Georgia Force

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Not to be confused with San Antonio Force.
Georgia Force
GeorgiaForceLogo.png
Founded 2002
Folded 2012
League Arena Football League (2002–2008, 2011–2012)
Team history Original franchise:
Nashville Kats (1997–2001)
Georgia Force (2002–2008)
New franchise:
Tennessee Valley Vipers (2000–2004, 2006–2009)
Alabama Vipers (2010)
Georgia Force (2011–2012)
Based in Duluth, Georgia
Arena Philips Arena
2002
2005–2007
Arena at Gwinnett Center
2003–2004
2008
2011–2012
Colors

Blue, Black, White

              
Owner(s) Doug MacGregor
President Corey Remillard
Head coach Dean Cokinos
Championships 0
Division titles 1: 2005
Mascot Blu
Website http://www.georgiaforce.com/

The Georgia Force were an Arena Football League 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. They were most recently coached by Dean Cokinos.

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[edit]

The original Nashville Kats[edit]

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, 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[edit]

[3]

Georgia Force[edit]

The rechristened Force initially played in Atlanta's downtown Philips Arena, home of the National Basketball Association's Atlanta Hawks and former home of the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers, prior to relocating to suburban Duluth and playing in the Arena at Gwinnett Center for the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

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.[4]

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.[5]

Season-by-season[edit]

Coaches[edit]

Coaches listed are Georgia Force coaches only, NOT for the Nashville Kats.
Head coach Tenure Regular season
record (W–L)
Post season
record (W–L)
Most recent coaching staff Notes
Robert Lyles 2002 1–4[6] 0–0[6]
Marty Lowe 2002–2004 12–15[7] 1–1[7]
Bob Kronenberg 2004 3–2[8] 0–0[8]
Doug Plank 20052008 43–21[9] 4–4[9] 2x Arena Football League
Coach of the Year
(2005, 2007)[9]
Dean Cokinos 20112012 11–7 1–0 Asst./Line Coach: James Clark (2011–present)
Asst./Line Coach: Juan Porter (2011–present)
Asst./DB Coach: Willie Gary (2011–present)

Notable players[edit]

Final roster[edit]

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
26 Active, 12 Inactive

More rosters

Individual awards[edit]

All-Arena players[edit]

The following Force players have been named to All-Arena Teams:

All-Ironman players[edit]

The following Force players have been named to All-Ironman Teams:

All-Rookie players[edit]

The following Force players have been named to All-Rookie Teams:

Notes[edit]

  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. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Georgia Force Sign 10-Year Lease with Gwinnett, oursportscental.com; retrieved September 2008
  5. ^ http://georgiaforce.com/cheerleaders/Blu.asp
  6. ^ a b "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Robert Lyles". Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  7. ^ a b "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Marty Lowe". Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  8. ^ a b "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Bob Kronenberg". Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  9. ^ a b c "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Doug Plank". Retrieved 2008-10-25. 

External links[edit]