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Utah Blaze
UtahBlaze
Conference National
Division West Division
Year founded 2006
Home arena Maverik Center
2010
EnergySolutions Arena
2006–2008
2011–present
City, State [[{{{location}}}]]
Head Coach Ron James
ArenaBowl championships {{{ArenaBowl championships}}}
Conference titles {{{conference titles}}}
Division titles {{{division titles}}}
Wild Card berths {{{wild card titles}}}
Owner(s) Dave Affleck
Current status {{{status}}}
Current uniform
[[{{{uniform}}}|275px]]

The Utah Blaze is a professional arena football team based in Salt Lake City, Utah and competes in the west division of the Arena Football League. Home games are played at the EnergySolutions Arena.

HistoryEdit

The original Utah Blaze (2006–2008)Edit

The Utah Blaze began play on January 28, 2006, as a member of the original Arena Football League, playing the San Jose SaberCats on the road. The team was coached by longtime Arizona Rattlers coach Danny White and played its home games at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, home of the National Basketball Association's Utah Jazz. The team was owned by automobile businessmen John Garff, Robert Garff, and Brett Hopkins.

In their first season, the Blaze had the highest average attendance in the Arena Football League, with 15,498 fans per game. They narrowly edged out Philadelphia's 15,463. Prior to the 2006 season, the Blaze had said EnergySolutions Arena held 13,000 fans due to poor sight lines in most of the building. After 16,705 people attended the home opener, that figure was changed to near 15,000. The Blaze topped that figure 5 of the 8 games their first season.

The offense was led by quarterback Joe Germaine and star wide receiver Siaha Burley. On Saturday, February 11, 2006, the Blaze lost to the New York Dragons 84-81 in the second highest scoring game in the history of the Arena Football League. The Blaze's performance was also the second highest score for a losing team in the AFL's 20-year history.

Despite a losing record of 7-9, the Blaze got into the playoffs as an AC Wildcard (the conference's #6 seed). Unfortunately, the newly formed Blaze were given the boot as they lost to the Arizona Rattlers with a final score of 57-34.

The team's mascot is a dalmatian named "Chief". The Blaze were winners of the league"Commissioners Award" in 2006 and won the "Support Staff of the Year Award" in back-to-back seasons (2006–2007), an award that goes to the league's best training and equipment staff, which was headed by Hagen Featherstone and Kevin Seamans in the inaugural season and Kevin Seamans and Darin Featherstone in 2007.[1]

During the 2008 season the Blaze became the first, and only, professional football team to record three 1,500 yard receivers in the same season, with Huey Whittaker, J.J. McKelvey, and Aaron Boone.[2] This also marks the first time three players each caught 120 or more passes in the same season.

Upon the original AFL's suspension of operations, the Blaze did so for the same time period. Although the original owner held out hope for that league to return in 2011, such hope never materialized.

Modern Utah BlazeEdit

The current Utah Blaze organization was originally the Utah Valley Thunder, a member of the American Indoor Football Association during the 2009 season. During their lone season in the AIFA, they were based in Orem, Utah, and played their home games at the McKay Events Center. They finished at a respectable 11-3, finishing second in the Western Division and qualifying for a playoff berth before losing to the Wyoming Cavalry in the Western Divisional playoff.[3]

On September 28, 2009, the Thunder announced their intention to join Arena Football 1 for the 2010 season and beyond, also announcing relocation to the E Center in West Valley City. Over two months later, on December 8, AF1 was awarded the original AFL's assets after they submitted the highest bid in a bankruptcy court auction.[4] Current AF1 teams were given the right to adopt the former AFL teams' identities, but initially, Utah chose to brand as the "Utah Thunder." The Blaze's previous owner attempted to claim the Blaze logo as his own, but was unsuccessful in doing so. Finally, on January 26, 2010, the team announced it would indeed be using the Blaze name and logo.[5] Less than a month later, the AF1 announced it was going back to the former Arena Football League moniker.

On January 25, 2011, the team announced in a press release that they would be moving back to the EnergySolutions Arena.[6]

Name Rec Yards TDs
Huey Whittaker 126 1,541 32
J.J. McKelvey 121 1,529 38
Aaron Boone 135 1,527 23

Season-by-seasonEdit

Retired numbersEdit

  1. 3 Justin Skaggs - WR/LB - March 29, 2008 (died of brain tumor in 2007)

AFL Hall of FamersEdit

  • Danny White

CoachesEdit


Head coach Tenure Regular season
record (W-L)
Post season
record (W-L)
Most recent coaching staff Notes
Danny White 20062008 21-27 0-3 DL / LB Coach: Lindsay Hassell
DC / Dir.
Player Personnel: Ron James
ST Coordinator / Dir.
Football Ops.: Scott Lieber
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback.
1993 Coach of the Year
1993 All-Star game - coach
Arena Football League Hall of Fame
Class of 2002.
Ron James 2009 ; 2010 0-1 0-0 OC: Tony Kimbrough
GM / DC: Jeff Russell
ST Coordinator / Dir.
Football Ops.: Scott Lieber
DC / Director of
Player Personnel (2007–2008).

RosterEdit

Utah Blaze rosterview · talk · edit
Quarterbacks

Fullbacks

Wide Receivers

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Kickers

Injured Reserve

Exempt List

Suspended List

Rookies in italics
Roster updated June 14, 2010</br> 23 Active, 9 Inactive

More rosters

NotesEdit

External linksEdit

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