- Daytona Beach ThunderBirds
Daytona Beach ThunderBirds Founded 2005 Folded 2008 Home arena Ocean Center City, State Daytona Beach, Florida Conference National Division South ArenaCup championships None Indoor football championships None
The team began play in February 2006 as the Daytona Beach Thunder in the American Indoor Football League under coach Ervin Bryson and owners Kevin and Zack McDonald, and Jay Burton. The team made some pre-season headlines when former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and FOX broadcaster Terry Bradshaw signed an actual players contract in a "blatant publicity stunt" at a Daytona Beach speaking engagement. Bradshaw never played.
The team also garnered attention for its unique logo and its 45-foot sleeper bus that transported the team to its away games and delivered relief supplies to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. A partnership with the local PBS station produced a 30-minute show that aired weekly during the season.
On Friday, March 24, 2006, after losing their first three games, the Thunder got their first-ever win 49-24 against the Augusta Spartans on the road. The team put itself in position for a playoff berth at 5-4, but a three-game losing streak all but denied the Thunder the post-season. The team finished its inaugural season with a 6-8 record, with six losses coming at a combined margin of 19 points.
On Monday, June 12, 2006, the Thunder parted ways with Bryson. After an extensive search, the Thunder named former CFL Rookie of The Year, FSU Seminole, New York Giant and Tampa Bay Buc Leon Bright as Head Coach/Director Of Football Operations.
Tragedy struck the team on February 26, 2007, when rookie defensive back Javan Camon was killed after a hard but clean hit during a game with the Columbus Lions. The player, once a captain at the University of South Florida, likely broke his neck in the hit.
Major arena news hit Daytona Beach with the word that Barry Wagner (former Orlando Predators & San Jose SaberCats WR/DB) would be joining the team after getting cut from the Tampa Bay Storm at the beginning of the 2007 AFL season.
The Thunder finished at 4-10, last in the league, and was the only team out of the four in the league not to qualify for the postseason.
On November 20, 2007, the team announced they had successfully joined the af2, and would begin play there for the 2008 season. They have changed their name to the ThunderBirds so as not to conflict with their fellow af2 franchise the Mahoning Valley Thunder. According to af2 website the Thundebirds have folded as they are not on the team list.
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties
Season W L T Finish Playoff results Daytona Beach Thunder (AIFL) 2006 6 8 0 5th Southern -- Daytona Beach Thunder (WIFL) 2007 4 10 0 4th League -- Daytona Beach ThunderBirds (af2) 2008 2 14 0 4th AC South -- Totals 12 32 0
- 12 - Javan Camon
See also Teams Arenas Seasons Sports teams in Florida BaseballMLB: Miami Marlins • Tampa Bay Rays - SL: Jacksonville Suns • Pensacola Blue Wahoos - FSL: Bradenton Marauders • Brevard County Manatees • Charlotte Stone Crabs • Clearwater Threshers • Daytona Cubs • Dunedin Blue Jays • Fort Myers Miracle • Jupiter Hammerheads • Lakeland Flying Tigers • Palm Beach Cardinals • St. Lucie Mets • Tampa Yankees - GCL: Blue Jays • Braves • Cardinals • Indians • Marlins • Mets • Nationals • Orioles • Phillies • Pirates • Rays • Red Sox • Tigers • Twins • Yankees Basketball FootballNFL: Jacksonville Jaguars • Miami Dolphins • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
AFL: Jacksonville Sharks • Orlando Predators • Tampa Bay Storm - UIFL: Florida Tarpons • Lakeland Raiders
WFA: Gulf Coast Riptide • Jacksonville Dixie Blues • Miami Fury • Orlando Anarchy • Palm Beach Punishers • Tallahassee Jewels • Tampa Bay Pirates - LFL: Orlando Fantasy • Tampa Breeze
Hockey LacrosseNALL: Jacksonville Bullies SoccerNASL: Fort Lauderdale Strikers • FC Tampa Bay - USL Pro: Orlando City S.C. - USL PDL: Bradenton Academics • Central Florida Kraze • FC Jax Destroyers • Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy - WPS: magicJack - WPSL: Brandon FC • Florida Sol FC • FSA Freedom • Gulf Coast Texans • Palm Beach United • South Florida Strikers • Tampa Bay Hellenic - NPSL • Jacksonville United FC Roller derby Rugby league Rugby union College athletics
(NCAA Division I)Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (MEAC) • Florida Gators (SEC) • Florida A&M Rattlers (MEAC) • Florida Atlantic Owls (Sun Belt) • Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (A-Sun) • Florida International Golden Panthers (Sun Belt) • Florida State Seminoles (ACC) • Jacksonville Dolphins (A-Sun/Pioneer) • Miami Hurricanes (ACC) • North Florida Ospreys (A-Sun) • South Florida Bulls (Big East) • Stetson Hatters (A-Sun) • UCF Knights (C-USA)
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