Allen Park, Mich.— On Thursday, April 20, LB Stephen Tulloch will hold a press conference at approximately 3:30 p.m. in the Tom Kowalski Press Room to announce his retirement from the National Football League.
Tulloch, who played 11 seasons (2006-16) in the NFL, including five with Detroit, was one of the League’s most productive and durable linebackers during his career. In 159 games (113 starts), he accumulated 920 total tackles (659 solo) during his stints with the Tennessee Titans (2006-10), Detroit Lions (2011-15) and Philadelphia Eagles (2016). Additionally, he finished his career with 57 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, 5 interceptions, 27 pass defenses, 12 fumble recoveries and 28 special teams tackles. He also scored his only career touchdown on December 11, 2011 in Detroit’s 34-28 win over Minnesota when he recovered a Vikings fumble in the endzone.
Overall, Tulloch finished with 100+ total tackles in six seasons, including five-straight from 2009-13 and again in 2015. From 2008-15, Tulloch’s 842 total tackles ranked as the eighth-most among any defensive player during the span of those eight seasons.
In four of his five seasons in Detroit, Tulloch led the team in tackles (111 in 2011, 112 in 2012, 135 in 2013 and 107 in 2015), and he also led the Titans in tackles during the 2009 (120) and 2010 (160) seasons.
During his final season in Tennessee (2010), Tulloch set a career high with 160 tackles, which ranks as the ninth-highest single-season total by a player since 2006.
Tulloch played an integral role in leading the Titans (2007-08) and Lions (2011) to the playoffs. After signing with the Lions in 2011 as an unrestricted free agent, he accumulated a team-high 111 tackles and helped the Lions secure their first post-season berth since 1999.
For the first eight seasons of his career from 2009-13, Tulloch played in every single game. His streak of 130-consecutive games played through Week 2 of the 2014 season was the longest streak among active defensive players at that time.
Respected by his teammates, he was named a season-long team captain both with the Titans (2010) and Lions (2012-13).
As successful as Tulloch was on the field, his investment in numerous initiatives off-the-field have made a significant and lasting impact in the community. Inspired by his mother, Mercedes, a single mother who raised Stephen and his seven older brothers and sisters while working as a nurse, Tulloch began the Stephen Tulloch Foundation (Tulloch55.com) in 2009.
The foundation helps underprivileged youth with opportunities to succeed and works to provide them with the same opportunities as other children. His goal is to supply youth with the essentials to build self-esteem, establish their goals, and help unlock their potential. Tulloch plans to continue his community service in Detroit following retirement.
His efforts were honored four consecutive seasons (2012-15) when he was named the Lions’ Robert Porcher Man of the Year for his community service work.
OPERATION 55: Launched through the Stephen Tulloch Foundation, Operation 55 has grown to become one of the most well-known programs throughout Metro Detroit. This program has two main components, educational assistance for Detroit Public Schools and helping families affected by cancer.
Through this program, Tulloch adopted 55 Detroit Public Schools to provide them with needed technology and learning tools. As part of this program, schools submit their needs and Tulloch purchases and delivers items on their wish list throughout the season to enrich the students and the schools for years to come.
Operation 55 has assisted families affected by cancer and other terminal illnesses by granting multiple children their “wish” while going through treatment, in addition to supporting families financially by paying medical or home bills including funeral arrangements and family care. Included in this effort, his annual holiday program has helped over 250 cancer-stricken families by gifting each family with a wonderful Christmas by purchasing both children and parents their list of holiday needs and gifts.
His support of cancer initiatives through his foundation was inspired in part by his high school teammate, John Jerret, who passed away from cancer when Tulloch was just 18.
While he was with the Lions, Tulloch arranged for 55 children from various organizations across Detroit, including kids with cancer, foster children and students, to attend Detroit Lions home games, totaling over 2,000 guests. He has also provided homeless teens with dental services and connected them with necessary care they cannot afford to get themselves.
SCHOOL BUILD IN JAMAICA: This June, Tulloch will travel to Negril, Jamaica, the hometown of his mother, Mercedes, and partner with Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation to build a new Infant School (Pre-K–7 years of age), just a mile from Mercedes’ childhood home. His mother has always served as an inspiration to give back to the community.
The new school will house 125 children and include running water to allow the students to have a kitchen and indoor bathrooms, which are not available at many schools in the area. It will have five classrooms with desks and learning supplies, along with an outdoor playscape. The building will be located next to the Little London Primary School to ease the transition for children as their education advances.
CHILDREN’S AUTHOR: In 2016, Tulloch launched a children’s book, “The Little Linebacker,” that he wrote with Maria Dismondy. Growing up being told he was too small or too slow to make it to the next level, Tulloch was inspired to share his story with young children through a children’s book.
COLLEGE AND HIGH SCHOOL BACKGROUND
Tulloch entered the NFL in 2006 as a fourth round (116th overall) draft pick by the Titans out of North Carolina State. While in college, he played in 35 games (18 starts) during his three seasons and registered 290 tackles, 40 tackles for loss, seven sacks, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, four pass defenses and 20 quarterback pressures. As a junior, he was named First Team All-ACC, Honorable Mention All-American by Sports Illustrated, MVP of the 2005 Meineke Car Care Bowl and N.C. State’s Defensive Award winner (for most tackles) while starting all 12 games.
In high school, Tulloch attended Miami Killian (Fla.) High School. He was named Dade County Defensive Player of Year and selected to Florida Super 75.