INAUGURAL CLASS OF 1998
DWAYNE DIXON: WR/DB, 6-3,203. Florida. Washington (1987), Detroit (1988-91). Ironman of the Year (1988). Member of Detroit’s three straight championship teams (1988-90). Held record for most receptions (20) and receiving yardage (264) in a single game. Finished career with 188 receptions, 2,307-yards and 35 touchdowns.
JAMES FOSTER: Founder, Arena Football League. Commissioner (1987-92). Owner/Pres., Iowa Barnstormers, (1995-2001). Executive of the Year, 1995-96.
JERRY KURZ: V.P. International Expansion/Gridiron Enterprises, Inc., (1990-current). Distinguished member of AFL’s Executive Committee. Spent five season as president with the af2. He was awarded “The Warner Award” on May 28, 2011.
TIM MARCUM: Head Coach, Denver (1987), Detroit (1988-90, 1991-1993), Tampa Bay, (1995-current). All-time winningest coach, with overall record of 211-99. Seven titles with Denver (1987), Detroit (1988-89) and Tampa Bay (1995-96, 2003).
GARY MULLEN: WR/DB. 5-11, 170. West Virginia. Denver (1987), Los Angeles (1988), Detroit (1989-92), Cincinnati (1993), Milwaukee (1994). All-Arena (1987-88, 1990). Member of four championship teams (1987, 1989-90, ’92).
TATE RANDLE: DS. 6-1, 205. Texas Tech. Detroit (1990-92). First-team All-Arena (1991). Won two championships with the Drive (1990, ’92). Totaled 14 career interceptions.
ALVIN RETTIG: FB/LB. 5-11, 200. Rice. Detroit (1988-93). Member of 4 championship teams (1988, ’89, ’90, ’92). ArenaBowl Ironman (1990). First-team All-Arena (1992). Led League in sacks with 11 in 1992. Holds single-game record of five sacks. Rushed for 523 yards and 16 TDs.
CRAIG WALLS: OL/DL. 6-2, 215. Indiana. Pittsburgh (1987-88). First-team All-Arena (1987-88). Won an ArenaBowl title in 1987. Collected 25 career sacks, including 13 in one season.
CLASS OF 1999
JAY GRUDEN: QB. 6-1, 215. Louisville. The AFL’s own version of John Elway, Gruden amassed 15,514 passing yards and 280 TDs while leading the Storm to four championships (1991, ’93, ’95-96). League MVP (1992). First-team All-Arena (1992, ’95). ArenaBowl MVP (1993). Also won two ArenaBowl Championships as a Head Coach (Orlando in 1998 and 2000). Gruden began his coaching career as the Offensive Coordinator for the AFL’s Nashville Kats in 1997. Then, in 1998, he became Head Coach of the Orlando Predators and won ArenaBowl title in his first season at the helm. He un-retired and resumed playing in 2002, this time for the Predators, but retired again and returned to coaching. Gruden has an overall AFL career record of 93–61, including a record of 11–7 in the playoffs.
DURWOOD “ROCK” ROQUEMORE: DS. 6-1, 190. Texas A&I. Chicago (1987-88), Albany (1990), Orlando (1991-96). First-team All-Arena 5 times (1988, ’90, ’92-94). All-time leader with 50 interceptions.
JON ROEHLK: OL/DL. 6-2, 285. Iowa. Washington (1987), Detroit (1988-93), Miami (1994), Iowa (1995-96). Member of four championship teams (1988-90, ’92). Six title game appearances in six seasons.
GARY VITTO: General Manager of the AFL’s first dynasty, the Detroit Drive (1988-93). His teams appeared in the championship six straight years from 1998-93, winning four, including three straight (1988-90). Gary passed away in December 2001.
CLASS OF 2000
BEN BENNETT: Quarterback. 6-2, 200. Duke. Chicago (1988-89), Dallas (1990), Orlando (1991-95), San Jose (1996), Portland (1997). Led three different teams to five ArenaBowls in 10 seasons. League MVP (1988). First-team All-Arena (1988, 1993-94). Accumulated 14,169 passing yards and 267 TD passes.
CARL AIKENS: WR/DB. 6-1, 185. Northern Illinois. Chicago (1988-89), Dallas (1990-91), Orlando (1992-93), Milwaukee (1994). Ironman of the Year (1989). First-team All-Arena (1988-90). Played in three ArenaBowls (1988, ’90, ’92).
HERCULES “HERKIE” WALLS: WR/DB. 5-8, 165. Texas. Orlando (1991-96). Played on three ArenaBowl teams (1992, ’94-95). Totaled 207 receptions, 2,924 yards and 54 TDs along with more than 4,000 return yards in six-year career.
JOE MARCH: OL/DL. 6-3, 270. Murray State. Denver (1991), Sacramento (1992), Milwaukee (1993), Tampa Bay (1993-1996), Nashville (1997). Recorded 12.5 sacks in his rookie season. First-team All-Arena (1991). Member of three ArenaBowl title teams with Storm (1993, ‘95-96).
PERRY MOSS: Head Coach, Chicago (1988), Detroit (1990), Orlando (1990-97). Three-time Coach of the Year (1988, ’92, ’94). Eighty-six career wins, while leading five different teams to the championship game, winning it in ’90. Had five seasons of 11-or-more wins.
GLENN MAZULA: Former owner, Albany/Indiana Firebirds (1990-2002). Saw his team become fourth most successful with 98 victories. Under his leadership, the Firebirds won six division titles and the ArenaBowl (1999) before relocating to Indianapolis. His team was presented with the Commissioner’s Award in 1994.
CLASS OF 2002
DANNY WHITE: Head coach, Arizona (1993-2004), Utah (2006-2008). As the only head coach in Rattlers history, White, a former Dallas Cowboy star QB, guided his team to the playoffs in 10 of 11 seasons, which included two championships (1994 and ’97). Finished with a 162-95 record as a Head Coach.
MIKE ILITCH: Owner of the most successful team in history- the Detroit Drive (1988-93). In the team’s six-year history, the Drive made a trip to the title game every year of their existence, capturing four in the process. The Drive boasted 31 All-Arena selections, three MVP award winners, one Ironman of the Year, one Lineman of the Year and a Kicker of the Year.
JOHN CORKER: OL/DL. 6-6, 245. Oklahoma State. Detroit (1988, 1990-93), Miami (1994-95). Lineman of the Year (1991). Led the League with eight sacks in 1991. Earned a pair of championships with the Drive.
FRED GAYLES: WR/DB. 6-0, 205. Western State (CO). Denver (1989), Albany (1990-97), Grand Rapids (1998). Became the definition of a “possession receiver” following four seasons of more than 50 receptions. Earned four second-team All-Arena selections in his 10-year career.
REGGIE SMITH: OS. 5-6, 170. Chicago (1987-89), Albany (1990), Orlando (1991). The “Super Gnat” was, at the time, the league’s premier kick-return specialist. Accumulated 2,371 return yards and recorded the League’s first-ever return touchdown.
CLASS OF 2011
BARRY WAGNER: WR/DB, 6-3, 225. Alabama A&M. Orlando (1992-1999), San Jose (2000-2006). Voted No. 2 Greatest Player in AFL History by AFL Historical Committee in 2006. Named Ironman of the Year six consecutive seasons from 1992-97. All-time leader in points scored, career touchdowns, two-point conversions, all-purpose yardage, rushing touchdowns, forced fumbles, interceptions and tackles. Holds ArenaBowl records for receptions, rushing touchdowns and interceptions.
GEORGE LAFRANCE: OS, 6-0, 180. Baker (KS). Detroit (1988-1993), Tampa Bay (1994-1999), New Jersey (2000). Voted No. 3 Greatest Player in AFL History by AFL Historical Committee in 2006. The five-time ArenaBowl champion was named the League’s MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 1989 and 1991. Retired as the League’s all-time leader in nearly every receiving and return category in 2000. Holds ArenaBowl records for games played, games won, points scored, total touchdowns, receiving touchdowns, kickoff returns, kickoff return yards, and all-purpose yards.
HUNKIE COOPER: WR/LB, 5-9, 190. Nevada-Las Vegas. Arizona (1993-2005). Voted No. 5 Greatest Player in AFL History by AFL Historical Committee in 2006. Named League MVP in 1993 and Ironman of the Year in 1999 and 2000. Selected ArenaBowl XI Ironman. Retired in 2005 as the League’s all-time leader in nearly all return categories.
EDDIE BROWN: OS, 5-11, 192. Louisiana Tech. Albany/Indiana (1994-2003). Voted Greatest Player in AFL History by AFL Historical Committee in 2006. The three-time Offensive Player of the Year was named League MVP in 1994. Named ArenaBowl XIII MVP. Holds AFL records for points scored in a game and touchdowns in a game, as well as the playoff and ArenaBowl records for single-game receiving yards. Recorded seven 1,000+ yard seasons.
SYLVESTER BEMBERY: OL/DL, 6-3, 285. Central Florida. New England (1988), Albany (1990-1994), Tampa Bay (1995-1999, 2002), Buffalo (2000). Voted No. 7 Greatest Player in AFL History by AFL Historical Committee in 2006. The two-time ArenaBowl champion was a six-time All-Arena selection. Retired as the League’s all-time leader in sacks in 2001.
KURT WARNER: QB, 6-2, 215. Northern Iowa. Iowa (1995-1997). Voted No. 12 Greatest Player in AFL History by AFL Historical Committee in 2006. The winner of the 2006 Founder’s Award led the Barnstormers to back-to-back ArenaBowl appearances in 1996 and 1997. Warner is the only former player to receive the AFL’s Founder’s Award. Still holds ArenaBowl records for most completions and pass attempts.
STEVIE THOMAS: WR/LB, 6-1, 210. Bethune-Cookman. Tampa Bay (1991-1999), Orlando (2000), New Jersey (2001). Voted No. 9 Greatest Player in AFL History by AFL Historical Committee in 2006. The five-time ArenaBowl champion was named ArenaBowl MVP in 1991 and 1996. Retired as the AFL’s all-time leader in fumble recoveries and interceptions returned for touchdowns.
SAM HERNANDEZ: OL/DL, 6-3, 255. Sonoma State (CA). Charlotte (1992), Las Vegas (1994-1995), Anaheim (1996-1997), San Jose (1998-2005). The five-time All-Arena selection was named Lineman of the Year in 2000 and still holds the League record for sacks in a career with 59. He also caught five touchdown passes and rushed for two scores in his career.
DARREN ARBET: Head Coach, San Jose (1999-2008, 2011-present). The three-time ArenaBowl champion coach was named Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2002 and ranks in the top five in AFL history in regular season victories, regular season winning percentage, postseason victories and postseason winning percentage.
GENE NUDO: League Executive, Arizona, Chicago. The League’s only three-time Executive of the Year was selected the 2002 Founder’s Award winner. He led Arizona to five consecutive Commissioner’s Awards and coached in the 1986 “test game.”
CLASS OF 2012
QB. 6-4, 240. Cal State-Northridge. Arizona (1993-2007), Chicago (2008). Five-time All-Arena selection (1997-98, 2000, 2002-03). ArenaBowl VIII MVP (1994). Voted No. 8 Greatest Player in AFL History by AFL Historical Committee (2006). Voted No. 7 Greatest Player in AFL History by Silver Anniversary Committee (2012). Voted Greatest QB in AFL History by Silver Anniversary Committee (2012). Holds AFL postseason records for most passing yards, touchdowns, completions and attempts. Holds ArenaBowl records for most passes attempted and completed. Passed for at least 2,000 yards in an AFL-record 12 seasons.
MIKE DAILEY: Head Coach. Albany/Indiana (1997-2003), Colorado 2004-2008). Coach of the Year (1999). Two-time ArenaBowl champion coach (1999, 2005). 1999 Albany Firebirds were voted the Greatest Team in AFL History by the Silver Anniversary Committee in 2012.
CLINT DOLEZEL: QB. 6-5, 205. East Texas State. Milwaukee (1995-1996), Texas (1997), Houston (1998-1999), Grand Rapids (2001-2003), Las Vegas (2004-2005), Dallas (2006-2008). Three-time All-Arena selection (2001, 2006-2007). Voted No. 8 Greatest Player and No. 5 Greatest QB in AFL History by Silver Anniversary Committee (2012). Won ArenaBowl XV championship (2001). Still holds the AFL record for most passing yards in a single game.
RANDY GATEWOOD: WR/DB. 6-0, 185. Nevada-Las Vegas. Arizona (1996-2007). Six-time All-Arena selection (1996-97, 1999-2000, 2003, 2006). Three-time All-Ironman selection (2002-03, 2006). Two-time Ironman of the Year (2002, 2006). Voted No. 17 Greatest Player in AFL History by AFL Historical Committee (2006). Voted No. 11 Greatest Receiver in AFL History by Silver Anniversary Committee (2012). Won ArenaBowl XI championship (1997).
MIKE HOHENSEE: Head Coach. Washington (1990), Albany (1994-96), Anaheim (1997), New England (1999-2000), Chicago (2001-2010), Philadelphia (2011), Iowa (2012-present). First former AFL player to become an AFL coach. Won ArenaBowl XX championship (2006).
WILLIAM NIRO: Co-founder. Represented founder and game inventor Jim Foster in formation of the Arena Football League (1988). Founded Gridiron Enterprises, which established team-owned AFL with Jim Foster, Jerry Kurz and Mark Highley (1990). Managed business, legal and financial affairs of the League (1989-1992). Organized and co-managed international AFL preview games (1989-1996).