Duke City Gladiators
|Duke City Gladiators|
Play in Tingley Coliseum
in Albuquerque, New Mexico
|Team colors||Silver, black, white|
|Head coach||Pig Brown|
|League championships (2)|
|Conference championships (2)|
|Division championships (0)|
|Playoff appearances (3)|
The Duke City Gladiators are a professional indoor football team based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They began play in March 2015 as members of the Champions Indoor Football (CIF) league. The Gladiators play their home games at Tingley Coliseum. After winning back-to-back CIF championships in 2018 and 2019, the Gladiators left the CIF for the Indoor Football League (IFL) in the 2020 season.
The team was formed in February 2015 by an ownership group called Duke City Sports Entertainment Group, Inc. a New Mexico corporation consisting of several investors, which also included Gladiators founder and general manager Matt Caward, along with co-founder and head coach Dominic Bramante, and director of media relations Andres Trujillo. The Gladiators joined Champions Indoor Football (CIF) in the league's inaugural season after the Rio Rancho-based New Mexico Stars cancelled their entry into the league shortly before the season began. (In April 2015, the Stars announced that they would instead join the North American Indoor Football for 2016.) The Gladiators had originally looked to join the X-League Indoor Football but geographical and financial considerations as well as the sudden availability of the CIF franchise slot led the team to change directions.
In 2015, the Gladiators played an abbreviated 11-game CIF schedule in 2015, as a direct replacement for the New Mexico Stars, but with some modifications and non-league games because of prior scheduling maneuvers and arena availability. The team opened training camp on March 15. Their first indoor practice session was March 24. Regular season promotions included Hispanic Heritage Night on March 28 and Public Service Day on April 26.
The Gladiators won the 2018 CIF championship. In February 2019, it was announced the Gladiators had been sold to Gina Prieskorn-Thomas, one of the former co-owners of the Gladiators. The team then won its second CIF championship. After the season, the CIF granted the Gladiators petition to be released them from their commitment to play the 2020 season. The team joined the Indoor Football League on August 20, 2019. Head coach Dominic Bramante, who had been with the team since its inaugural season, was not retained during the offseason after his contract had ended. The Gladiators then hired Pig Brown as head coach from the Nebraska Danger.
|Duke City Gladiators roster|
Roster updated April 25, 2018
|League Champions||Conference Champions||Division Champions||Playoff berth||League leader|
|Season||Team||League||Conference||Division||Regular season||Postseason results|
|2017||2017||CIF||South||4th||7||5||0||Lost Conference Semifinal (Amarillo) 41–70|
|2018||2018||CIF||South||1st||10||2||0||Won Conference Semifinal (Wichita) 44–39|
Won Conference Championship (Texas) 41–28
Won Champions Bowl (Sioux City) 31–27
|2019||2019||CIF||South||1st||9||3||0||Won Conference Championship (Amarillo) 70–62|
Won Champions Bowl (Salina) 35–29
|Totals||39||20||0||All-time regular season record (2015–2019)|
|5||1||—||All-time postseason record (2015–2019)|
|44||21||0||All-time regular season and postseason record (2015–2019)|
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- Herron, Gary (February 25, 2015). "New football team comes to Albuquerque". Rio Rancho Observer. Rio Rancho, NM: RR Community Publishing LLC. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- Christ, Bob (March 3, 2015). "Gladiators will compete in Champions League". Albuquerque Journal. Albuquerque, NM. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- "CIF Enjoys Relief and Balance with Replacement Team in New Mexico". Champions Indoor Football. March 4, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015 – via Our Sports Central.
- Walker, Amy (March 19, 2015). "Duke City Gladiators begin spring training". Albuquerque, NM: KRQE-TV. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
- Tate, Van (March 25, 2015). "Gladiators ready for home opener". Albuquerque, NM: KRQE-TV. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
- "Duke City Gladiators Leaving the CIF". OurSports Central. July 25, 2019.
- "Duke City Gladiators Join IFL". Indoor Football League. August 20, 2019.
- "Bramante will not return as Gladiators head coach". Albuquerque Journal. September 4, 2019.
- "Duke City Gladiators select new head coach". KRQE. September 11, 2019.