Green Bay Blizzard
|Green Bay Blizzard|
Central North (2010)
Great Lakes (2011)
|Team history||Green Bay Blizzard (2003-present)|
|Based in||Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin|
Forest Green, White, Silver|
Larry & Kathy Treankler|
|Head coach||Tommie Williams|
|Conference titles||1: (af2 American: 2006)|
4: (af2 Eastern: 2006,|
af2 Midwest 2008,
IFL Central North: 2010,
IFL Great Lakes: 2011)
8: (af2: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009|
IFL: 2010, 2011, 2012)
|Mascot||Bruiser the Yeti|
The Green Bay Blizzard are a professional indoor football team, founded in 2003. The Blizzard began play in the Indoor Football League in 2010, after having played the previous seven seasons in af2, the now-defunct minor league of the Arena Football League. The Blizzard play in the United Conference. They play their home games at the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. The team's logo represents Bruiser, the team mascot.
The team was formerly owned by a group headed by former Green Bay Packers linebacker Brian Noble; in October 2009 it was announced that a group of local businessmen formed Titletown Football Group, LLC and had purchased the team. In September 2013, it was announced that Matt Umentum, Tom Burgess, and Bob Weyers sold their ownership shares to Larry and Kathy Treankler.
- 1 History
- 1.1 2003, a year of miserable beginnings
- 1.2 2004, a new direction
- 1.3 2005, the Landsee Era begins
- 1.4 2006, under new ownership
- 1.5 2007, a year of unexpected changes
- 1.6 2008, Landsee returns
- 1.7 2009, a year of missed opportunities
- 1.8 2010, new league, new rivals
- 1.9 2011 season
- 1.10 2012 season
- 1.11 2013 season
- 1.12 2014 season
- 2 Statistics and records
- 3 Players of note
- 4 Coaches of note
- 5 References
- 6 External links
2003, a year of miserable beginnings
The Blizzard started out as an af2 expansion team in 2003 with Jose Jefferson as the team's head coach. The team finished an abysmal 2-14 good for last in the National Conference Midwest Division. They only averaged 2,957 fans a game.
2004, a new direction
In an attempt to jump start things the Blizzard replaced Jose Jefferson with former Green Bay Packers linebacker Brian Noble. The team did make some improvements during the 2004 season, however the Blizzard finished the season 6-10 and once again failed to get out of the Midwest Division cellar.
2005, the Landsee Era begins
2005 was to be a different story. For the start of the 2005 season the team changed from the National Conference to the American Conference. The Blizzard became a member of the American Conference's East division. The team also replaced Noble with AFL veteran coach Bob Landsee. The switch to the American Conference was the change the Blizzard needed. The team continued their trend of improvement in 2005 finishing 9-7, good for 3rd in the East Division, and reaching the postseason for the first time. They fell in the first round to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
2006, under new ownership
In 2006 Blizzard head coach Bob Landsee became the first coach in team history to return for their second season. The Blizzard also came under new ownership as former Blizzard Head Coach Brian Noble lead an investment group that purchased the team. Noble became the new President of the four-year-old franchise and began a complete revitalization of the organization. The team drastically lowered ticket prices which help the Blizzard to really boost their average game attendance. The team set a new single game attendance record of 7,184 in the season finale against Louisville. The team experienced an improvement on the field as well. The Blizzard went into the final game of the 2006 regular season tied with the Louisville Fire for first in the East Division at 9-6. This set up a showdown between the two teams at the Resch Center for the East Division title. The Blizzard did not disappoint a record crowd of 7,184 knocking off the Fire in a 54-53 thriller. The 2006 season got even better as the postseason began. The Blizzard earned a first round bye and enjoyed a week off to await their second round opponent. The Blizzard drew the 2005 ArenaCup Champion Memphis Xplorers for the franchise's first ever home playoff game. The Blizzard continued in their winning ways knocking off the defending champs 67-50. The team's first playoff victory sent them on to the American Conference Championship Game vs the Florida Firecats. Once again the Blizzard proved that they were for real winning the conference championship 60-47 sending the Blizzard on to ArenaCup VII.
The Green Bay Blizzard as American Conference Champions would face the National Conference Champion, Spokane Shock, a 2006 expansion team. The neutral site for the game was Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico. But the Blizzard's luck had finally run out as the Shock handed the Blizzard a 57-34 loss. The Blizzard's 2006 season was one for the ages, but the Blizzard faithful now knew that their team had come to stay.
2007, a year of unexpected changes
Coach Bob Landsee had difficulties resulting from surgery and was forced to take the 2007 off from coaching. He was replaced by Defensive Coordinator Doug Lytle. The Blizzard endured a roller coaster season going undefeated at the Resch Center during the regular season while going a miserable 1-7 on the road. (Only road win came at Cincinnati) The Blizzard did succeed at making the playoffs for the third consecutive year and surprised division rival and (Midwest) Division Champion, Quad City Steamwheelers 39-34 in the first round game. When another division rival, Louisville Fire knocked off Spokane the Blizzard earned the right to host a second round playoff game against the Fire. The Blizzard carried over their success at home from the regular season by knocking off Louisville 37-27 and advancing to take on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in their second consecutive American Conference Championship Game. However this Cinderella story went no further as the Blizzard lost a close one to the Pioneers 46-43, ending the Blizzard's 2007 campaign.
2008, Landsee returns
Coach Bob Landsee returned to the helm in 2008 and the Blizzard continued on their winning ways amassing an 11-5 record and capturing the Midwest Division crown. The Blizzard set a single game record in attendance vs Lexington with 7,258 and had the largest average attendance in team history with an average of 6,125 fans per game. In the first round of the playoffs the Blizzard really redeemed themselves by knocking off Lexington 65-37 who had beaten the Blizzard twice in the regular season in nail-bitters. (49-48 in Green Bay with a last second score and two-point conversion and 55-54 in Overtime in Lexington.) The Blizzard then hosted Manchester in a second round game after the Wolves knocked off South Georgia. In what must have seemed like Deja Vu for the Blizzard, the Wolves scored in the final seconds and took the lead and the game 55-54 with a two-point conversion, ending the Blizzard's season.
2009, a year of missed opportunities
The Blizzard started the season off with a bang at the Resch Center knocking off the defending ArenaCup Champion, Tennessee Valley Vipers 53-40. The Blizzard were then solidly beaten the next week by Manchester by the score of 53-28 at the Resch Center. The Blizzard then hit the road for the first time of the season and defeated the Quad City Steamwheelers 65-52 to improve to 2-1 on the season. The Blizzard then returned home to the Resch Center to face the Arkansas Twisters. Arkansas jumped out to an early 21-0 lead which the Blizzard could not overcome, eventually falling 62-47. The Blizzard then began a new rivalry the next week when they traveled to Milwaukee to take on the Milwaukee Iron. The Blizzard handled the Iron fairly easily knocking them off 56-28. After this the Blizzard returned home for a two game home stand. In the first game the Blizzard missed an opportunity to take the Midwest Division lead by falling to Iowa 46-41 and falling to 3-3 a half game behind the 4-3 Barnstormers. The Blizzard then continued the roller coaster type season by defeating the Peoria Pirates 55-34 to tie Iowa, who was idle, at the top of the Midwest Division at 4-3. That was short lived however as the Blizzard traveled to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania the next week and were hammered by Pioneers 69-19. This pushed the Blizzard a game back in the division standings and dropped their record to 4-4 on the year. The Blizzard then returned home to the Resch Center and knocked off Quad City in overtime 52-49. and improved to 5-4. The Blizzard improved to 6-4 the following week by escaping Peoria with a 49-47 win over the Pirates. The Blizzard then continued on their winning ways by heading into Des Moines and knocking off the Barnstormers 71-65 in overtime to pull into a tie for the Midwest Division lead. This tie however was once again short lived as the Barnstormers knocked off Amarillo the next week 55-54 and the Blizzard missed many opportunities to beat the Tulsa Talons falling 66-54. The Blizzard rebounded the next week by thumping the Milwaukee Iron 86-42 remaining one game back in the division standings at 8-5. The following week the Blizzard's division title hopes took a major hit as they fell to the Quad City Steamwheelers 62-44 and fell to two games back of the Barnstormers. The Blizzard then finished off the 3 game season series sweep of Milwaukee with a 60-20 victory at the Resch Center yet Iowa defeated Quad City to clinch the Midwest Division crown. The Blizzard then finished the regular season on the road knocking off the Mahoning Valley Thunder 63-43 to finish the season at 10-6 and earning the # 6 seed in the 2009 af2 Playoffs.
2009 af2 Playoffs
The # 6 seeded Blizzard opened the American Conference playoffs with a game at the # 3 seeded South Division Champion Tennessee Valley Vipers. The Blizzard knocked off the Vipers 60-56 and advanced to the American Conference Semi-Finals to take on the # 2 seeded Iowa Barnstormers The Blizzard blew into Des Moines and defeated the Barnstormers 51-46 to advance to their third American Conference Championship game to take on the # 1 seeded Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers. The game was much closer than the regular season meeting however the Blizzard fell to the Pioneers 72-67 thus ending the Blizzard's 2009 campaign.
2010, new league, new rivals
Financial troubles and new ownership
In October 2009 the team announced that unless the team found additional investors that they would be forced to cease operations. The Blizzard found new investors in an ownership group of local businessmen and in late October it was announced that Titletown Football Group, LLC had purchased the Blizzard from the ownership group which was headed by Brian Noble.
League and coaching change
In November 2009, the team announced that they would play the 2010 season in the Indoor Football League At a team open house on November 17, 2009 the Blizzard announced their new head coach would be Rik Richards. For the 2011 season a new head coach has been named as Rik Richards has moved on. Robert Fuller, who coached the Fairbanks Grizzlies in 2010, was named new head coach where Green Bay hopes that he can keep them on a winning track.
Possible name change
On December 5, 2009, the Blizzard announced the "Name the Team" contest. The Blizzard name and intellectual property was held by the defunct Arena Football League, which was the parent of the Blizzard's former league, af2. The assets of the former Arena Football League were purchased by the newly formed Arena Football 1. The team ownership group is still attempting to purchase the rights to the Blizzard name. The team has decided to continue with the name the team contest in case the Blizzard name is not able to be purchased.
However, on January 13, 2010, it was announced that the ownership group had purchased the name and intellectual property, meaning the team will remain the Green Bay Blizzard.
On December 15, 2009 the IFL announced the divisional alignment and schedule for the 2010 season. The Blizzard competed in the United Conference Central North Division with the La Crosse Spartans, Chicago Slaughter and Bloomington Extreme. The Blizzard won the Central North Division, but lost their First Round playoff game against the Chicago Slaughter.
For the 2011 season, the Blizzard competed in the United Conference Great Lakes Division; however, the divisional setup was unchanged from its Central North Division alignment (the Spartans, Slaughter and Extreme remaining the Blizzard's division rivals). Also unchanged was the Blizzard winning the division title; however, what changed was the Blizzard's record had improved to 11-3 and they defeated the Reading Express in their first-round playoff game. A United Bowl was not in the cards, however, as the Blizzard lost the United Conference Championship game to the eventual champions the Sioux Falls Storm.
Because of various teams leaving the IFL, either to join other leagues or cease operations altogether, the league played the 2012 season format in two conferences with no divisions. While the Spartans had ceased operations, the Blizzard's divisional rivals the Slaughter and the newly renamed Bloomington Edge joined in the single-table United Conference along with the Reading Express, Sioux Falls Storm, Cedar Rapids Titans, Lehigh Valley Steelhawks and Omaha Beef. In this new format, the Blizzard finished 11-3 again, though this time in second place and three games behind the undefeated Storm. While the Blizzard defeated the Edge in the first round, they would again lose to the Storm for the United Conference Championship.
With the Edge and Steelhawks leaving the IFL for other leagues and the Beef and Express suspending operations, the United Conference was reduced to five teams for the 2013 season, with the Blizzard, Slaughter, Titans, and Storm all returning and the newly renamed Texas Revolution (formerly the Allen Wranglers) moving from the Intense Conference. Junior Aumavae, a nose tackle who spent the 2012 season playing for the Blizzard, was signed by the New York Jets in late March 2013. After compiling a 1–5 record in the season's first six games, head coach Robert Fuller was replaced by defensive coordinator Chad Baldwin.
After the 2013 season, the Chicago Slaughter moved to the Continental Indoor Football League. The United Conference continues to have 5 teams thanks to a new expansion team, the Bemidji Axemen. In September 2013, Matt Umentum, Tom Burgess and Bob Weyers sold their majority ownership stake in the team to Larry and Kathy Treankler. The Blizzard began the 2014 season under head coach Chad Baldwin. After the team began the season 0–6, Baldwin was replaced by offensive coordinator Tommie Williams for the remainder of the season.
Statistics and records
|Green Bay Blizzard (af2)|
|2003||2||14||0||5th NC Midwest||--|
|2004||6||10||0||4th NC Midwest||--|
|2005||9||7||0||3rd AC East||Lost AC Round 1 (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 48-41)|
|2006||10||6||0||1st AC East|| Won AC Semifinal (Memphis 67-50)|
Won AC Championship (Florida 60-47)
Lost ArenaCup VII (Spokane 57-34)
|2007||9||7||0||2nd AC Midwest|| Won AC Round 1 (Quad City 39-34)|
Won AC Semifinals (Louisville 37-27)
Lost AC Championship (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 46-43)
|2008||11||5||0||1st AC Midwest|| Won AC Round 1 (Lexington 65-37)|
Lost AC Semifinals (Manchester 55-54)
|2009||10||6||0||2nd AC Midwest|| Won AC Round 1 (Tennessee Valley 60-56)|
Won AC Semifinals (Iowa 51-46)
Lost AC Championship (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 72-67)
|Green Bay Blizzard (IFL)|
|2010||10||4||0||1st Central North||Lost Round 1 (Chicago)|
|2011||11||3||0||1st Great Lakes|| Won Conference Semi-Final (Reading)|
Lost United Conference Championship (Sioux Falls)
|2012||11||3||0||2nd United Conference|| Won Conference Semi-Final (Bloomington)|
Lost United Conference Championship (Sioux Falls)
Season-by-season average attendance
|Year||Average Attendance ||League|
|* =||Excludes 1 Playoff Game with missing data|
Players of note
Green Bay Blizzard roster
| Offensive Linemen
| Injured Reserve
Refused to Report
Rookies in italics
Awards and honors
The following is a list of all Blizzard players who have won league Awards
|2010||Maurice Simpkins||Linebacker||Most Improved Player|
|2011||B. J. Hill||Defensive Back||Special Teams Player of the Year|
|2011||Arkeith Brown||Defensive Back||Defensive Rookie of the Year|
|2013||B. J. Hill||Defensive Back||Special Teams Player of the Year|
|2014||Nate Wara||Quarterback||Rookie of the Year|
Coaches of note
Note: Statistics are correct through Week 13 of the 2015 Indoor Football League season.
|Bob Landsee||2005-2006, 2008-2009||40||24||0||.625||5||4|
|Robert Fuller||2012-2013||12||8||0||.600||1||1||IFL Coach of the Year (2012)|
|Green Bay Blizzard staff|
| Front Office
- "2007 Green Bay Blizzard". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- "2009 Green Bay Blizzard Schedule". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- "Arkansas Twisters vs Green Bay Blizzard (Apr 24, 2009)". www.thestatguys.com. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- Weston Hodkiewicz (November 5, 2009). "Update: Green Bay Blizzard joins Indoor Football League". www.greenbaypressgazette.com. Gannett. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- "Blizzard Name Richards Head Coach". www.greenbayblizzard.com. Green Bay Blizzard. November 17, 2009. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- "Last Chance to vote for new team name! VOTE NOW!". www.greenbayblizzard.com. Green Bay Blizzard. December 13, 2009. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- "Arena Football One Announces AFL Asset Bid". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. November 11, 2009. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- "Green Bay Indoor Football Team will remain the Blizzard". www.greenbayblizzard.com. Green Bay Blizzard. January 13, 2010. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- "IFL: Blizzard has many new players, but same goal". Green Bay Press Gazette (Green Bay, WI: Gannett Company). February 11, 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
- Schroeder, Dave (March 31, 2013). "From the Blizzard to the NFL". Green Bay, WI: WBAY-TV. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Fielder, Justin (March 26, 2013). "Journey leads to Jets for Blizzard alum". Green Bay, WI: WLUK-TV. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- "Indoor football: Blizzard announces new principal owners". www.greenbaypressgazette.com. Gannett. September 19, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- "Indoor football: Baldwin returning to the Blizzard". Green Bay Press-Gazette (Green Bay, WI: Gannett Company). October 9, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- "Blizzard fires coach Baldwin after 0-6 start". Green Bay Press-Gazette (Green Bay, WI: Gannett Company). April 15, 2014. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
- "Green Bay Blizzard Team History". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan. Retrieved March 28, 2014.