American Football Database
American Football Database
Oakland Invaders
Founded 1983
Folded 1985
Based in Oakland, CA, United States
Home field Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
League USFL
Conference Western
Division Pacific Division
Team History Oakland Invaders (1983-1985)
Team Colors Air Force Blue, Invader Gold, Navy, White


Head coaches 1983-4 John Ralston (9-12)
1984 Chuck Hutchinson (7-8)
1985 Charlie Sumner (15-5-1)
Owner(s) 1983-5 Tad Taube
1985 A. Alfred Taubman (minority)
Conference championships 1985
Division championships 1983, 1985

Oakland Invaders were a professional American football team that played in the United States Football League (USFL) from 1983 through 1985.


In reaction to the Raiders relocating to Los Angeles

Oakland, California had been without a football team after the Oakland Raiders relocated to Los Angeles, California before the 1982 NFL season. The Invaders stepped in to fill the void; the similar name was no accident. The team had good fan support during the spring seasons of the USFL (1983-1985).

1983 season

Led by the league's 2nd ranked passer QB Fred Besana, WR Gordon Banks, and ex-Raiders HB Arthur Whittington and TE Raymond Chester, the Invaders won the Pacific Conference with a 9-9 record. The Invaders gave a valiant effort in the opening round of the playoffs, but were overrun by the eventual league champion Michigan Panthers, 37-21 in front of 60,237 rabid fans in the Pontiac Silverdome (The game was the largest turnout for any USFL game in the 1983 season).

1984 season

The Invaders were picked by most to again challenge for a playoff spot in 1984, but their powerful offense fell apart in the first half of the season, scoring only 82 points. The team was unable to run the ball and lost 9 straight to open the season. With the emergence of RB Eric Jordan, the Invaders running attack rebounded and the team won 7 of its last 9 games. The defense was strong throughout the season finishing 7th in points allowed.

1985 Season

The Michigan Panthers merged with the Invaders before the 1985 season in response to the league's plan to move to the fall. The Invaders were the surviving team, and Taube took on Panthers owner A. Alfred Taubman as a minority partner. The new team, bolstered with Invader key players like Banks, went 13-4-1 in the regular season and was able to reach the 1985 USFL championship game. The Championship game was a rematch of sorts with Chuck Fusina's Stars, who now played in Baltimore. During the game, a personal foul was called on the Invaders that killed what might have been a game winning drive, allowing the Stars to defeat Hebert's Invaders 28-24, and claim indisputable bragging rights as the league's all-time best team.

Despite reaching the championship game, massive financial losses and weak attendance led the Invaders to announce they would suspend operations for the 1986 season. As it turned out, the championship game was the last USFL game ever played, as the league was effectively killed by an antitrust suit against the NFL in which it only won $3 in damages.

Past and future National Football League players

Some former National Football League players and some who would play for the NFL later on were on this team. Among them were Ray Pinney of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers, Cedrick Hardman of the 1970s San Francisco 49ers and early 1980s Oakland Raiders, Anthony Carter (Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions), Arthur Whittington (Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills), Bobby Hebert (New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons), Gary Plummer (San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers), Raymond Chester (Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Colts), Albert Bentley ( Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers), Dave Browning (Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Raiders, New England Patriots), Ray Bentley (Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals), Dale Markham (Oakland Raiders, New York Giants, Green Bay Packers) and Derek Holloway (Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers).

Invaders executive William Hambrecht later emerged as a founder of the United Football League.

Single season leaders

Rushing Yards: 1045 (1983), Arthur Whittington

Receiving Yards: 1323 (1985), Anthony Carter

Passing Yards: 3980 (1983), Fred Besana


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

Season W L T Finish Playoff results
1983 9 9 0 1st Pacific Lost Divisional (Michigan)
1984 7 11 0 4th WC Pacific
1985 13 4 1 1st WC Won Quarterfinal (Tampa Bay)
Won Semifinal (Memphis)
Lost USFL Championship (Baltimore)
Totals 31 26 1 (including playoffs)

External links