Quad City Steamwheelers

The Quad City Steamwheelers were a professional arena football team. They were a charter member of the AF2 and played their home games at iWireless Center in Moline, Illinois.

Quad City Steamwheelers
Established 1999
Folded 2009
Played in iWireless Center
in Moline, Illinois
League/conference affiliations
AF2 (20002009)
  • National Conference (2000–2005)
  • American Conference (2006–2009)
    • Midwestern Division (2001–2005)
    • Eastern Division (2006)
    • Midwest Division (2007–2009)
Current uniform
Team colorsNavy blue, gold and scarlet red
MascotSteamwheeler Willie
Owner(s)Jim Foster
Head coachFrank Haege (2000–2001)
Rich Ingold (2002–2004)
Rick Frazier (2004–2006)
Sean Ponder (2007)
Troy Biladeau (2008–2009)
Team history
  • Quad City Steamwheelers (2000–2009)
League championships (2)
2000, 2001
Conference championships (2)
2000, 2001
Division championships (3)
2001, 2003, 2004
Playoff appearances (8)
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008
Home arena(s)

The team was founded on September 1, 1999 when the Quad Cities was awarded an arena football franchise. Managing owner (and inventor of arena football) Jim Foster coined the team's nickname.

In December 2009, it was confirmed that the Steamwheelers had ceased operations, opting not to join the new Arena Football League after the bankruptcy of the Arena Football League and subsequent disbanding of af2.[1]

Team history edit

Back-to-back ArenaCup wins edit

The Steamwheelers played their inaugural season in 2000 and dominated the league for its first two seasons. They went undefeated in 2000 behind coach Frank Haege, even winning one game by a score of 103-3 over Greensboro in Greensboro, en route to capturing the first-ever ArenaCup Championship. In 2001, the Steamwheelers nearly repeated that accomplishment by finishing 18-1 and winning a second-straight league title.[2] During this two season span, the Steamwheelers set a record for the longest winning streak in the af2 at 24 consecutive wins.

Banned from 2002 playoffs edit

Allegations of rules violations plagued the Steamwheelers during the second season and they were eventually banned from the 2002 playoffs for salary cap violations under Haege.

Second coach edit

Coached by Rich Ingold from 2002–2004, the Steamwheelers were still successful as they clinched two more division titles. However, the team failed to win any additional league championships and lost 14 games over that three-year span. Ingold left the Steamwheelers after the 2004 season and was replaced by Rick Frazier, former coach for the Milwaukee Mustangs of the Arena Football League.

The 2006 season, under coach Frazier, was the first losing season for the franchise in its history.

New ownership and the search for a new league edit

In October 2006, the league awarded the right to operate the franchise to a new ownership group. The resulting change in ownership oversaw the change in team leadership from Frazier to new head coach Sean Ponder. Ponder was the team's offensive coordinator during the 2006 season. In 2009, the tenth and final af2 season, the Steamwheelers had their second losing season in franchise history.

With the folding of af2 in 2009, the Steamwheelers considered joining Indoor Football League and the newly re-formed Arena Football League.[3] They opted to cease operations instead.[1]

In 2018, a new Steamwheelers' team returned, but were not under the same operations as the previous team.[4]

Season-by-season edit

Season records
Season W L T Finish Playoff results
2000 16 0 0 1st NC Won Round 1 (Pensacola 55–19)
Won Semifinal (Norfolk 75–27)
Won ArenaCup I (Tennessee Valley 68–59)
2001 15 1 0 1st NC Midwest Won Round 1 (Macon 80–55)
Won Semifinal (Carolina 35–16)
Won ArenaCup II (Richmond 55–51)
2002 10 6 0 2nd NC Midwest Banned from playoffs
2003 14 2 0 1st NC Midwest Lost NC Semifinal (Arkansas 63–61)
2004 10 6 0 1st NC Midwest Lost NC Round 1 (Louisville 53–48)
2005 9 7 0 3rd NC Midwest Lost NC Round 1 (Rio Grande Valley 56–38)
2006 7 9 0 5th AC East Did not qualify
2007 10 6 0 1st AC Midwest Lost AC Round 1 (Green Bay 39–34)
2008 8 8 0 3rd AC Midwest Lost AC Round 1 (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 57–29)
2009 5 11 0 3rd AC Midwest Did not qualify
Totals 108 53 0 (including playoffs)

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Wheelers officially sidelined". Quad-City Times. December 22, 2009.
  2. ^ Mike Vergane (August 11, 2001). "An Arena Cup Nailbiter, 55–51". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  3. ^ New league could aid Wheelers return
  4. ^ Doxsie, Don (August 15, 2017). "Steamwheelers indoor football returning to Q-C". Quad-City Times. Retrieved August 17, 2017.

External links edit