The Georgia Force is in no way related to the San Antonio Force, which was an Arena Football League team that played only in the 1992 season before disbanding.
The Georgia Force
is an Arena Football League
team based in Duluth, Georgia
that plays in the Southern Division of the National Conference. They are owned by Arthur M. Blank
, owner of the NFL
's Atlanta Falcons
The Original Nashville Kats
The team began as the first Nashville Kats
team from 1997
. The original Kats played in the Gaylord Entertainment Center (now Sommet Center
) 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 (US) 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 NFL's Cleveland Browns but would fold yet again after a disappointing 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 National Conference Championship, and a trip to ArenaBowl XIX.
The Force's official mascot used to be a high-tech runner named G-Force, but now, their current mascot is a blue, cuddly monster named Blu.
|2002 || 6 || 8 || 0 || 4th NC Southern || --
|2003 || 8 || 8 || 0 || 3rd NC Southern || Won Round 1 (Dallas
Lost Quarterfinals (San Jose
|2004 || 7 || 9 || 0 || 5th NC Southern || --
|2005|| 11 || 5 || 0 || 1st NC Southern || Won Round 1 (Tampa Bay
Won NC Championship (Orlando
Lost ArenaBowl XIX
|2006 || 8 || 8 || 0 || 3rd NC Southern || Won Wild Card (New York
Lost Divisional (Dallas
|2007 || 14 || 2 || 0 || 1st NC Southern || Won Divisional (Philadelphia
Lost NC Championship (Columbus
|2008 || 10 || 6 || 0 || 1st NC Southern || Lost Divisional (Cleveland
!Totals || 69 || 51 || 0
|colspan="2"| (including playoffs)
- Coaches listed are from when the team has been the Georgia Force.
- 2002: Robert Lyles, 1-4
- 2002 - 2004: Marty Lowe, 17-19
- 2004: Bob Kronenberg, 3-2
- 2005 - current: Doug Plank, 37-17