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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Change at the top

   January 26, 1979 -- Front office change is no stranger to the Buffalo Bills ... as long time fans of the team know all too well.

   The Bills changed general managers on this date. Bob Lustig had been servicing as vice president and general manager of the team. However, he left the team to become the CEO of a new insurance company that Ralph Wilson was creating in Detroit. You probably wouldn't see a move like that today; it was a sign of how the football business was changing.

   Former Bills offensive tackle Stew Barber, one of the top players from the team's glory days, was promoted to GM that very day. Barber had been serving as a scout for the team.

   Barber certainly played a role in the rise of the Bills upon his arrival, as the team returned to the playoffs in 1980. However, coach Chuck Knox probably got more of the credit for that one. Barber stayed through 1983, when he left and was replaced for a short time by Pat McGroder.

--- Budd Bailey

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