Alaska Wild

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Alaska Wild
Established 2006
Folded 2010
Played in Sullivan Arena
in Anchorage, Alaska
Alaska Wild logo
Logo
League/conference affiliations

Intense Football League (2007–2008)
Indoor Football League (20092010)

  • Intense Conference (2009–2010)
    • Pacific Division (2009)
    • Pacific North (2010)
Team colors Silver, red, black, white
                   
Mascot Striker
Cheerleaders Alaska Wild Cheerleaders
Personnel
Owner(s) Charles Matthews
Head coach Carl Sundquist
Team history
  • Alaska Wild (2007–2010)
Championships
League championships (0)
0
Conference championships (0)
0
Division championships (0)
0
Playoff appearances (1)
2008
Home arena(s)

The Alaska Wild was a professional indoor football team based in Anchorage, Alaska. The team was a member of the Pacific North Division of the Intense Conference of the Indoor Football League (IFL), after originally being an expansion member of the Intense Football League in 2007. The Alaska Wild played their home games in the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. The team suspended operations after nine games of the 2010 season.

History

On March 20, 2006, Alaska Professional Sports, Inc. (APS) was formed by Weatherholt & Associates, LLC's President David W. Weatherholt and the company was incorporated in the State of Alaska on May 4, 2006 with the goal of bringing professional level sports including professional football to the state of Alaska. At that time, Alaska was the only state in the United States that did not have football played above the high school level or basketball played above the collegiate level. The original APS Business Plan was written by David Weatherholt during the winter and spring of 2005–2006.[1] In 2007, the Alaska Wild Indoor Football Team began play and APS purchased an indoor flag football league from Rick Quattlebaum and formed a development league called the Alaska Indoor Flag Football League (AIFFL). APS was also in talks with Mikal Duilio, founder of the International Basketball League (IBL) to form a professional basketball team to be called the Anchorage Ice.

During the business planning process, Weatherholt was in contact with Arena Football's af2 league headquartered in Chicago about joining that league. The original goal was to join the af2, and on April 25, 2006, Weatherholt paid the application fee for admission to the league. The next step was to secure funding and form the team. The goal was to incorporate APS, which took place on May 4, 2006, and to raise equity capital by selling common stock in the newly formed corporation.

Wild kicker Jeffrey Tongate in 2009

On Friday May 5, 2006, Weatherholt made his plan public when a press release was sent to the Alaska media outlets announcing his plans for bringing a professional indoor football team to Alaska.[2] The Alaska Wild team name was selected as part of a "Name the Team" contest hosted by APS. Over 1,500 names were submitted online by football fans across the United States and Canada. United States Air Force TSgt Deryl Morse submitted the winning team name. Morse was on hand to accept a family four-pack season pass to inaugural season from Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich and Weatherholt.

A public offering for the sale of common stock was approved by the State of Alaska on August 28, 2006. This made Alaska Professional Sports, Inc. one of only three professional sports teams that were publicly owned. (The Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association and the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League are the other two teams.)

The public offering did not raise enough capital to meet the October 1, 2006 deadline for admission to the af2. On September 29, 2006, Weatherholt made a public announcement that the deadline was missed. Two weeks after Weatherholt announced the delay, Chad Dittman, President of the Intense Football League and the owner of the Corpus Christi Hammerheads, contacted Weatherholt. Weatherholt flew to Dallas, Texas and signed an agreement to join the Intense Football League on October 26, 2006. This meant that in less than 162 days, the Alaska Wild needed to secure a coach, players, equipment, cheerleaders, and mascot, reconfigure the Sullivan Arena for football and all of the thousands of details needed.

Then on January 17, 2007, APS announced that the Alaska Wild had concluded a national search and signed Keith Evans to lead Anchorage's first professional football team. Evans, of Tacoma, Washington, visited team executives in early January for an interview and to familiarize himself with Alaska and the organization. Evans was selected from other applicants because of his west coast background.

On April 12, 2007, at 7:00 pm Alaska sports history was made when the Frisco Thunder, an expansion team, narrowly defeated the Alaska Wild in front of a sellout crowd of over 6,100 excited fans.

The Fairbanks Grizzlies in a game against Alaska Wild, March 2008

The day after the first game, team management accepted the recommendation of Randy Magner, VP of Operations, the coach's boss, to terminate Keith Evens (0-1) the first coach for the Alaska Wild. Magner was offered the head coach position and refused to take it and ultimately resigned from his position with APS. On April 17, 2006, Hans Deemer (7-21), who had been a volunteer coach, accepted the position of Alaska Wild Head Coach, becoming the second head coach in the team's history.

August 2007 the Alaska Wild Cheerleaders were voted by team owners as the "Best IFL Dance Team".

The 2008 Alaska Wild season opened on March 6, 2008 with an 88-7 victory over the new expansion team from Fairbanks, the Grizzlies. On the field, the Alaska Wild was off to their best start, going into their seventh game with a 4–2 record. On May 8, 2008 David W Weatherholt sold his 90% share of APS to Dr. Randy Deeter.[3] The Team record under Weatherolt's guidance was 6-14 while Deeter had a 1-22 record.

In February 2009, Coach Deemer resigned and was replaced by Floyd Johnson (0–8), the third head coach of the Alaska Wild. New team owner Deeter replaced Johnson after eight games with Sonny Rodriguez (0–6) the fourth head coach. The Alaska Wild finished its third season with a 0–14 record, sagging game attendance and fleeing sponsors. Deeter scrambled to get out from under the staggering debt brought on by the team's on and off the field performances.

In August 2009, Charles Matthews, a Fairbanks pastor, took over the team from Deeter to become the third team owner.[4] On September 27, 2009, Matthews announced that Darnell Lee would take over as the fifth head coach for the Alaska Wild. Mathews did not have the financial resources to support the team, nor was he able to sell enough season tickets and team sponsorships. In March 2010, the Indoor Football League took control of the Alaska Wild team and was to operate the team until a new owner was found or the season ended.[5] In May 2010, after nine games, the team suspended operations. Coach Lee and multiple players left to play elsewhere and the team no longer had money to continue the season.[6][7]

Notable players

The Wild against the Bloomington Extreme in 2009

Final roster

Alaska Wild roster
Quarterbacks
  •  1 James Phillips
  • 18 Jorge Vasquez

Running Backs

  • 20 Brandon Tate

Wide Receivers

  • 22 Mark Lewis
  • 45 Craig Hobroski
  • 86 Mike Waller


Offensive Linemen
  • 77 Tui Alailefaeula

Defensive Linemen

  • 57 Chad Havercamp
  • 92 Mitchell Johnson
  • 75 Russell Knight
  • 63 Clark Pauls
Linebackers
  • 49 Rod Gagnon
  • 68 Gary Reynolds

Defensive Backs

  •  4 Jemeel Brady
  • 42 Andre Cummings
  • 25 Ryan Reynolds
  • 12 Phillip Thomas
  •  5 Nate Jacks

Kickers

  • -- Larry Stovall-Moody
Injured Reserve
  • Currently vacant

Exempt List

  • Currently vacant

Practice Squad

  • Currently vacant

Rookies in italics
Roster updated June 12, 2010
17 Active, 0 Inactive, 0 PS

More rosters

All-League selections

  • KR Demarcus James (1)
  • K Larry Stovall-Moody (1)

Coaches

Head coaches

Name Term Regular Season Playoffs Awards
W L T Win% W L
Keith Evans 2007 0 1 0 .000 0 0
Hans Deemer 2007–2008 7 20 0 .259 0 1
Floyd Johnson 2009 0 8 0 .000 0 0
Sonny Rodrigeuz 2009 0 4 0 .000 0 0
Darnell Lee 2010 2 7 0 .222 0 0
Carl Sundquist 2010 0 1 0 .000 0 0

Coaching changes

On April 13, 2007, the Alaska Wild fired coach Keith Evans just hours following the franchise's inaugural game. It marked another turn in the tumultuous path of the Alaska Wild, an expansion team in the Texas-based Intense Football League. The team was unable to agree on contract terms with coach Heywood Hill in January 2007 after prematurely announcing him as head coach the previous month. After Evans termination, Randy Magner was asked to take over head coaching duties, only to resign from the team entirely on April 16. On April 17, Hans Deemer was named head coach; Deemer had been the defensive line coach for the Wild. Deemer resigned in January, 2009.[8] Floyd Johnson was named head coach,[9] but he was fired after starting 0-8. Quarterbacks coach, Sonny Rodriguez was named the Wild interim head coach.[10] In 2010, Darnell Lee was hired to be the Wild's new head coach. Lee quit midway through the 2010 season, the Wild fulfilled their final road game commitment under head coach Carl Sundquist.[11]

Statistics and records

Season-by-season results

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
Finish Wins Losses Ties
2007 2007 Intense FL 8th 2 12
2008 2008 Intense FL 6th 5 9 Lost Wild Card (CenTex)
2009 2009 Indoor FL Intense Pacific 4th 0 14
2010 2010 Indoor FL Intense Pacific North 5th 2 12
Totals 9 47 All-time regular season record (2007-2010)
0 1 - All-time postseason record (2007-2010)
9 48 All-time regular season and postseason record (2007-2010)

References

  1. ^ APS Business Plan
  2. ^ "Alaska Professional Sports announces Anchorage-based af2 team". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. June 24, 2006. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  3. ^ Andrew Hinkelman (May 9, 2008). "Wild sale finalized; Deemer rehired". www.adn.com. Alaska Dispatch New. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Alaska Wild have new owner". www.adn.com. Alaska Dispatch News. August 20, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  5. ^ Beth Bragg (May 13, 2010). "Wild's football game canceled; team's future in doubt". www.adn.com. Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  6. ^ "IFL Takes Necessary Action In Anchorage". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. May 19, 2010. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Outlaws get forfeit win". www.billingsgazette.com. Billings Gazette. May 23, 2010. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  8. ^ Kevin Klott (January 21, 2009). "Alaska Wild Coach Deemer resigns". www.adn.com. Alaska Dispatch New. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Wild promote Johnson to head coach". www.adn.com. Alaska Dispatch New. February 14, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  10. ^ Kevin Klott (June 6, 2009). "Wild fire head coach, hire Lynx's Rodriguez". www.adn.com. Alaska Dispatch New. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  11. ^ Jack Millikin (June 13, 2010). "Fever goes wild in final home game". www.tri-cityherald.com. Tri-City Herald. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 

External links

  • Wild's 2007 stats
  • Wild's 2008 stats
  • Intense Football League
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