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Former Calgary Stampeders GM Rogers Lehew dies at age 92

CALGARY — Former Calgary Stampeders general manager Rogers Lehew, who guided the team to three Grey Cup games, has died.

He was 92.

After four years as an assistant coach, Lehew became the Stamps' GM in 1965 and held the post for nine years. Calgary made trips to three Grey Cup games under Lehew and won the CFL title in 1971.

Lehew also was instrumental in the introduction of a horse to the sidelines during games at McMahon Stadium, which set the foundation for the tradition of Quick Six the Touchdown Horse. 

In 1967, Lehew established the Presidents’ Ring, which goes to the Stampeders player who best demonstrates excellence on and off the field as voted by the players.

After his time with the Stamps, Lehew was the vice-president and assistant GM of the NFL's Detroit Lions from 1974 to 1978. He then returned to Calgary to pursue business interests and lived in the city until his death on Tuesday.

“Rogers is one of the most important individuals in the history of the Calgary Stampeders and he will be sadly missed,” Stampeders president/GM John Hufnagel said in a statement. 

“Anyone who knew Rogers quickly realized how much he loved Calgary and the Stampeders and his contributions to the city and the franchise will never be forgotten."

Lehew played baseball and football at the University of Tulsa, serving as a football captain and being named the Golden Hurricane’s top lineman in 1949. He later served as head baseball coach and assistant football coach at Tulsa and was added to the university’s Hall of Fame in 1997.

Lehew also served in the United States Air Force and played football for the team at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1951 and 1952.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press