Cleveland Thunderbolts
Year founded 1991
Year folded 1994
Prior names Columbus Thunderbolts
Divisional championships none
ArenaBowl championships none

The Cleveland Thunderbolts were a professional American football team in the Arena Football League.


Columbus ThunderboltsEdit

Established as the Columbus Thunderbolts and playing its home games at the Ohio Expo Center Coliseum, the team relocated to Cleveland after a winless single season in the Arena Football League in 1991.

Perhaps the highlight of the team's one year in Columbus was the play of quarterback Major Harris, who rushed for 429 yards during that season, an achievement given the predominance of passing in the play of the AFL. His record was broken however in 2005 when Michael Bishop ran for 459 yards.

Cleveland ThunderboltsEdit

They operated in the Cleveland area for three subsequent seasons, playing their home games in the suburban Richfield Coliseum, a considerable distance from downtown Cleveland, sharing it with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association and the Cleveland Crunch of the National Professional Soccer League. The team did somewhat better than it had in Columbus and qualified for the playoffs in the 1992 season, but was disbanded after the 1994 campaign.

For 13 years, the city of Cleveland, Ohio was without an arena football team. For 2008, the Las Vegas Gladiators franchise moved to Cleveland and became the city's newest team.


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

Season W L T Finish Playoff results
Columbus Thunderbolts
1991 0 10 0 8th --
Cleveland Thunderbolts
1992 4 6 0 4th Northern Lost Week 1 (Orlando 50-12)
1993 2 10 0 4th AC --
1994 2 10 0 5th AC --
Totals 8 37 0 (including playoffs)

Notable playersEdit

  • George Cooper, Fullback/Linebacker 1991-92
  • Major Harris, Quarterback 1991-94
  • Anthony Howard, Wide Receiver/Linebacker 1994
  • John Kaleo, Quarterback 1994
  • Cedric McKinnon, Fullback/Linebacker 1992-94
  • Tony Missick, Wide Receiver/Linebacker 1991-92
  • Brian Mitchell, Kicker 1994
  • Todd Samardzija, Fullback/Linebacker 1992

External linksEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.