The Alabama Vipers were a professional arena football team, that played in the Arena Football League. For most of their history, the Vipers played as the Tennessee Valley Vipers in the now-defunct af2, the minor league for the original Arena Football League, where they won ArenaCup IX in 2008. They played their home games at the Von Braun Center. They were coached by Dean Cokinos.
Played in Von Braun Center
in Huntsville, Alabama
United Indoor Football (2005)
|Team colors||Green, black, white|
|Head coach||Dean Cokinos|
|League championships (1)|
|Conference championships (1)|
|Division championships (5)|
|Playoff appearances (8)|
The team played in af2 for five seasons, from 2000–2004, and during that period was one of the league's most competitive teams. The then owner and operator of the team was Art Clarkson. Then following the 2004 season the team left the af2 and joined the United Indoor Football (UIF) league.
United Indoor Football (UIF)Edit
The team joined the United Indoor Football league as the Tennessee Valley Pythons. But after legal threats from the AF2 for using the "snake" motif, the team changed its name again, this time to the Tennessee Valley Raptors. The Raptors, after an attendance decline in Huntsville, moved operations to Rockford, Illinois in 2005 and became the Rock River Raptors.
Return to af2Edit
Meanwhile, the af2 returned to Huntsville in 2006. The new team, owned by HSV Sports (who also owns the local hockey team), was granted the rights to the Vipers name, trademarks, and history that had been vacated by the previous ownership. Prior to the 2007 season, controlling interest in the team was sold to Texas AF2 Holdings, LLC. The team still operated in conjunction with HSV Sports, LLC, now a minority partner with the team.
Alabama Vipers of the Arena Football LeagueEdit
For the 2010 season, the Vipers played in the new Arena Football League and changed their name to the Alabama Vipers.
- First Game
- On March 31, 2000, the Tennessee Valley Vipers traveled to Birmingham to play the Birmingham Steeldogs in the inaugural game in af2 league history. The Vipers won the game 59–18 before a crowd of 14,781 at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center.
- Largest Home Crowd
- On July 15, 2000, the Tennessee Valley Vipers beat the Birmingham Steeldogs 61–50 in front of 7,042 fans at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville.
- Arena Cup IX
- The Vipers won ArenaCup IX by defeating the Spokane Shock 56–55 in overtime at Spokane Arena on August 25, 2008. On the road to the championship, the Vipers beat both conference #1 seeds, a league first. In addition, Arena Cup IX was the first championship game to go into overtime and it was also the first time that the road team had won the championship game. The attendance of Arena Cup IX was 10,662, which is the largest attended championship game in af2 history. In 2009, this game was voted by the league as the greatest game in af2 league history.
- Win 100
- The Vipers became the third franchise in af2 history to reach the 100 win mark after defeating the Florida Firecats 54–29 on June 20, 2009 at the Von Braun Center.
|Tennessee Valley Vipers (af2)|
|2000||10||6||0||2nd NC||Won Round 1 (Tulsa)|
Won Semifinal (Augusta)
Lost ArenaCup I (Quad City)
|2001||14||2||0||1st NC South Central||Won Round 1 (Tallahassee)|
Lost NC Championship (Richmond)
|2002||13||3||0||1st NC South||Lost NC Round 1 (Birmingham)|
|2003||14||2||0||1st AC South||Won AC Semifinal (Mohegan)|
Lost AC Championship (Macon)
|2004||12||4||0||1st AC Mid-South||Lost AC Semifinal (Florida)|
|2005||played as Tennessee Valley Raptors (UIF)|
|2006||3||13||0||6th AC South||–|
|2007||7||9||0||4th NC South||–|
|2008||10||6||0||3rd AC South||Won AC Round 1 (Florida) |
Won AC Semifinals (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton)
Won AC Championship (Manchester)
Won ArenaCup IX (Spokane)
|2009||11||5||0||1st AC South||Lost AC Round 1 (Green Bay)|
|Alabama Vipers (Arena Football League)|
|2010||7||9||0||4th AC South||--|
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses
|Alabama Vipers roster|
The following Vipers players were named to All-Arena Teams:
- Dean Cokinos – Head coach
- John Kirk – Offensive line coach
- Demetrius Derico – Defensive backs coach
- McCarter, Mark (March 25, 2015). "Von Braun Center has celebrated much sports success, but also been graveyard for some franchises". The Huntsville Times. Huntsville, Alabama. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
- Bryant, Bill (August 21, 2010). "It's official: Vipers have left the building". The Huntsville Times.
- AFL Final Standings for 2010. AFL. Retrieved: August 12, 2010.