Sheldon White is entering his 17th season with the Lions. He was promoted to Vice President of Pro Personnel April 30, 2009. During his first three years in the Lions personnel department, White fulfilled a myriad of roles: in 1997 as the team’s BLESTO area scout, in 1998 as an area scout and in 1999 working in both the college and pro scouting areas before becoming Director of Pro Personnel in 2000.
In his current capacity as Vice President of Pro Personnel, White is involved in all player personnel matters and remains in constant communication with general manager Martin Mayhew, president Tom Lewand and head coach Jim Schwartz, as well as agents, the coaching staff, trainers, the media department, equipment managers, and the finance department regarding personnel transactions. He heads a team of personnel scouts that are responsible for evaluating all of the players in the National Football League, including the current Lions roster, and is also in charge of tryouts and visits for potential additional signings. White runs the free agent meetings, plays a key role in free agency and is an integral part of the draft process. He is also involved with the negotiating process, providing detailed reports on pro and college prospects, and has negotiated high round draft choices and selected free agents. Additionally, White runs a scouting internship program for prospective scouts during training camp and is in charge of the seasonal interns. Finally, he is responsible for the Lions official daily transactions and ensures that the team is in compliance with the NFL Player Personnel rules and regulations.
In 2012, White was a recipient of the Johnnie Cochran Salute to Excellence award, alongside five general managers, two head coaches and former commissioner Paul Tagliabue. The awards were given to Tagliabue and some front office executives from high achieving teams during the 2011 season.
In 2004, White completed the NFL’s career development program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
White, a Lions defensive back from 1990-1992, initially re-joined the organization in ’97 as a BLESTO scout after coaching wide receivers at his alma mater, Miami (Ohio) from 1994-96. That post followed a six-year NFL playing career in which White also saw action for the New York Giants in 1988-89 and the Cincinnati Bengals in 1993.
A native of Dayton, OH, White was a four year starter at Miami (Ohio) from 1984-87, and was named to their first team All-Century team. He earned first team All-MAC and honorable mention All-American honors in 1986-87 and served as a key contributor to the school’s MAC title in ’86.
In 1988, he was selected by the Giants in the third round (62nd overall) of the NFL Draft, and was named to the All-NFL Rookie first-team by College & Pro Football Weekly. White was also named the team’s Rookie of the Year after leading the club with four interceptions. Following a two-year stint in New York, White signed with the Lions. He played three seasons in Detroit and was an integral part of the 1991 team that won the NFC Central title and advanced to the NFC Championship game. White then signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Bengals, where he spent the ’93 campaign, before entering the coaching ranks at Miami (Ohio) in 1994.
Since July 2004, White has served as a member of the Business Advisory Council Executive Committee of the Richard T. Farmer School of Business at his alma mater, Miami University.White graduated from Miami with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, majoring in Finance. He and his wife, Amy, have four children: sons Sheldon II, Jordan, and Cody, and a daughter, Lacy.
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