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.

Atlantic Coast Football League Franchise List

Franchise Years Active ACFL Championships
Ansonia Black Knights 1962-1963 None
Atlanta Spartans 1964 None
Atlantic City Senators 1966 None
Baltimore Broncos 1963 None
Boston Steamrollers 1965 None
Boston Sweepers 1963-1964 1964
Bridgeport Jets 1968-1971 & 1973 None
Frankfort Falcons 1962 None
Harrisburg Capitol-Colts 1968-1969 None
Harrisburg Capitols 1963-1967 None
Hartford Charter Oaks 1964 None
Hartford Knights 1968-1971 & 1973 1968
Holyoke Bombers 1965 None
Indianapolis Capitols 1970 None
Jersey Giants 1963-1964 None
Jersey Jays 1970 None
Jersey Jets 1965-1966 None
Jersey Tigers 1969 None
Long Island Bulls 1969-1970 None
Long Island Chiefs 1973 None
Lowell Giants 1966-1968 None
Mohawk Valley Falcons 1963-1965 None
New Bedford Sweepers 1965-1966 1965
New England Colonials 1973 1973
New York Crusaders 1973 None
Newark Bears 1963-1964 1963
Norfolk Neptunes 1970-1971 1971
Orlando Panthers 1970 None
Paterson Miners 1962 1962
Pittsburgh Valley Ironmen None
Portland Sea Hawks 1962-1964 None
Pottstown Firebirds 1968-1970 1969-1970
Providence Steamrollers 1962-1964 None
Quincy Giants 1969 None
Rhode Island Steelers 1966 None
Richmond Rebels 1964 None
Richmond Roadrunners 1968-1969 None
Richmond Saints 1970 None
Scranton Miners 1965-1966 None
Scranton Pros 1964 None
Springfield Acorns 1963-1964 None
Stamford Golden Bears 1962 None
Virginia Sailors 1966-1968 1966-1967
Waterbury Orbits 1966-1967 None
Westchester Bulls 1967-1968 None
Westchester Crusaders 1963-1964 None
Western Massachusetts Pioneers 1973 None
Wilmington Clippers 1966-1967 None


Written by AC

July 15th, 2012 at 1:45 am

Posted in

16 Responses to 'Atlantic Coast Football League (1962-1973)'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Atlantic Coast Football League (1962-1973)'.

  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

  13. Hi Dick Rogers,
    I remember you. But I live in outside of Toronto Ontario.
    Those were fun times. I enjoyed playing in the league.

    Al Schreiber

    18 Sep 17 at 3:29 pm

  14. I am looking for films against the Richmond Roadrunners in ’69? Would anyone happen to have or know where I can find?

    Nick L

    16 Oct 17 at 3:22 pm

  15. Nice website. I played against Ansonia 1962 (Maurice Wadley). I played for Tinicum AC in Phila. We won by 30 or 40 points in Ansonia. I was with Tinicum a couple years, then Ridley TWP AA in Philly, then for Philadelphia Bulldogs in Continental, then Wilmington (DE) Comets in NAFL. We had connections with the Eagles, and our coach, Jack Ferrante was an All Star Eagle. We played up and down the East Coast – Pittsburgh PA to Mobile, AL. My last year playing was with Pensacola Navy Goshawks.

    Jim Keil

    22 Oct 17 at 8:54 pm

  16. Mr Jim Kell Thank you,

Leave a Reply


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: