American Football Database
Birmingham Stallions
Birmingham Stallions helmet
Founded 1983
Folded 1986
Based in Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Home field Legion Field
League USFL
Conference Eastern Conference
Division Central Division (1983)
Southern Division (1984-85)
Team History Birmingham Stallions (1983-1985)
Team Colors Red, Gold, White


Head coaches 1983-5 Rollie Dotsch (38-18)
Owner(s) Marvin L. Warner
Division championships 1984, 1985

The Birmingham Stallions were a franchise in the United States Football League, an attempt to establish a second professional league of American football in the United States in competition with the National Football League. They played their home games at Birmingham, Alabama's Legion Field. They competed in all three USFL seasons, 1983–1985, and seemed to be one of the league's better-run and more viable franchises, an organization which could have had a chance to have succeeded if the USFL organization as a whole had been better-funded and better-run.[citation needed]

The team's coach was Rollie Dotsch, who was previously an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers during its Super Bowl years and ended up with the second most wins in USFL history. The Stallions starting QB in 1984 & 1985 was Cliff Stoudt, a long-time backup to Terry Bradshaw with the Steelers. Stoudt had finally taken over for the injured Bradshaw in 1983 and had played very well for the first half of the season, but his game fell apart in the second half of the season leading Steeler fans to harshly turn on him. After the season, Stoudt quickly decided it wasn't worth staying in Pittsburgh and signed with the Stallions. (Amusingly, the expansion Pittsburgh Maulers' lone sellout was the game where Cliff Stoudt returned to Pittsburgh. Steeler fans pelted the hated Stoudt with snowballs throughout the game, but Stoudt and Birmingham won, 30-18.)

In Birmingham, Stoudt proved to be an excellent QB, finishing in the league's top 5 in 1984 and 1985, among such peers as Jim Kelly and Chuck Fusina and leading the team to two divisional titles. The Stallions also added Bills star HB Joe Cribbs in 1984. Cribbs lead the league in rushing in 1984 and finished 6th in 1985. WR former Steeler WR Jim Smith was another USFL star on the Stallions. Many other Stallions players went on to have at least brief careers in the NFL once the USFL went out of existence.

Single-season leaders

  • Rushing yards: 1467 (1984), Joe Cribbs
  • Receiving yards: 1607 (1984), Jim Smith (also league record)
  • Passing yards: 3188 (1985), Cliff Stoudt


Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties

Season W L T Finish Playoff results
1983 9 9 0 4th Central --
1984 14 4 0 1st EC Southern Won Quarterfinal (Tampa Bay)
Lost Semifinal (Philadelphia)
1985 13 5 0 1st EC Won Quarterfinal (Houston)
Lost Semifinal (Baltimore)
Totals 38 20 0 (including playoffs)

After football

A few of those associated with the Stallions made their mark in Birmingham after the league folded:

  • Joey Jones, who played wide receiver, coached football at two local high schools. In 2006, he become the first head football coach at Birmingham Southern College since 1939, when football was cancelled as a varsity sport. In 2008, after just one year at BSC, he returned to his hometown of Mobile and started the college football program at the University of South Alabama.
  • Joe Cribbs returned to the NFL to finish out his football career. He returned to Birmingham to help those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.
  • Jim Hilyer, an assistant coach, went on to be the first ever football coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He would also be an assistant to three other pro football teams to play in Birmingham. After football, he was an instructor in physical fitness at the Birmingham Police Academy.
  • Buddy Aydelette is a city councilman with Trussville. Aydelette played offensive lineman for the Stallions and the University of Alabama.

Other history

The Stallions were the first pro football team to draft Jerry Rice. They received the overall pick in the 1985 USFL Draft, due to a trade with the Orlando Renegades. Rice never played in Birmingham.

Among those considered to be Birmingham's coach were Bobby Bowden, Gene Stallings, and Hank Stram.

External links