Sources: USC chief of staff for athletics Brandon Sosna joining Detroit Lions front office

One of the most prominent members of USC's athletic department is leaving for the NFL.

Brandon Sosna, USC's chief of staff for athletics who oversees the football program, is taking a job with the Detroit Lions, sources told ESPN.

Sosna began informing co-workers of his decision earlier this week, sources said. His role with the Lions is expected to be the senior director of football administration, according to sources.

Sosna has operated as the No. 2 to USC athletic director Mike Bohn essentially since Bohn's hiring late in 2019, including a promotion to executive senior associate athletic director. During that time, Bohn credited Sosna as the architect for the "brilliant" search for Lincoln Riley as head coach.

USC was aggressive in trying to retain Sosna, sources said, but the lure of a career in the NFL trumped anything the school could come up with.

"He's had a profound impact on the modernization of the athletic department," a USC source said. "He helped us attract industry leaders and helped push our football program on the rapid trajectory toward competitiveness."

Sosna also worked with Bohn at the University of Cincinnati, where he served as the chief of staff and later as the chief revenue officer and senior associate athletic director. Sosna also played a role behind the scenes in the hiring of Luke Fickell and helping build the foundation for that program's rise to become a consistent Top 25 team.

Sosna comes to the Lions with NFL experience. He spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, where his roles included salary-cap and contract analyst. He started with the Browns in the football administration department.

Along with playing a big role in helping orchestrate Riley's hire, Sosna worked hand-in-hand daily with the football program. Sosna is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and was named to Forbes 30-under-30 list in 2020.