NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (WKTV) - SEC Commissioner Mike Slive was the mastermind behind Saturday's Utica Free Academy Football reunion at the Yahnundasis Golf Club. Teams from 1954 through 1959 were represented at the reunion.
Among the group were former head coach Ed Swiecki, a 2007 Inductee of the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame, as well as former UFA and Notre Dame head coach Bob Conklin, who also played for Colgate.
Slive, a 2009 inductee of the GUSHOF, has led a busy life, helping to form Conference USA before taking over the SEC in 2002.
But he told NEWSChannel 2 Saturday that he enjoys coming back home and remembering the good old days.
"When I put together everything in my life, when I think about all of that, being here and playing football at UFA with all these guys, there's nothing, even as exciting as my life has been, there's nothing that's meant more to me than that experience," says Slive. "That's why tonight is so special."
Coach Swiecki, who not only coached UFA's football team, but also started up the school's soccer program. After retiring in 1987, he became a competitive swimmer, winning a number of gold medals at the Empire State Games. But he has a special place in his heart for the guys from UFA.
"They all loved one another," Swiecki said Saturday. "They really played ball. Never had any doubts about them, because they extended themselves to each and every member of whatever sport they were playing. Of course ours was football season."
Be sure to watch Sports Extra during NEWSChannel 2 Weekend at 11 Sunday for more on Mike Slive, Coach Swiecki and the UFA Football Reunion!