Lance Lopes just may be the only lawyer in Seattle with a Super Bowl ring ... or two. But you might be even more surprised to find out that he gave up the glitz and glamour of the NFL for the rough and tumble world of college athletics.
In February 2014, just days after the Seattle Seahawks trounced the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, Lopes was hired away by the University of Washington from his posts as senior vice president and general counsel for the Seahawks, Sounders FC and CenturyLink Field to serve as the school's senior associate athletic director for marketing and communications.
"I am excited to welcome Lance to the Husky family," UW Director of Athletics Scott Woodward said at the time. "To add an executive of Lance's caliber to our leadership team will provide a distinct edge in navigating the ever-changing landscape of external affairs in college athletics."
Lopes spent 13 years with the Seahawks as general counsel, during which he also handled special projects for the team, including playing a primary role in identifying and hiring Coach Pete Carroll and General Manager John Schneider.
"I am grateful to the Seahawks organization for the opportunities and experiences they have provided me over the past 13 years," Lopes said upon making the switch. "I am excited to change course and to embrace the new challenge of college athletics, particularly with such a great university and athletic department staff."
A 1989 graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, Lopes earned his bachelor's degree in 1985 from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, where he played tight end on the 1982 and 1984 NAIA national championship football teams. After law school, Lopes signed on with the Green Bay Packers where he handled salary cap administration and player contract negotiations from 1993–2000, during which the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI in 1997.
At UW, Lopes has oversight of marketing and communications efforts, as well as multimedia rights. He also oversees several Husky sports teams as a member of Woodward's executive staff. Hopefully, his championship touch will bring a title to Montlake.
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