Peoria Pirates

Peoria Pirates
Established 2001
Folded 2009
Played in Carver Arena
in Peoria, Illinois
League/conference affiliations
Indoor Football League (1999–2000)
  • North Division (1999)
  • Eastern Conference (2000)
    • Northern Division (2000)

AF2 (20012004)

  • National Conference (2001–2004)
    • Midwestern Division (2001–2004)

United Indoor Football (2005–2006)

  • Midwestern Division (2005)
  • Central Division (2006)

AF2 (20082009)

  • American Conference (2008–2009)
    • Midwest Division (2008–2009)
Team colorsBlack, silver, white
Owner(s)Doug MacGregor (49%)[1]
Jim Foster[1]
Head coachBruce Cowdrey
Mike Hohensee
Team history
  • Peoria Pirates (1999–2004)
  • Peoria Rough Riders (2005–2006)
  • Peoria Pirates (2008–2009)
League championships (2)
Conference championships (3)
Division championships (3)
Playoff appearances (4)
Home arena(s)

The Peoria Pirates were a professional arena football team that last played in AF2, the minor league to the Arena Football League (AFL). They played their home games at Carver Arena, part of the Peoria Civic Center in Illinois, and were coached by Mike Hohensee and Bruce Cowdrey. The Pirates originally began play as a charter member of the original Indoor Football League in 1999.

In their existence, the Pirates played in the Indoor Football League (IFL), AF2 (twice), and United Indoor Football (UIF). They also won the 2000 IFL Championship. They were also, while in the UIF, known as the Peoria Rough Riders.


Indoor Football League (IFL) / AF2

The Peoria Pirates were charter members of the Indoor Football League (IFL) and were also the IFL runners-up in 1999 and won the IFL championship in 2000 before their original league folded and the franchise moved over to AF2.[2] After the move, the Pirates won ArenaCup III over the Florida Firecats, but couldn't repeat their performance the following year.

United Indoor Football (UIF)

After losing ArenaCup V to the Firecats, the franchise moved to United Indoor Football (UIF) and became the Peoria Rough Riders. Before changing team name (along with their move to the UIF), their name was the Mutineers.[clarification needed] However, their IFL and AF2 success did not translate with their move to United Indoor Football, as they finished 6–9, then 0–15.

On September 15, 2006, the Rough Riders officially ceased operations.[3]

af2 return

On August 22, 2007, it was announced that a new team would begin playing at Carver Arena, which would, play in AF2, assume the old Peoria Pirates name, logo, colors, and history, and have longtime head coach Bruce Cowdrey become head coach once again. The Pirates returned to play in the 2008 AF2 season.[4]

2009 closure

The domain of the Pirates official website expired on August 31, 2009.[citation needed] On September 7, 2009, the Pirates announced that they were closing down, would not play in 2010, and were selling off the team equipment later in the week.[5] The team could not provide the required commitment and two $100,000 letters of credit by the af2s September 8 deadline for the 2010 season.[1][6] Later in the week, the Peoria Journal Star noted that one of the owners of the nearby Bloomington Extreme was interested in assisting with the launch of a new Peoria team as part of a new Midwest division for the Indoor Football League.[7]


Season records
Season W L T Finish Playoff results
Peoria Pirates (IFL)
1999 11 1 0 1st EC Northern Won Semifinal (Dayton)
Lost Gold Cup I (Green Bay)
2000 14 0 0 1st EC Northern Won Round 1 (Madison)
Won Semifinal (Steel Valley)
Won Gold Cup II (Bismarck)
Peoria Pirates (af2)
2001 7 9 0 4th NC Midwestern --
2002 11 5 0 1st NC Midwestern Won NC Round 1 (Wichita)
Won NC Semifinal (San Diego)
Won NC Championship (Birmingham)
Won ArenaCup III (Florida)
2003 5 11 0 4th NC Midwestern --
2004 9 7 0 3rd NC Midwestern Won NC Round 1 (Oklahoma City)
Won NC Semifinal (Bakersfield)
Won NC Championship (Tulsa)
Lost ArenaCup V (Florida)
Peoria Rough Riders (UIF)
2005 6 9 0 3rd Midwest --
2006 0 15 0 3rd Central --
2007 Did Not Play
Peoria Pirates (af2)
2008 4 12 0 6th AC Midwest --
2009 5 11 0 5th AC Midwest --
Totals 79 76 0 (including playoffs)


  1. ^ a b c Eminian, Dave (2009-09-07). "Pirates won't play in Peoria". Peoria Journal Star. Peoria, Illinois. p. A1.
  2. ^ "af2 adds six expansion teams". OurSports Central. October 30, 2000. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  3. ^ "End of the ride – Rough Riders franchise folds, leaving Peoria without indoor football". Peoria Journal Star. Peoria, Illinois. 2006-09-16.
  4. ^ "Indoor football back in Peoria - Pirates will play in af2 in 2008 with former coach Cowdrey at the helm". Peoria Journal Star. Peoria, Illinois. 2007-08-22.
  5. ^ "Peoria Pirates af2 Cease Operations Media Release" (Press release). Peoria, Illinois: Peoria Pirates. 2009-09-07. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2009-09-08.
  6. ^ Long, Blake (2009-09-07). "Peoria Pirates Fold; Won't Play 2010 Season". (WMBD-TV). Peoria, Illinois: Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. Archived from the original on 2014-04-26.
  7. ^ Eminian, Dave (2009-09-08). "Indoor game is dead, but not buried". Peoria Journal Star. Peoria, Illinois. p. D1. Archived from the original on 2014-04-26.

External links

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