The Georgia Force are an Arena Football League team based in an unincorporated area of Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States (part of suburban Atlanta) that played in the Southern Division of the National Conference. The team was owned by Arthur M. Blank, owner of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons. They were coached by Doug Plank.
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.
Reports from August 22, 2010, indicate that the Force may be returning to the AFL for the 2011 season. The Alabama Vipers may be relocating to Georgia. They would take on all original assets of the AFL's former Georgia franchise. Following the ArenaBowl XXIII, the Vipers announced they would leave Huntsville, and would move to suburban Atlanta for the 2011 AFL season.
The original Nashville KatsEdit
The team began as the first Nashville Kats team from 1997 to 2001. The original Kats played in the Gaylord Entertainment Center (now Bridgestone Arena) in downtown Nashville and were initially coached by Eddie Khayat in 1997 and 1998, who was 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, 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 in 2005 in a situation similar to the National Football League's Cleveland Browns but would fold yet again after a losing 2007 season.
The rechristened Force initially played in Atlanta's downtown Philips Arena, home of the National Basketball Association's Atlanta Hawks and NHL Atlanta Thrashers, prior to relocating to suburban Duluth and playing in the Arena at Gwinnett Center for the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
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.
In 2005, the Nashville Kats returned to the league and they acquired all of the pre-move history from the Force, making this franchise a 2002 expansion team. The 2005 season was, by far, the most successful in team history with highlights including 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 lost to the Colorado Crush, 51-48. They also won 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.
|ArenaBowl Champions||ArenaBowl Appearance||Division Champions||Playoff Berth|
|Season||League||Conference||Division||Regular season||Postseason results|
|2003||AFL||National||Southern||3rd||8||8||Won Wild Card Round (Dallas) 49–45 |
Lost Quarterfinals (San Jose) 69–48
|2005||AFL||National||Southern||1st||11||5||Won Conference Semifinals (Tampa Bay) 62–46 |
Won Conference Championship (Orlando) 60–58
Lost ArenaBowl XIX (Colorado) 51–48
|2006||AFL||National||Southern||3rd||8||8||Won Wild Card Round (New York) 72–69 |
Lost Divisional Round (Dallas) 62–27
|2007||AFL||National||Southern||1st||14||2||Won Divisional Round (Philadelphia) 65–39 |
Lost Conference Championship (Columbus) 66–56
|2008||AFL||National||Southern||1st||10||6||Lost Divisional Round (Cleveland) 73–70|
|Total||64||46||(includes only regular season)|
|5||5||(includes only the postseason)|
|69||51||(includes both regular season and postseason)|
- Coaches listed are Georgia Force coaches only, NOT for the Nashville Kats.
|Head coach||Tenure||Regular season|
|Most recent coaching staff||Notes|
|Doug Plank||2005–2008||43-21||4-4||OC: Andy Kelly (200? - present)|
Assis. Head Coach / DC:
Bob Kronenberg (2001–present)
WR / LB / ST
Coordinator: Dialleo Burks (2008–present)
|2x Arena Football League|
Coach of the Year
- Troy Bergeron - OS
- Nate Coggins - DS
- Markeith Cooper - OS
- Dan Curran - FB
- Kevin Gaines - DS
- Jason Gamble - OL/DL
- Nelson Garner - PK
- Willie Gary- DS
- Chris Greisen - QB
- Chris Jackson - WR/LB
- Darryl Hammond - WR/LB
- Derek Lee - WR/DB
- Bruce McClure - OL/DL
- Scottie Montgomery - WR/DB
- Earthwind Moreland - WR/DB
- Carl Morris - WR/LB
- Dary Myricks - OL/DL
- Matt Nagy - QB
- Jermaine Smith - OL/DL
- Eric Zeier - QB
- Dialleo Burks - WR
- Xavier Beitia - PK
- Adam Gibbs - WR
- ↑ Following AFL's End, Georgia Force Ceases Operations
- ↑ Georgia Force Sign 10-Year Lease with Gwinnett, oursportscental.com; retrieved September 2008
- ↑ http://georgiaforce.com/cheerleaders/Blu.asp
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Robert Lyles". http://www.arenafan.com/history/?page=coaches&coach=56. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Marty Lowe". http://www.arenafan.com/history/?page=coaches&coach=62. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Bob Kronenberg". http://www.arenafan.com/history/?page=coaches&coach=72. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 "ArenaFan Online: AFL Coaches: Doug Plank". http://www.arenafan.com/history/?page=coaches&coach=73. Retrieved 2008-10-25.