On April 15, 2010, Omaha was granted an expansion team in the UFL, with former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski being named the team's head coach. The team allowed fans to name the new team by either writing in a name or choosing from a preselected list (Mustangs, Spirit, Navigators or Stags). The Nighthawks name was officially unveiled on May 5, 2010 and won based on a strong write-in campaign. It was partially derived from the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, the retired stealth fighter used in the United States Air Force.
On September 21, the Tuesday before the team's first ever game, it was announced that a sellout crowd of 24,000 tickets were sold for the first time in UFL history, to watch the Nighthawks take on the Colonials in the franchise's first ever game. Omaha defeated the Colonials, 27–26.
On November 19, the Omaha Nighthawks played Florida in the UFL's first alternate uniform: a camouflage jersey was worn in honor of the Armed Forces.
On January 3, 2011, Jagodzinski was fired by the Nighthawks. Omaha chose to not renew his contract for the 2011 season as he led the Nighthawks to four straight losses to close out the season at 3-5, tied for last place in the league for 2010. Just nine days later, Joe Moglia was named team president and head coach. He was previously announced as the head coach for the expansion Virginia Destroyers.
On October 20, 2012 the United Football League announced it would suspend all operations and intended on resuming the canceled schedule some time in spring 2013, with those games counting toward the 2012 season standings. The league never resumed in spring of 2013. In March of 2013 seventy-eight players have filed suit against the league.