The Saginaw Sting was a professional Indoor Football team based in Saginaw, Michigan. The team was most recently a member of American Indoor Football (AIF). They began play in 2008 as an expansion team in the Continental Indoor Football League and then moved to the Indoor Football League for the 2009 season. They suspended operations for the 2010 season before becoming an inaugural member of the Ultimate Indoor Football League. The following season they were suspended by the UIFL and re-joined the CIFL under new ownership. The team has since moved to the AIF. The owners of the Sting were Stuart Schweigert, Rob Licht and Jim O'Brien. The Sting played their home games at The Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan.
Played in Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan
|Continental Indoor Football League (2008)
|Team colors||Green, Orange|
Rob Licht &
|General manager||Rob Licht|
|Head coach||Karl Featherstone (2008–2009)|
Jason Lovelock (2009)
John Mize (2011)
Vince Leveille (2011)
Fred Townsend (2012–2014)
James Perry II (2014)
Greg Wasmer (2015)
Stuart Schweigert (2015)
|League championships (3)|
|Conference championships (1)|
|Division championships (1)|
|Playoff appearances (6)|
They are one of only a few teams to ever win a championship in multiple leagues (CIFL in 2008, the UIFL in 2011 and the CIFL again in 2012).
The team began play in 2008 as an expansion team in the CIFL. The original team owners were Mike Johnson, Mike Trumbull, and Esteban Rivera, who also owned the Kalamazoo Xplosion. The team was led by former Michigan State quarterback Damon Dowdell, who led the league in passing yards (2,190), touchdowns (54) and completion percentage (62%). Nick Body was Dowdell's favorite target, leading the league in receptions (78), yards (1,005) and touchdowns (31). Despite their offensive numbers, neither player won Offensive Player of the Year or the CIFL MVP. The duo led the Sting to a 10–2 regular season and a playoff berth. On June 29, 2008, the Sting defeated the Xplosion 41–37 to win the CIFL Championship Game.
2009: Moving to the IFLEdit
A number of Sting and Xplosion players indicated at the end of the 2008 season that wages were in arrears from the owners. This led to an investigation of Johnson in his role as Sting General Manager. Trumbull, owner of Triple Threat Sports in Battle Creek, and Rivera, a Battle Creek police officer, have offered a deal to split ownership of the two teams, with Trumbell and Rivera owning the Sting, and Johnson receiving the Xplosion. Trumbull and Rivera have indicated that they plan for the Sting to move to the new Indoor Football League. The Sting looked to have put together a promising team with the re-signing of QB Damon Dowdell, and signing 2007 CIFL MVP, WR/RB Robert Height, but the team fared poorly on the field in the IFL.
2011: Return to actionEdit
Prior to the 2011 season, the team was purchased by San Diego-based business man, Mike Esposito. Esposito announced that the team would play in the newly formed Ultimate Indoor Football League, which Esposito was also the league's commissioner. He hired Stuart Schweigert as the Sting's Director of Player Development. The Sting went on to win the Ultimate Bowl, with quarterback Tommy Jones setting several UIFL passing records and claiming the Ultimate Bowl's MVP honors.
2012: Return to the CIFLEdit
On November 11, 2011, the Sting were acquired by Schweigert, Rob Licht and Jim O'Brien. The new ownership announced the same day that they would be moving the team back to the CIFL. On December 29, 2011, the Sting announced that 2011 interim head coach Vince Leveille would return as the full-time head coach for the 2012 season, but just 11 days before the team's first game, Leveille stepped down as the head coach, citing that his full-time job made him unavailable to do both. Defensive Coordinator Fred Townsend took over as the team's head coach. With an 8–0 record, the Sting returned to the CIFL playoffs for the first time since 2008, when they won the 2008 CIFL Championship Game and finished the season as the Atlantic Conferences's #2 seed. In the 2012 CIFL Championship Game, the Sting defeated the Dayton Silverbacks 35-7, to win the CIFL championship. The title for the Sting was their 3rd in the last 4 seasons of playing.
The Sting's first move in its quest for a title defense in 2013 was re-signing head coach Fred Townsend to a 3-year contract extension.
Ultimately, the Sting progressed to the 2013 CIFL Championship Game. With less than a minute to play, the team found itself on its opponent's nine-yard line down by one point. But due to the team's placekicker being suspended the previous week had nobody capable of kicking even a 24-yard chip shot, they were forced to attempt a touchdown. They failed, giving the Erie Explosion the championship and a perfect season.
In June 2013, the Sting agreed to terms with the CIFL to return for the 2014 season. The Sting won their first eighth game of the season to advance to 8-0, but during that game the Sting lost quarterback A. J. McKenna to injury. The following week the team lost 2013 league MVP, C. J. Tarver to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL). The loss of those two key players became noticeable when the Sting lost their final regular season game to finish 9-1. Just one day before the Sting's first playoff game, head coach Fred Townsend announced his resignation. Line Coach James Perry II was named the teams interim head coach.
2015: Moving to the AIFEdit
In October 2014, the Sting announced they would be joining American Indoor Football (AIF). The Sting also announced the hiring of Greg Wasmer as the franchise's new head coach. After a 0-2 start for the Sting, Wasmer was fired and owner Stuart Schweigert was named the head coach of the Sting.
2016: Attempted CIFL revival and suspension of operationsEdit
On August 23, 2015, the Sting announced that they would rejoin the revived CIFL, which became a member of the Indoor Football Alliance. After months of no new teams joining the CIFL, the Sting re-joined the AIF for the 2016 season but were removed from the AIF schedules in early 2016 and appears to have disbanded without any official announcement. Owner Jim O'Brien has stated that they suspended operations due to league instability but plans to return for 2017.
Rookies in italics
Awards and honorsEdit
The following is a list of all Sting players who have won league awards
|2011||Tommy Jones||QB||UIFL Offensive Player of the Year|
|2011||Tommy Jones||QB||UIFL Ultimate Bowl I MVP|
|2012||Tommy Jones||QB||CIFL MVP|
|2012||Tommy Jones||QB||CIFL Offensive Player of the Year|
|2012||C. J. Tarver||WR||CIFL Special Teams Player of the Year|
|2013||C. J. Tarver||WR||CIFL MVP|
|2013||C. J. Tarver||WR||CIFL Special Teams Player of the Year|
|2014||Spenser Smith||LB||CIFL Defensive Player of the Year|
The following Sting players have been named to All-League Teams:
- QB Tommy Jones (1), A. J. McKenna (3)
- RB DeShawn Hayes (2)
- WR LaVaughn Macon (1), C. J. Tarver (2), Daryl Gooden (1)
- OL Eric Brim (3), Steve Michalek (1), Josh Peck (1), Brian Moore (1), Devin Smith (1)
- DL Mike McFadden (1), Nate Snyder (1), Desmond Kenner (1), Edison Vushaj (1)
- LB Kyle McKenzie (1), Phillip Smith (1), Andrew DeWeerd (1), Spenser Smith (1), Justin Barnes (1)
- DB Jamar Hibler (1), Jamaal Hibler (1), LaTreze Mushatt (1), Mathis Quillan
- K Chris Kollias (1)
|James Perry II||2014||0||0||0||–||0||1|
|Saginaw Sting staff|
Statistics and recordsEdit
Note: The Finish, Wins, Losses, and Ties columns list regular season results and exclude any postseason play.
|League Champions||Conference Champions||Division Champions||Wild Card Berth||League Leader|
|Season||Team||League||Conference||Division||Regular season||Postseason Results|
|2008||2008||CIFL||Atlantic||West||2nd||10||2||0||Won Divisional Playoffs (Mayhem) 41–34|
Won Atlantic Conference Championship (Outlawz) 59–25
Won CIFL Championship Game (Xplosion) 41–37
|2011||2011||UIFL||2nd||9||5||0||Won UIFL semifinals (River Monsters) 48–47|
Won Ultimate Bowl I (Drillers) 86–69
|2012||2012||CIFL||1st||8||0||Won CIFL Championship Game (Silverbacks) 35–7|
|2013||2013||CIFL||3rd||8||2||0||Won CIFL semifinal (Sharks) 66-63|
Lost CIFL Championship Game (Explosion) 36-37
|2014||2014||CIFL||North||1st||9||1||0||Lost North Division Championship (Explosion) 15-46|
|2015||2015||AIF||2nd||6||2||0||Lost AIF Semifinals (Blitz) 45-63|
|Totals||53||24||0||All-time regular season record (2008–2015)|
|7||3||—||All-time postseason record (2008–2015)|
|60||27||0||All-time regular season and postseason record (2008–2015)|
* Season currently in progress
- Mancina, Greg (2008-09-12). "Saginaw Sting ready to join new league while owners work to split their differences". The Saginaw News. Saginaw, Michigan: Booth Newspapers. Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- Mancina, Greg. "Saginaw Sting football team begins season". Saginaw News. Booth Newspapers. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
- Brandt, Patti (2008-04-07). "Local women find high-energy fun on Saginaw Sting dance team". Bay City Times. Booth Newspapers. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
- UIFL Website - Teams Archived 2011-02-09 at the Wayback Machine
- Morgan, Wes (2008-04-18). "Xplosion owners juggling two teams". Kalamazoo Gazette. Booth Newspapers. Archived from the original on 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
- Stuart Schweigert gets chance to spread football wings as Saginaw Sting director of player development Archived 2011-03-01 at the Wayback Machine
- Geoff Mott (June 11, 2011). "Saginaw Sting captures first Ultimate Indoor Football League Ultimate Bowl title, beating Eastern Kentucky Drillers 86-69". www.mlive.com. MLive Media Group. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- Kyle Austin (November 11, 2011). "Local ownership group, including Stuart Schweigert, purchase Saginaw Sting indoor football team". Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- Kyle Austin (December 29, 2011). "Vince Leveille to return as Saginaw Sting head coach". Retrieved January 11, 2012.
- Kyle Austin (March 7, 2012). "Vince Leveille steps down as Saginaw Sting coach, Fred Townsend to replace him". Retrieved March 7, 2012.
- Erich T. Doerr (June 3, 2012). "Saginaw Sting find perfection, third title in four years with 35-7 CIFL title game victory over Dayton Silverbacks". www.mlive.com. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- Hugh Bernreuter (October 25, 2012). "Saginaw Sting sign Fred Townsend to 3-year deal, start tryout camps for 2013 CIFL season". www.mlive.com. Michigan Live LLC. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
- Cory Butzin (June 10, 2013). "Continental Indoor Football League agree to terms with five teams for next season". www.mlive.com. MLive Media Group. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- Neil Barris (April 12, 2014). "Saginaw Sting overcome loss of starting quarterback to defeat Marion Blue Racers". www.mlive.com. Michigan Live LLC. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- Cory Butzin (April 23, 2014). "Saginaw Sting playmaker CJ Tarver signs with Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League". www.mlive.com. Michigan Live LLC. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- Cory Butzin (April 26, 2014). "Saginaw Sting's listless offense costs them perfect regular season, fall in finale to Chicago Blitz". www.mlive.com. Michigan Live LLC. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- Cory Butzin (May 7, 2014). "Saginaw Sting head coach resigns on the eve of playoff opener against defending champion Erie". www.mlive.com. Michigan Live LLC. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- "Saginaw Sting to Sign with AIF". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. October 10, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
- Cory Butzin (June 23, 2014). "Saginaw Sting provide Greg Wasmer chance to be a coach and parent". www.mlive.com. MLive Media Group. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
- Cory Butzin (April 7, 2015). "Saginaw Sting make coaching change, former NFL safety Stuart Schweigert takes over as head coach". www.mlive.com. MLive Media Group. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
- "Supreme Indoor Football and Continental Indoor Football League Join Forces". OurSportsCentral. August 23, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- "AIF Welcomes Back Saginaw Sting". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. November 4, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
- "Saginaw Sting suspending operations for 2016". WNEM-TV. March 8, 2016.