to let someone else do it.’”

    He looked at Suh and knew he needed to leave…

  12. drgreenstreak says: Feb 19, 2012 11:51 PM

    Super Bowl? Really? pfft…

  13. purplekoolaid1 says: Feb 20, 2012 1:23 AM

    And hopefully you will get a new wig if they win it all.

  14. asublimeday says: Feb 20, 2012 1:32 AM

    If you think THAT secondary is headed to a Super Bowl, I have a South african uncle that wants to sell you cheap gold via email.

  15. childressrulz says: Feb 20, 2012 3:53 AM

    Fat chance. The Lions will never make a super bowl.

  16. lilbitofsoul says: Feb 20, 2012 9:22 AM

    childressrulz says: Feb 20, 2012 3:53 AM

    Fat chance. The Lions will never make a super bowl.

    This is coming from a guy with the name “childressrulz”…haha what a bust!

  17. ernie ernie says: Feb 20, 2012 10:31 AM

    He probably did not get any other offers over that time period due to being a Lion. Poor guy. Hopefully retirement will be more fulfilling. PS, the Lions aren’t winning the SB next year. Too many good teams out there.

  18. cornernum23 says: Feb 23, 2012 9:43 PM

    When the Lions win the SB, I hope they send him a ring.

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