Frankfurt Galaxy - Team History

Founded: 1991

Stadium: Commerzbank-Arena

Team Info:  Facts  |  History

Frankfurt's 'Big Bang' occurred in 1991, the year the Galaxy played its inaugural season. The Galaxy is the sole remaining founding team of the NFL Europe League. Frankfurt has played in the World Bowl seven times, winning a record four titles in 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2006.

With a record of 7-3, the Galaxy just missed the playoffs in 1991. A close to capacity crowd of 51,653 fans witnessed the Galaxy's decisive loss against Sacramento in the season's home finale. Despite dropping to 3-7 in 1992, Galaxy led the league with an average attendance of 36,000.

In 1994, when Oliver Luck left Frankfurt, Christoph Heyne became the new General Manager and hired Ernie Stautner, the only German born member of the 'Hall of Fame', as the new head coach, succeeding Jack Elway. On June 17, 1995, Frankfurt defeated the Amsterdam Admirals 26-22 in the World Bowl. Quarterback Paul Justin, allocated by the Indianapolis Colts, threw three TD passes and was voted the game's MVP. In 1996, the Galaxy became the first team with two World Bowl appearances. Forced to play the championship game on the road again, the Galaxy were defeated 32-27 by the Scottish Claymores. Munich-born running back Ingo Seibert was voted Europe's 'Best Offensive Player'. The award for 'Best Defensive Player' went to the Galaxy's Frank Messmer in 1997, a season notable for some narrow defeats and the team's first losing season (4-6) in three years.

Coach Stautner's contract was not renewed and on October 17, 1997, Dick Curl was appointed as the third head coach in the Galaxy's history. Curl, who declined an offer by the New Orleans Saints in favor of Frankfurt, had been the offensive coordinator of the Barcelona Dragons since 1991. In his first season as a head coach, Curl led the Galaxy to its best record (7-3) since 1991 and a berth in the World Bowl. In front of 47,847 spectators in the Waldstadion Galaxy lost 34-10 to Rhein Fire.

The Galaxy went one step better in 1999 as they became the first team in league history to win a second World Bowl, adding the 1999 crown to their 1995 success with a 38-24 victory over the Barcelona Dragons in the Rheinstadion, Dusseldorf. Curl was voted Coach of the Year for the second season running after his 'two-headed monster' quarterback system proved effective. The Galaxy again attracted large attendances to the Waldstadion and 42,127 watched their final regular season game, a World Bowl '99 preview against the Dragons.

In 2000 the Galaxy suffered a rare losing season, finishing the year with a 4-6 record and Curl moved on to the Kansas City Chiefs, opening the way for new head coach Doug Graber to lead the Galaxy in 2001. Injuries, particularly at quarterback, and special teams errors proved costly and in his first season Graber's team finished the season with a 3-7 record.

In 2002, the Galaxy made a fast start, opening the year with four straight victories. An injury to starting quarterback Joe Hamilton hurt the Galaxy in the second half of the season and they posted a 2-3 record over the final five games. A Week 10 loss to Berlin in a World Bowl decider ended Frankfurt's championship hopes.

After three years of absence from the finals the Galaxy won it`s third title in 2004. World Bowl XI at Hampden Park in Glasgow was dominated by the "Men in Purple". They beat Rhein Fire 35-16 and became the first team in NFL Europe League history to win a third Championship. The Galaxy is now the most successful team in league history.

On January 30, 2004, Mike Jones was unveiled as the Galaxy's new head coach, replacing Doug Graber, who joined the New York Jets. The 2004 season started with a sensational 34-11 win over the Amsterdam Admirals followed by victories against the new Cologne team and the arch-rival Rhein Fire. Frankfurt posted a 7-3 record but beating the Berlin Thunder proved too much for the Galaxy as they fell to Rick Lantz's team twice in the regular season and by a 30-24 scoreline in World Bowl XII. In 2005, the Galaxy won just three games but did lead NFL Europe with an average of more than 29,000 fans per contest.

Frankfurt returned to its very best in 2006, winning a league record fourth World Bowl with a 22-7 defeat of the Amsterdam Admirals in the championship game. The Galaxy won seven regular season games before lifting the World Bowl trophy in Düsseldorf's LTU arena.

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