Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Atlantic Coast Football League (1962-1973)

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The Atlantic Coast Football League was a minor league loop that stretched, at various times, from northern New England west to New Jersey and as far south as Orlando, Florida. During the late 1960′s, many ACFL clubs formed working agreement with NFL and AFL parent clubs.  A small (very small) number of players were able to leverage their ACFL experience into NFL careers, perhaps most notably Pottstown Firebirds tight end Bob Tucker, who led the ACFL in receiving in 1969 before going on to an 11-year career with the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings.  He was one of the most productive pass-catching NFL tight ends of the 1970′s.

The league received national exposure in 1972 when NFL Films showed an hour long documentary on the 1970 Pottstown Firebirds championship season – Pro Football, Pottstown, Pa. – prior to the telecast of Super Bowl VI.  Unfortunately, the league chose to take that season off to re-organize and was unable to capitalize on its fifteen minutes of fame.

The ACFL was active from 1962 to 1971, did not play in 1972, and then staged a final season in 1973 before folding for good.

Franchise List:

  • Ansonia (CT) Black Knights (1962-1963)
  • Atlanta Spartans (1964)
  • Atlantic City Senators (1966)  Folded in mid-season, 1966
  • Baltimore Broncos (1963)
  • Boston Steamrollers (1965)
  • Boston Sweepers (1963-1964)
  • Bridgeport (CT) Jets (1968-1971, 1973)
  • Frankfort (CT) Falcons (1962)
  • Harrisburg (PA) Capitols (1963-1969)
  • Hartford Charter Oaks (1964)
  • Hartford Knights (1968-1971, 1973)
  • Holyoke (MA) Bombers (1965)
  • Indianapolis Capitols (1970)
  • Jersey Giants (1963-1964)
  • Jersey Jays (1970)
  • Jersey Jets (1965-1966)
  • Jersey Tigers (1969)
  • Long Island Bulls (1969-1970)
  • Long Island Chiefs (1973)
  • Lowell (MA) Giants (1966-1968)
  • Mohawk Valley (NY) Falcons (1963-1965)
  • New Bedford (MA) Sweepers (1965-1966)  Folded in mid-season, 1966
  • New England Colonials (1973)
  • New York Crusaders (1973)
  • Newark Bears (1963-1964)
  • Norfolk (VA) Neptunes (1970-1971)
  • Orlando Panthers (1970)
  • Paterson (NJ) Miners (1962)
  • Pittsburgh Valley Ironmen (1963-1965)
  • Portland (ME) Sea Hawks (1962-1964)
  • Pottstown (PA) Firebirds (1968-1970)
  • Providence Steamrollers (1962-1964)
  • Quincy (MA) Giants (1969)
  • Rhode Island Steelers (1966)
  • Richmond Rebels (1964)
  • Richmond Roadrunners (1968-1969)
  • Richmond Saints (1970)
  • Roanoke Buckskins (1969-1971)
  • Scranton (PA) Miners (1965-1966)
  • Scranton (PA) Pros (1964)
  • Springfield (MA) Acorns (1963-1964)
  • Stamford (CT) Golden Bears (1962)
  • Virginia Sailors (1966-1968)
  • Waterbury (CT) Orbits (1966-1967)
  • Westchester (NY) Bulls (1967-1968)
  • Westchester (NY) Crusaders (1963-1964)
  • Western Massachusetts Pioneers (1973)
  • Wilmington (DE) Clippers (1966-1967)

Written by andycrossley

July 15th, 2012 at 1:45 am

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3 Responses to 'Atlantic Coast Football League (1962-1973)'

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  1. Wonderful website about all these lesser known but nevertheless entertaining teams. Question- Was the ACFL a semi-pro league or professional? I hear the players got paid $50-$100 a week (about $400 in today’s money) but had to get jobs even during the season Keep up the good work! Thanks. Rick

    Rick

    29 Dec 13 at 12:41 am

  2. Thanks Rick.

    The ACFL was pro/semi-pro. Some of the players were on developmental assignments from NFL teams during the late 60′s, but not sure how they were compensated (i.e. whether those salaries came from the local club or from the NFL parent).

    andycrossley

    29 Dec 13 at 1:30 am

  3. I have a collection of films, from 66-70 from Virginia Sailors, Roanoke Buckskins. These are actual game films, professionally filmed. 31 films total, looking for offers – let me know if you can point me in a good direction.
    thanks,
    chris

    chris shafer

    5 Sep 14 at 7:52 pm

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