Georgia Force

Last updated
Georgia Force
Established 2002 (Original incarnation)
Folded 2012 (Second incarnation)
Played in Arena at Gwinnett Center
in Duluth, Georgia
Georgia Force logo GeorgiaForceLogo.png
Georgia Force logo
League/conference affiliations
Arena Football League (20022012)
  • American Conference (2002–2008, 2011–2012)
    • South (1997–2001, 2005–2007)
Team colorsBlue, black, white
   
MascotBlu
Personnel
Owner(s)Doug MacGregor
PresidentCorey Remillard
Head coach Dean Cokinos
Team history
  • First franchise
    • Nashville Kats (1997–2001)
    • Georgia Force (2002–2008)
  • Second franchise
    • Tennessee Valley Vipers (2000–2004, 2006–2009)
    • Alabama Vipers (2010)
    • Georgia Force (2011–2012)
Championships
League championships (0)
Conference championships (1)
Prior to 2005, the AFL did not have conference championship games
Division championships (3)
Playoff appearances (6)
Home arena(s)

The Georgia Force was an Arena Football League (AFL) team based in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States (part of suburban Atlanta) that played in the South Division of the American Conference. The team was owned by Doug MacGregor and Donn Jennings.

Contents

Following the termination of operations of the Arena Football League on August 4, 2009, Georgia Force officials quickly followed with a release that indicated that they, too, were ceasing operations. [1]

In 2010, the Alabama Vipers announced they would leave Huntsville, and would move to suburban Atlanta for the 2011 AFL season, once again playing home games at Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Following the 2012 season, the franchise folded citing, "The market never responded to our extensive marketing and sales campaign," said team president Corey Remillard. "With all of the outreach, marketing, community and public relations that we put forward, it would have been impossible to not know that we were playing here, and the city simply did not respond. Atlanta is simply not a football town." [2]

History

The original Nashville Kats

The team began as the first Nashville Kats team from 1997 to 2001. The original Kats played in the Nashville Arena (later known as Gaylord Entertainment Center, now known as Bridgestone Arena) in downtown Nashville and were initially coached by Eddie Khayat in 1997 and 1998. Khayat was then succeeded by Pat Sperduto for the balance of the team's time in Nashville. The Kats were the league's "Organization of the Year" for their inaugural year of 1997, and were in the playoffs for every season of their relatively brief existence, even playing in the ArenaBowl each of their final two seasons, albeit losing both times they reached the AFL's championship game.

Virgil Williams, an Atlanta businessman, [3] purchased the franchise for nearly $10 million in December 2001, and moved the team to Atlanta after the team's previous owners failed to negotiate a favorable lease with the arena's primary tenant and manager, the National Hockey League's Nashville Predators. The Kats would return to Nashville as an expansion team in 2005 (in a situation similar to the National Football League's Cleveland Browns). The second Nashville Kats team would fold after a losing 2007 season.

First Dispersal Draft

[4]

Georgia Force

The rechristened Force initially played in Duluth, a suburb of Atlanta, in the Arena at Gwinnett Center until relocating in the 2004 season to Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta.

The team name was chosen through a contest in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Anthony R Ward submitted the winning name.

Under Williams' three-year tenure as owner, the team made the playoffs one time in 2003. Upon selling the team to Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank in September 2004, it was announced that the franchise would return to the downtown Philips Arena for the 2005 season in response to fan desires as expressed in a poll. However, following the 2007 season, the Force announced they were returning to the Gwinnett Center in 2008 after signing a 10-year lease. [5]

The Georgia Force's only rival in the Arena Football League is the New Orleans VooDoo. Previous owners of both teams, owned NFL teams in the same market. The New Orleans Saints rivaled with The Atlanta Falcons & The New Orleans VooDoo rivaled with The Georgia Force.

The 2005 season was, by far, the most successful in team history with highlights including a conference-best 11–5 record, and undefeated home record (8–0), a division title, a National Conference Championship, and a trip to ArenaBowl XIX. They lost to the Colorado Crush, 51–48. They also won Southern Division titles in 2007 and 2008.

The Force's official mascot used to be a high-tech runner named G-Force, but was later changed to a blue, cuddly monster named Blu. [6]

Season-by-season

Coaches

Coaches listed are Georgia Force coaches only, not for the Nashville Kats.
Head coach TenureRegular season
record (W–L)
Post season
record (W–L)
Most recent coaching staffNotes
Robert Lyles 2002 1–4 [7] 0–0 [7]
Marty Lowe 2002–2004 12–15 [8] 1–1 [8]
Bob Kronenberg 20043–2 [9] 0–0 [9]
Doug Plank 20052008 43–21 [10] 4–4 [10] 2x Arena Football League
Coach of the Year
(2005, 2007) [10]
Dean Cokinos 20112012 11–71–0Asst./Line Coach: James Clark (2011–present)
Asst./Line Coach: Juan Porter (2011–present)
Asst./DB Coach: Willie Gary (2011–present)

Notable players

Final roster

Georgia Force roster
Quarterbacks

Fullbacks

Wide receivers

 Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

 Linebackers

Defensive backs

Kickers

 

Injury reserve

Other league exempt

Refuse to report

League suspension

  • Rookies in italics
  • Roster updated July 26, 2012
  • 27 Active, 11 Inactive

Individual awards

All-Arena players

The following Force players were named to All-Arena Teams:

All-Ironman players

The following Force players were named to All-Ironman Teams:

All-Rookie players

The following Force players were named to All-Rookie Teams:

Notes

  1. Following AFL's End, Georgia Force Ceases Operations
  2. "Force Fold". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. October 14, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  3. "Kats move to Atlanta, Adams buys new team". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. September 22, 2001. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  4. Holcomb, T. (2001, Dec 11). PRO FOOTBALL: ARENA FOOTBALL: Atlanta gets 2-way lineman with top pick. The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution, pp. C.5-C.5.
  5. Georgia Force Sign 10-Year Lease with Gwinnett, oursportscental.com; retrieved September 2008
  6. http://georgiaforce.com/cheerleaders/Blu.asp
  7. 1 2 "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Robert Lyles" . Retrieved 2008-10-25.
  8. 1 2 "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Marty Lowe" . Retrieved 2008-10-25.
  9. 1 2 "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Bob Kronenberg" . Retrieved 2008-10-25.
  10. 1 2 3 "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Doug Plank" . Retrieved 2008-10-25.

Related Research Articles

The Tampa Bay Storm were a professional arena football team based in Tampa, Florida, U.S. that played in the Arena Football League (AFL). The team, along with the Chicago Bruisers, Denver Dynamite and Washington Commandos, joined the AFL in 1987 as one of the charter franchises, and by 1992 it was the last of the four still operating. The team ceased operations in December 2017.

The New York Dragons were a professional arena football team based in the New York metropolitan area. The Dragons participated in the Arena Football League's (AFL) National Conference as a member of the Eastern Division. The team was founded in 1995 as the original iteration of the Iowa Barnstormers, and relocated to New York in 2001. They played in New York until 2008, when the league folded. They played in the Eastern Division of the National Conference, and played their home games at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Their last coach was Weylan Harding.

The Indiana Firebirds were a team in the Arena Football League. The team was based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Home games were played at the Conseco Fieldhouse, also the home of the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and Indiana Fever of the Women's National Basketball Association.

The Colorado Crush were an arena football team based in Denver, Colorado. They began play as a 2003 Arena Football League expansion team. The Crush played in the Central Division of the American Conference until the Arena Football League suspended operations in 2009. They were last coached by Mike Dailey and owned by a coalition of Denver sports figures led by John Elway.

The Dallas Desperados were a professional arena football team based in Dallas, Texas. The Desperados played in the Eastern Division of the Arena Football League from 2002 to 2008.

The Chicago Rush were a professional arena football team based in Rosemont, Illinois. The team played at the Allstate Arena from 2001 to 2013. They were a member of the Central Division of the National Conference of the Arena Football League (AFL). Founded in 2001, the team qualified for the playoffs 11 out of 12 seasons and won one AFL championship, ArenaBowl XX in 2006. During their history, the Rush won five divisional titles and competed in the AFL Conference Championship six times, including four consecutive appearances from 2004 to 2007. They also had the largest market in the AFL.

The Philadelphia Soul were a professional arena football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and competed in the Arena Football League (AFL). The Soul made five ArenaBowl appearances, winning their first appearance and losing their next two appearances. The Soul won in their fourth appearance, against the Rattlers in 2016, winning 56–42. They also won in their fifth appearance in 2017 against the Tampa Bay Storm, winning 44–40.

The Cleveland Gladiators were an arena football team based in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, and members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The Gladiators played their home games at Quicken Loans Arena, which they shared with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association and the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League. The franchise was originally based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and then later in Las Vegas, Nevada, before relocating to Cleveland for the 2008 AFL season. The Gladiators qualified for the playoffs eight times in their history, reaching the ArenaBowl in 2014.

The Los Angeles Avengers were an Arena Football League team based in Los Angeles, California, from 2000 through 2008. They folded on April 19, 2009.

The Nashville Kats were an Arena Football League team, located in Nashville, Tennessee. They were last coached by Pat Sperduto, who coached the team's original incarnation to two ArenaBowl appearances prior to the original franchise's move to Atlanta in 2002. Sperduto also coached the second incarnation of the Nashville Kats following their return to the Arena Football League as an expansion team in 2005.

The Orlando Predators were a professional arena football team based in Orlando, Florida and member of the Arena Football League (AFL). The team was most recently owned by Orlando Predators LLC, a company owned by David A. Siegel, and played its home games at Amway Center.

The Milwaukee Mustangs were a professional arena football team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The team was a member of the Arena Football League, playing from 1994 to 2001. The owner of the Mustangs was Andrew Vallozzi. The Mustangs played their home games at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

New Orleans VooDoo Arena football team

The New Orleans VooDoo were a professional arena football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The VooDoo were a member of the East Division of the American Conference of the Arena Football League (AFL). They played their home games in Smoothie King Center. The VooDoo were unrelated to an earlier AFL team, the New Orleans Night, who had competed in the 1991 and 1992 AFL seasons in the Louisiana Superdome.

Grand Rapids Rampage Arena football team

The Grand Rapids Rampage was an arena football team based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The team began play in 1998 in the Arena Football League as an expansion team. They were last coached by Steve Thonn. Their home arena was the Van Andel Arena.

The New Orleans Night were an Arena Football League (AFL) team that competed in the 1991 and 1992 AFL seasons and were based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The team was officially announced at a press conference on March 18, 1991. On April 9, the name Night was unveiled as was Eddie Khayat, former head coach of the Nashville Kats, as head coach.

The St. Louis Stampede were a professional arena football team based in St. Louis, Missouri. The team was a member of the Central Division of the American Conference, in the Arena Football League (AFL). The Stampede competed in the 1995 and 1996 seasons, playing their home games in the Kiel Center, also the home of the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League.

The Carolina Cobras were an expansion franchise in the Arena Football League. The team was formed prior to the 2000 season, which endured a player strike.

This page contains the awards and records of Colorado's Arena Football League teams, the Denver Dynamite and Colorado Crush (2003–2008). The records are arranged both in categories of individual franchise records and head-to-head for achievements in Colorado arenaball in general.

The Denver Dynamite were an arena football team based in Denver, Colorado. The team began play in 1987 as a charter member of the Arena Football League. The team was brought in by businessman Sidney Shlenker and the team achieved success instantly, winning the first ever ArenaBowl under future AFL Hall of Fame coach Tim Marcum. After sitting out the 1988 season, the Dynamite were purchased by investment banker Gary Graham for $125,000. Graham then hired former NFL and AFL coach Babe Parilli to lead the team. Under Parilli, the Dynamite would return to the playoffs every season, but failed to return to the ArenaBowl. After the 1991 season, the franchise was sued by their public relations firm and filed for bankruptcy. They played their home games at McNichols Sports Arena. The team's logo was a bundle of dynamite sticks with a burning fuse.