Pacific Honors Three With Amos Alonzo Stagg Award
Jan. 21, 2006
Stockton, Calif. - The Pacific department of intercollegiate athletics honored distinguished alumni Eddie LeBaron (`50, football, baseball, track), Robert McGuire (`49, cross country and track), and Keith Swagerty (`67, men's basketball) at the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award of Merit Recognition Luncheon on Saturday, Jan. 21.
The Amos Alonzo Stagg Award of Merit was established in 1981 by former Graduate Manager of Athletics Bob Breeden, Pacific Alumni Director Kara Brewer, and Director of Athletics Elkin Isaac. The award recognizes an alumnus who participated in athletics at Pacific and who has gone on to achieve distinction in his/her life through the notable examples of integrity, dedication, idealism, and team spirit that Mr. Stagg personified and to which Pacific is dedicated.
An all-around athlete at Pacific from 1946-1949, LeBaron filled his four years as a Tiger with football, baseball and track while managing to graduate in 1950 with an economics major. The three-year All-American was called up into the service and served in the Marine Corp during the Korean War. He was a platoon leader during the spring and summer offensives of 1951, was wounded and received a Purple Heart and Letter of Commendation. Following his service in Asia, LeBaron went on inactive duty and joined the Washington Redskins, the team that had drafted him initially out of college.
As a Redskin, Edward was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and led the league in passing in 1958 and was voted most valuable Redskin in '55 and '58. During his stint in Washington, LeBaron attended George Washington Law where he finished fifth in his class after three years. His career in the NFL continued when he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in '59. Following an illustrious NFL career LeBaron became the general manager of the Atlanta Falcons in 1977 as well as a minority owner. During his time with the Falcons, then Commissioner Peter Rozell named LeBaron to the Competition Committee of the NFL. His work on this committee included making rules for the league, most notably the conception of instant replay. Upon leaving the Falcons, LeBaron was instrumental in working with NFL labor negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement.
McGuire has transformed his love and dedication from athlete to coach as well as mentor and teacher during the past 55 years. A teaching and coaching career that has spanned more than six decades has allowed McGuire to serve as both the men's cross country coach and mathematics instructor at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School.
During his time as a Tiger, McGuire was a member of Pacific's track team from 1945 to 1948 and was an initial member of Pacific's first cross country team in 1948. He joined the coaching ranks in 1949, serving as a high school cross country coach until 1977. During his tenure at the high school level, McGuire coached 33 state meet performers, three individual champions, one national record holder and five top ten nationally ranked boys cross country teams.
In 1978 he made the jump to collegiate coaching, guiding California State Hayward University women's track and cross country teams. While at Hayward he collected 12 league track team titles, nine Top 10 national finishes and one national title. In cross country his teams won two national titles and were ranked in the Top 20, 12 times in his 15 years. In his distinguished coaching career Bob was named to the California State Hayward Athletic Hall of Fame (1996), the Northern California Cross Country Coach of the Year three times, the NCAAC Track Coach of the Year six times and the 1977 California High School Cross Country Coach of the Year.
Outside of athletics he has continued his work as a mathematics instructor, teaching high school from 1949-1982 and again from 1992-2002. He taught on the college level from 1982-1992 as well. An active member of the community, McGuire is involved in CYO basketball and track as well as Boy Scouts of America, the Pleasant Hill Summer All-Comer Track Meets and the Volunteer Reader Student's annual profiles at local high schools.
One of Pacific's all-time leading scorers (fourth), Swagerty turned his prowess on the basketball court as an athlete into interests both inside and outside of the game He has journeyed from an Academic All-American in 1967 to the current owner of Swag Stables, a thoroughbred training facility and various encounters in-between. As a basketball player Swagerty averaged more than 20 points during his three year career as a Tiger and soon after made the jump to playing basketball in Italy and the ABA in Houston and Kentucky. Following his graduation from Pacific in 1967 Keith joined Seattle Pacific University where he was a physical education assistant and basketball coach as he earned his masters in Religion. Swagerty continued his life within the game of basketball but soon ventured out to become a financial planner with Financial Network Investment Corporation in 1982.
Between his start at the Financial Network Investment Corporation and now he has also been a member of the Foundation Board for Bellevue Christian Schools and a Registered Representative of the Year with the FNIC. He is also involved with the WA Park & Recreation Association, the Kiwanis, and Habitat for Humanity and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In addition to his community involvement with those organizations Swagerty has dedicated time to Young Life Region, a ministry in Australia. He has also remained connected in the business world and the Evangelical Church. In 1975 he was ordained as an evangelist in the Evangelical Church Alliance.
Pacific is proud to honor these alumni who have inspired others through their lives and work and who have continued Mr. Stagg's profound legacy for generations to come.