Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Atlantic Coast Football League (1962-1973)


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==

Franchise Years Active Home Page Tagged Posts
Ansonia Black Knights 1962-1963 Black Knights Home Tagged Posts
Atlanta Spartans 1964 Spartans Home Tagged Posts
Atlantic City Senators 1966 Senators Home Tagged Posts
Baltimore Broncos 1963 Broncos Home Tagged Posts
Boston Steamrollers 1965 Steamrollers Home Tagged Posts
Boston Sweepers 1963-1964 Sweepers Home Tagged Posts
Bridgeport Jets 1968-1971 & 1973 Jets Home Tagged Posts
Frankfort Falcons 1962 Falcons Home Tagged Posts
Harrisburg Capitols 1963-1969 Capitols Home Tagged Posts
Hartford Charter Oaks 1964 Charter Oaks Home Tagged Posts
Hartford Knights 1968-1971 & 1973 Knights Home Tagged Posts
Holyoke Bombers 1965 Bombers Home Tagged Posts
Indianapolis Capitols 1970 Capitols Home Tagged Posts
Jersey Giants 1963-1964 Giants Home Tagged Posts
Jersey Jays 1970 Jays Home Tagged Posts
Jersey Jets 1965-1966 Jets Home Tagged Posts
Jersey Tigers 1969 Tigers Home Tagged Posts
Long Island Bulls 1969-1970 Bulls Home Tagged Posts
Long Island Chiefs 1973 Chiefs Home Tagged Posts
Lowell Giants 1966-1968 Giants Home Tagged Posts
Mohawk Valley Falcons 1963-1965 Falcons Home Tagged Posts
New Bedford Sweepers 1965-1966 Sweepers Home Tagged Posts
New England Colonials 1973 Colonials Home Tagged Posts
New York Crusaders 1973 Crusaders Home Tagged Posts
Newark Bears 1963-1964 Bears Home Tagged Posts
Norfolk Neptunes 1970-1971 Neptunes Home Tagged Posts
Orlando Panthers 1970 Panthers Home Tagged Posts
Paterson Miners 1962 Miners Home Tagged Posts
Pittsburgh Valley Ironmen 1963-1965 Ironmen Home
Portland Sea Hawks 1962-1964 Sea Hawks Home Tagged Posts
Pottstown Firebirds 1968-1970 Firebirds Home Tagged Posts
Providence Steamrollers 1962-1964 Steamrollers Home Tagged Posts
Quincy Giants 1969 Giants Home Tagged Posts
Rhode Island Steelers 1966 Steelers Home Tagged Posts
Richmond Rebels 1964 Rebels Home Tagged Posts
Richmond Roadrunners 1968-1969 Roadrunners Home Tagged Posts
Richmond Saints 1970 Saints Home Tagged Posts
Scranton Miners 1965-1966 Miners Home Tagged Posts
Scranton Pros 1964 Pros Home Tagged Posts
Springfield Acorns 1963-1964 Acorns Home Tagged Posts
Stamford Golden Bears 1962 Golden Bears Home Tagged Posts
Virginia Sailors 1966-1968  Sailors Home Tagged Posts
Waterbury Orbits 1966-1967 Orbits Home Tagged Posts
Westchester Bulls 1967-1968 Bulls Home Tagged Posts
Westchester Crusaders 1963-1964 Crusaders Home Tagged Posts
Western Massachusetts Pioneers 1973 Pioneers Home Tagged Posts
Wilmington Clippers 1966-1967 Clippers Home Tagged Posts


Written by AC

July 15th, 2012 at 1:45 am

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12 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


    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).


    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.

    chris shafer

    5 Sep 14 at 7:52 pm

  4. I have heard of the Baltimore Bronco club moving to Hazleton Pa. as the Hazleton Mustangs Anywhere I can get more information? Thank yhou


    28 Sep 14 at 3:51 am

  5. My Father played QB for the Ansonia Black Nights in 1962 would anyone have any information about Him,

    Maurice H Wadley Jr

    28 Sep 14 at 9:32 pm

  6. I played for the Westchester Crusaders in 1963 part of `64 and 1967 played 4 or 5 games with the Westchester Bulls . Played Rt. CB. #41 , it was a great time. I met some great guys , some had played in the NFL and the AFL . A few guys from the Bulls got to the NFL . I remembered playing Don Jonas {CFL}and Demsey the field goal kicker to mention a few. The sad thing I keep reading about teammates that we are losing every day. Myself being 74 yrs. old . I consider my self lucky to have played with and met some great team mates.
    Thanks , Bob D`Avanzo #41 and #19

    Bob D`Avanzo

    4 Nov 14 at 3:32 am

  7. Chris Shafer

    I spent some time during the ’69/’70 seasons bouncing
    back and forth from the Long Island Bulls to their
    NFL affiliate NY Giants. I do recall playing TE in
    games against a Roanoke team that was the Saints
    affiliate. I’m curious as to whether the Roanoke
    Buckskins were the Saints affiliate and whether you might have films of 1969 or 1970 games against the
    Long Island Bulls. Thanks for your time. Bob

    Bob Long

    10 Dec 14 at 8:40 am

  8. Who was the quarterback for Providence Steamroller during 1962-1964 seasons?


    31 Jan 15 at 3:32 pm

  9. I was a child during the years of the Richmond Rebels, Richmond Roadrunners, Richmond Saints. I am looking for mrrchandise of those teams.

    Remmie Chew Jr

    27 Sep 16 at 3:30 am

  10. My Dad blocked for Heisman Trophy winner Joe Bellino on the Providence Steamrollers back in the 60’s. His name was Roger “Moose” Lafferty.

    Brad Lafferty

    23 Oct 16 at 8:23 am

  11. I played for the Lowell Giants in 1966 & was wondering if there were any alumni in the area. I live on Cape Cod

    dick rogers

    15 Dec 16 at 8:21 pm

  12. Virginia Sailors beat the LowellGiants in 1966 for the ACFL Championship, played in Alexandria at G.W. High School Stadium. Tom Dempsey played for the Giants and ended his career in New Orleans with the Saints. His 56yd FieldGoal was a record for many years.


    16 Dec 16 at 6:41 am

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