joemack

Joe Mack rejoins the Bombers after being with the team as their director of player personnel from 1984-87. ((Winnipeg Blue Bombers))

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced on Friday the hiring of Joe Mack as their vice-president and general manager of football operations.

Mack's resumé includes more than 25 years of collegiate and professional football experience, including a stint as the Bombers' director of player personnel from 1984 until 1987.

During that span, the Bombers enjoyed winning seasons while also claiming the 72nd Grey Cup in 1984.

"It is an honour to accept this position with the Winnipeg football club and begin a new era for this storied franchise," Mack said Friday.

"I accept this position with much humility and look forward to bringing an exciting brand of Blue Bomber football to this passionate football city."

The Bombers have been working to fill a number of vacant positions, including vice-president of football operations, head coach and president-CEO after a staff shakeup last month following a 7-11 CFL season.

'It is an honour to accept this position with the Winnipeg Football Club and begin a new era for this storied franchise.'—Joe Mack

Lyle Bauer resigned as Winnipeg's president and CEO on Dec. 17, and later that night, the board fired head coach Mike Kelly after learning he had been arrested in the morning on charges of simple assault and harassment in an alleged domestic dispute with his ex-girlfriend at his Bridgeport, Pa., home.

Bombers board chairman Ken Hildahl had said he wanted to hire a general manager first so that person could have input in selecting a head coach.

NFL experience

Mack began his NFL personnel career after leaving the Bombers in 1987 and has been a part of five NFL playoff teams, including the Superbowl-winning Washington Redskins in 1992.

He joined the expansion Carolina Panthers in 1994 as assistant general manager and helped guide them to the best record in NFL history for an expansion team in its inaugural season (7-9).

'His passion for football and his desire to make this club a winner make him the right candidate.' —Bombers board chairman Ken Hildahl

In 1998 Mack was appointed by former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue to restart football operations for the reconstituted Cleveland Browns, working with senior management for another first-year franchise.

"His experience in this industry speaks for itself, and we are thrilled to bring in someone with Joe's character and integrity. His passion for football and his desire to make this club a winner make him the right candidate," said Hildahl.

Mack has also been a consultant to major sports entities including Major League Baseball and major NCAA programs and was the director of football operations for the XFL's New York Hitmen.

The Bombers' board of directors was also interested in Brendan Taman for the position. Taman spent 10 years with the Bombers, the last five as general manager, before resigning in January 2009, citing a need for a break from football.

He joined the Roughriders in July as their director of football administration, and on Thursday he was named as that club's new general manager.

He replaces Eric Tillman, who resigned from the post earlier this month upon receiving a full discharge after pleading guilty to sexual assault.