Stan's the man again

RANDY SPORTAK, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

For more than a year, Stan Schwartz didn't enter the McMahon Stadium offices. Having left the team in October 2003 -- though the general feeling is he was pushed out -- Schwartz just couldn't bring himself to come back through the doors.

But there was the former president again yesterday, back in the fold as senior consultant to the executive committee.

He was donning a Stampeder jacket, a coat he admits he couldn't mothball over the last 14 months.

"I'm a Stampeder forever," Schwartz said proudly. "But it is the first time I've been back. When you leave, you're thankful for the opportunity you had but you don't go back and worry about what went on.

"That's history. Today's a good day and now we're planning for the future."

By going to the past, sort of.

A teacher and amateur football coach, he started an eight-year career as an assistant coach with the Stamps in 1976, leaving to help the McMahon Stadium society prepare for the Olympics.

He returned to the football club in 1995 and assumed the role of president a year later. After the 2003 Labour Day game, Mark McLoughlin was given the president's position and Schwartz moved into another role in the front office but later resigned.

Any acrimony towards former owner Michael Feterik -- if there was any -- was washed away yesterday. In fact, Schwartz credits Feterik for selling to a local group.

"I'm thankful he really did seriously think about selling to local ownership," he said. "I know there were a couple of American investors that were interested. I think he appreciated it was important to get back to local ownership."

Schwartz's hiatus seemingly began a long time ago but he said it's gone quickly.

"It was an interesting year," Schwartz said. "I spent a lot of time with Jim Barker at his football school and we coached a team out in Drumheller and that was really a lot fun.

"I had a great year, being named Sportsman of the Year (by the Calgary Booster Club) and got on the Wall of Fame.

"I certainly missed the football but it's amazing how much volunteer work you can get involved in. But this is still my passion. I didn't want to go out the way I did and still planned to be president for a few more years."

It was expected that's the role Schwartz would take back. Instead, he'll work with interim president and co-owner Ted Hellard but concentrate on other projects, such as working on a bid to host the 2007 Grey Cup.


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