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Georgia Force

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Georgia Force
Established 2002 (Original incarnation), 2011 (Second incarnation), 2024 (Third incarnation)
Folded 2008 (Original incarnation), 2012 (Second incarnation), 2024 (Third incarnation) [a]
Played in Georgia State Convocation Center
in Atlanta, Georgia
League/conference affiliations
Arena Football League (20022008, 20112012, 2024
  • American Conference (2002–2008, 2011–2012)
    • South (2005–2007, 2024)
Current uniform
Team colorsBlue, black, white
Owner(s)Arena Football League
Head coachDurwood Roquemore
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)
  • Third franchise
    • Georgia Force (2024)
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 the name of three separate versions of Arena Football League (AFL) teams based in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area of Georgia, United States.

The first incarnation of the Force resulted from the relocation of the original Nashville Kats franchise in 2001 and beginning play in 2002 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, then relocated to The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia in 2003, then back to Philips Arena in 2005. 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] The franchise was last owned by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

In 2010, the Alabama Vipers announced they would leave Huntsville, and would move to suburban Atlanta as the second incarnation of the Force for the 2011 AFL season, once again playing home games at Arena at Gwinnett Center. That team was owned by Doug MacGregor and Donn Jennings. 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]

In November 2023, a third incarnation of the Georgia Force was announced as a member of the reconstituted Arena Football League beginning play in 2024. This franchise was originally slated to play home games at the Georgia State Convocation Center in Atlanta, although this never came to fruition. Being unable to secure a home venue, the league scheduled the franchise as a traveling team playing every game in 2024 as a visitor. However, this was short-lived, as the Georgia Force folded in May 2024, just two weeks into the season.



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

  • 1. OL/DL Mike Lawson- (Miami)-formerly Florida Bobcats
  • 2. WR/DB Kusanti Abdul-Salaam - (UCLA)-formerly Oklahoma Wranglers
  • 3. FB/DB Scott Byrd Johnson (Ole Miss)-formerly-Knoxville Nighthawks(PIFL)
  • 4. OL/DL Marcus Keyes (North Alabama)-formerly- Florida Bobcats
  • 5. DS Scotty Lundsey (Stephen F. Austin)-formerly-Houston Thunderbears
  • 6. DB Nate Jacks (University of Kansas)-formerly-Lincoln Capitols (NIFL)


The original Georgia Force (2002–2009)

Georgia Force logo from short-lived relaunch (2024)

The rechristened Force played the 2002 season at Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta - home to the Atlanta Thrashers and Atlanta Hawks. In 2003 and 2004, the team relocated to Duluth, a suburb of Atlanta, and the brand new Arena at Gwinnett Center. After the team's sale to Falcons owner Arthur Blank, a strong supporter of the downtown area and economy, the team returned to Philips Arena in 2005.

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 strongest rival in the Arena Football League was the New Orleans VooDoo, owned by then New Orleans Saints owner, Tom Benson. The rivalry was a natural extension of the long-held Atlanta Falcons/New Orleans Saints rivalry.

The 2005 season was, by far, the most successful in team history. With new team management under Arthur Blank, and under the direction of head coach and Chicago Bears legend Doug Plank, season highlights included 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 fell in the ArenaBowl to the Colorado Crush, 51–48. The team would also win back to back 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.

The second Georgia Force (2011–2012)


The second incarnation of the Force relocated from Huntsville, Alabama, where they played one season in the first AFL revival as the Alabama Vipers, a former AF2 franchise. They played two seasons in Gwinnett County before folding a second time.

The third Georgia Force (2024)


In November 2023, the AFL announced the return of the Force franchise, this time as an expansion team under the ownership of Southern Indoor Sports Management Company with no ties to the first two franchises. They played at the Georgia State Convocation Center at Georgia State University in Atlanta.[6] The Georgia Force quietly revealed that they would be coached by AFL Hall of Famer Durwood Roquemore for the 2024 AFL Season.[7]

On May 10, 2024, Force quarterback Justin Arth, who had been financing some of the players' meals through his private coaching business, indicated that the Force had abruptly folded after two games and that his teammates were facing eviction by the end of the week, prompting him to launch a fundraising drive to pay for his teammates' return home.[8] In an extended interview with Front Office Sports, Arth indicated that Roquemore informed the team on May 9 that the league had run out of money and was shutting down the team.[9]




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[10] 0–0[10]
Marty Lowe 2002–2004 12–15[11] 1–1[11]
Bob Kronenberg 2004 3–2[12] 0–0[12]
Doug Plank 20052008 43–21[13] 4–4[13] 2x Arena Football League
Coach of the Year
(2005, 2007)[13]
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


Final roster

Georgia Force roster


Wide receivers

  Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs



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:


  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. ^ Georgia Force Announces New Management, Coaching, and Director of Sports Recovery Ahead of AFL Season ArenaFan Facebook; November 15, 2023, retrieved November 20, 2023
  7. ^ "Georgia Force Announce Tryouts for 2024 AFL Season". www.arenafootballusa.com. Retrieved 2024-03-08.
  8. ^ Arth, Justin (May 9, 2024). The Georgia Force has officially folded and @OfficialAFL has yet to pay me or my teammates salaries for the first two games we played in. I personally have spent money to make sure my teammates can eat. And have run out of money that affects me going to another team out of state. Statement via X. Retrieved May 10, 2024.
  9. ^ Silverman, Robert (2024-05-20). "Inside the Collapse of the Arena Football League's Georgia Force". Front Office Sports. Retrieved 2024-05-21.
  10. ^ a b "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Robert Lyles". Retrieved 2008-10-25.
  11. ^ a b "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Marty Lowe". Retrieved 2008-10-25.
  12. ^ a b "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Bob Kronenberg". Retrieved 2008-10-25.
  13. ^ a b c "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Doug Plank". Retrieved 2008-10-25.
  1. ^ Played as the Tennessee Valley Vipers from 2000-2004 and 2006-2009 in the AF2 before rebranding into the Alabama Vipers in 2010 in the AFL, then finally as the Georgia Force in 2011.