TAMPA — For Dave Ewart, opportunity came at a friend's expense.
Ewart, 41, was named coach of the Tampa Bay Storm on Thursday upon the resignation of Tim Marcum. Ewart (pronounced YOU-ert) was Marcum's assistant and director of player personnel for seven seasons.
"Obviously it's a tough situation," Ewart said, trying to hold back tears. "I apologize for being emotional, but he's been like a father to me. A lot of times in sports you hear the bad things, you don't hear the good. The good things about how he helped families of other kids bury other family members. You don't hear stuff like that and that's unjust in our business."
This isn't the first time Ewart has been thrust into a head coaching role unexpectedly.
He went 3-2 as the Storm's interim coach when Marcum was suspended for five games (four for salary-cap violations and a fifth for violating the terms of his suspension) over the 2005 and '06 seasons, and was named coach of the St. Louis Stampede one month into the 1996 season after Earle Bruce resigned.
Ewart also served as coach of the Arena Football League's Texas Terror and Florida Bobcats.
Training camp starts Saturday and the regular season opens March 11.
"We believe Dave will do the job admirably, and we intend on fully supporting him and our players," said Tod Leiweke, CEO of Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Storm and the Tampa Bay Lightning. "We also intend on commencing a search aimed at recasting the leadership of the franchise (by hiring a new executive to oversee the franchise); one that will be committed to carrying on the championship tradition here, while establishing itself as a leader in the Tampa Bay community."
Ewart said he expects to "hang a banner with the banners that are hanging — business as usual here."
Information from Times files was used in this report.