Passaglia to end long tenure with B.C. Lions

Hall of Famer Lui Passaglia plans to end a long association with the B.C. Lions at the close of the current CFL season to devote more time to a family property development business.

Hall of Famer Lui Passagliaplans toendhis career-long association with the B.C. Lions at the close of the current CFL season to devotemore time toa familyproperty development business.

Lui Passaglia announced Thursday he's leaving the B.C. Lions at the end of this season. ((Charlie Cho/CBC))

Passaglia, 52, has been working as director of community relations for the Lions since he retired from football in 2000, following an illustrious career.

His decision to quit was made public during a press conference at BC Place Stadium onThursday.

Following a brief transition period, Passaglia will be replaced as director of community relations by longtime teammate Jamie Taras, who retired in 2003.

Lions spokesman Jamie Cartwell said Passaglia will be missed. "Arguably we have one of the best community relations programs out there,'' he said.

But in order the facilitate the transition,Passaglia will stick around until the end of the season.

When he retired as a player in 2000, Passaglia ended a 25-year career with the Lions that included three Grey Cup rings, a place in the CFL Hall of Fame, and a league record for total points scored (3,991).

Passaglia's No. 5 was retired to the B.C. Lions Wall of Fame andheis a B.C. Sports Hall of Famer.

Passaglia capped his CFL career by kicking the winning points in the Lions' thrilling 28-26 Grey Cup victory over Montreal at McMahon Stadium.