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Fort Wayne Freedom
FortWayneFreedomCIFL
Founded 2003
History Fort Wayne Freedom 2003-2006, 2008-2009
League Continental Indoor Football League
Arena Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Based in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Colors Red, White, & Blue

              

Head Coach Matt Land
Dancers The First Ladies
Mascot Super Sam and Kooka Bird

The Fort Wayne Freedom was a team in the Continental Indoor Football League, beginning play in the 2008 season. Like the original Freedom, the team retained a red, white, and blue color scheme, and played in the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

In September, 2008, the Freedom announced that former Freedom Assistant GM Brad Harris (who was with the original Freedom from 2003–2005) had been hired as GM. Head coach Matt Land also returned for the 2009 to coach the team for the full season.

In 2008, Land, who had been the team's head coach for the 2005 campaign, was asked by team co-owner William Fahlsing to lead the team for the final four games of the season when original head coach Willie Davis, Jr. was fired the morning of the May 17 game against the Chicago Slaughter. With only 15 minutes of practice, Land's second term began with a 41-33 loss to the Slaughter, despite a solid performance by the Freedom defense.

In 2009, the Freedom had success on the field but struggled financially. Toward the end of the 2009 season players were not paid promptly and then not at all. Team Co-owners Bill Fahlsing and Mark Chappius were forced to ask for public support to help get the team through the season. Despite the financial issue with salaries, the players continued to play for the Freedom and won the Eastern Conference Championship over the Marion Mayhem but lost the 2009 CIFL championship game to the Chicago Slaughter.

Season-By-SeasonEdit

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties

Season W L T Finish Playoff results
2008 5 7 0 3rd Great Lakes East --
*2009 6 5 0 2nd Eastern Lost in CIFL Championship Game against Chicago

* = Current Standing

2008 Season ScheduleEdit

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
March 21 Miami Valley Silverbacks Home Won 52-48
March 27 Kalamazoo Xplosion Home Lost 34-50
April 4 Rock River Raptors Away Lost 29-64
April 12 Muskegon Thunder Away Lost 33-39
April 19 Rock River Raptors Home Won 55-54
April 26 Marion Mayhem Home Won 55-40
May 2 Miami Valley Silverbacks Away Lost 29-35
May 10 Saginaw Sting Home Lost 21-34
May 17 Chicago Slaughter Away Lost 33-41
May 24 Muskegon Thunder Home Won 42-38
May 31 Chesapeake Tide Away Won 37-31
June 7 Kalamazoo Xplosion Away Lost 32-39

2009 Season ScheduleEdit

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
March 21 Marion Mayhem Home Win 46 - 23
March 28 Wheeling Wildcats Away Win 49 - 34
April 4 Marion Mayhem Away Loss 39-33 OT
April 10 Wisconsin Wolfpack Away Loss 38-34
April 18 Chicago Slaughter Home Loss 56-41
April 25 Miami Valley Silverbacks Home Win 33-28
May 1 Rock River Raptors Home Loss 48-46
May 9 Milwaukee Bonecrushers Away Win 51-33
May 16 Miami Valley Silverbacks Away Win 56-28
May 23 Marion Mayhem Home Loss 62-47
May 29 Wheeling Wildcats Away Won 84-42
June 6 Miami Valley Silverbacks Game was canceled
June 20 CIFL EASTERN DIVISION PLAYOFF Marion Mayhem Away Won 49-40
June 27 CIFL CHAMPIONSHIP Chicago Slaughter Away Lost 58-48

Original TeamEdit

Fort Wayne Freedom logo

Original logo of the Freedom.

The original Fort Wayne Freedom was a professional indoor football team. They were founded by Richard Coffey, who had spent ten years as the General Manager of the Fort Wayne Fury of the CBA (Continental Basketball Association), the development league of the NBA. They were most recently a member of the United Indoor Football league (UIF), and played their home games at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. In 2004, the Freedom set the single game record for attendance at 10,225. In 2005, the Freedom moved to the UIF after 2 years in the NIFL. The Freedom won the 2005 UIF Midwest Division Championship, went 14-2 in the regular season while clinching the #1 seed in the playoffs, but lost 57-22 in the first round of the UIF Playoffs to the Tennessee Valley Raptors.

Team historyEdit

The Freedom selected a new coach for the 2006 season, after Matt Land left the Freedom to coach Tri-State University in NCAA Division III. The Freedom selected one of their own as they signed Dan Pifer to be their new head coach. Pifer is also the offensive coordinator for NCAA Division III Tri-State under former coach Matt Land. He had worked previously as an assistant coach at the University of St. Francis, an NAIA institution, and NCAA Division II Hillsdale College in Michigan. Pifer also was a high school assistant and played quarterback at the University of California in Pennsylvania. After completing its fourth year of football, the assets of the Freedom were sold to Jeremy Golden, who moved the franchise to af2. The Freedom joined the CIFL for the 2008 season.

United Indoor Football did find an ownership group (that included investor Bill Bean) that also sought a lease with Randy Brown and the Memorial Coliseum. Brown opted to go with the af2 franchise.

Rumored move to af2Edit

The team had been heavily rumored to move to af2 for quite some time, and Coffey sold the assets to Golden on November 10, 2006. Golden had already applied for and was awarded an af2 franchise, but because only the assets and not the Freedom's corporate entity were sold, the Fort Wayne Fusion af2 franchise is not a continuation of the UIF team.

FansEdit

The Freedom Force is the official fan club of the Fort Wayne Freedom.

Head coachesEdit

Former StaffEdit

Season-By-SeasonEdit

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties

Season W L T Finish Playoff results
Fort Wayne Freedom (NIFL)
2003 8 6 0 3rd Atlantic East --
2004 8 6 0 3rd Atlantic North Won Round 1 (Believers)
Lost Semifinal (Greyhounds)
Fort Wayne Freedom (UIF)
2005 14 2 0 1st Midwest Lost Round 1 (T.V. Raptors)
2006 4 11 0 4th East --
Totals 35 27 0 (including playoffs)

2003 SeasonEdit

Game-by-Game resultsEdit

Date Opponent Result Record
March 22, 2003 vs. Evansville BlueCats W - 41-40 (1-0)
March 29, 2003 vs. Tupelo Fire Ants W - 57-22 (2-0)
April 12, 2003 vs. Ohio Valley Greyhounds L - 41-54 (2-1)
April 19, 2003 at Tennessee Riverhawks L - 48-65 (2-2)
April 25, 2003 at Ohio Valley Greyhounds L - 42-48 (2-3)
May 3, 2003 vs. Sioux Falls Storm W - 55-19 (3-3)
May 17, 2003 vs. Myrtle Beach Stingrays W - 51-25 (4-3)
May 24, 2003 at Evansville BlueCats W - 62-33 (5-3)
May 30, 2003 at Lacrosse Night Train W - 59-06 (6-3)
June 6, 2003 vs. Tennessee Riverhawks W 74-15 (7-3)
June 14, 2003 at Sioux Falls Storm L 49-52 (7-4)
June 21, 2003 at Myrtle Beach Stingrays L - 41-50 (7-5)
June 26, 2003 at Lexington Horsemen L - 43-59 (7-6)
July 5, 2003 vs. Lexington Horsemen W - 76-62 (8-6)
[1]

2004 SeasonEdit

Game-by-Game resultsEdit

Date Opponent Result Record
March 14, 2004 vs. Show-Me Believers W - 66-37 (1-0)
March 20, 2004 vs. Evansville BlueCats W - 80-41 (2-0)
April 3, 2004 at Lexington Horsemen L - 21-49 (2-1)
April 10, 2004 vs. Lexington Horsemen L - 48-51 (2-2)
April 24, 2004 vs. Atlantic City CardSharks W - 63-54 (3-2)
May 1, 2004 at Evansville BlueCats L - 68-71 (3-3)
May 8, 2004 vs. Ohio Valley Greyhounds W - 43-35 (4-3)
May 15, 2004 at Staten Island Xtreme L - 41-42 (4-4)
May 21, 2004 vs. Staten Island Xtreme W - 56-07 (5-4)
May 28, 2004 at Show-Me Believers W - 49-35 (6-4)
June 5, 2004 at Ohio Valley Greyhounds L - 23-52 (6-5)
June 12, 2004 at Atlantic City CardSharks L - 27-41 (6-6)
June 19, 2004 at Tupelo Fire Ants W - 61-40 (7-6)
June 26, 2004 vs. Carolina Stingrays W - 48-03# (8-6)
# = set single game indoor football attendance record with 10,225 fans.[2]
      • 2004 stats do not include a NIFL playoff game at Ohio Valley (Wheeling, WV)***


2005 SeasonEdit

The 2005 season was a season for the ages and, statistically, the best season the Freedom have had in franchise history. Finishing a league-best 14-2, the Freedom had high hopes as they went into the first-round of the UIF playoffs. On the other hand, the Tennessee Valley Raptors had other plans. Considering the game was in Fort Wayne, the Freedom were heavily favored, and the Raptors didn't take that into consideration when they destroyed the Freedom 57-22. A phenomenal season for the Freedom came to an end with a miserable showing in the first-round against a team that had more heart and more poise.

Game-by-Game resultsEdit

Date Opponent Result Record
March 20, 2005 vs. Ohio Valley Greyhounds W 29-25 (1-0)
April 10, 2005 at Ohio Valley Greyhounds W 31-20 (2-0)
April 16, 2005 vs. Black Hills Red Dogs W - 59-34 (3-0)
April 23, 2005 at Tupelo Fire Ants W - 51-15 (4-0)
April 30, 2005 at Sioux Falls Storm W - 34-31 (5-0)
May 7, 2005 vs. Sioux City Bandits W - 57-50 (6-0)
May 13, 2005 vs. Peoria Rough Riders W - 52-32 (7-0)
May 21, 2005 at Peoria Rough Riders W - 41-13 (8-0)
May 28, 2005 vs. Tupelo Fire Ants W - 45-20 (9-0)
June 5, 2005 vs. Omaha Beef W - 42-40 (10-0)
June 11, 2005 at Omaha Beef L - 30-33 (10-1)
June 18, 2005 vs. Lexington Horsemen L 41-58 (10-2)
June 25, 2005 at Peoria Rough Riders W - 56-35 (11-2)
July 2, 2005 at Black Hills Red Dogs W - 40-26 (12-2)
July 8, 2005 at Ohio Valley Greyhounds W - 44-34 (13-2)
July 17, 2005 vs. Ohio Valley Greyhounds W - 41-31 (14-2)
[3]

2006 SeasonEdit

Game-by-Game resultsEdit

Date Opponent Result Record
March 25, 2006 vs. Sioux City Bandits W - 28-23 (1-0)
April 1, 2006 at Bloomington Extreme W - 51-28 (2-0)
April 8, 2006 vs. Ohio Valley Greyhounds W - 37-32 (3-0)
April 15, 2006 at Sioux City Bandits L - 27-41 (3-1)
April 22, 2006 vs. Sioux Falls Storm L - 44-47 (3-2)
April 28, 2006 at Lexington Horsemen L - 65-32 (3-3)
May 6, 2006 at Sioux Falls Storm L - 25-44 (3-4)
May 12, 2006 vs. Rock River Raptors L - 36-49 (3-5)
May 20, 2006 vs. Evansville BlueCats L - 31-33 (3-6)
June 3, 2006 at Ohio Valley Greyhounds L - 29-52 (3-7)
June 10, 2006 at Evansville BlueCats L - 37-43 (3-8)
June 17, 2006 at Rock River Raptors L - 27-29 (3-9)
June 24, 2006 vs. Ohio Valley Greyhounds W - 42-40 (4-9)
July 1, 2006 vs. Lexington Horsemen L - 44-70 (4-10)
July 8, 2006 at Omaha Beef L - 13-52 (4-11)
[4]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

External linksEdit

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