Former NFL Pro Bowler Daunte Culpepper was signed by the UFL's Sacramento Mountain Lions earlier this month (Photo courtesy of UFL).
Sixth UFL Team Will Join the League in 2011
New York (Monday, June 21, 2010) – The United Football League (UFL) continues to give its skeptics less ammo with every passing day, and the league announced today its first expansion franchise for 2011. At league meetings being conducted at the Cornell Club in New York City, the UFL confirmed on Monday that it will be adding a sixth team in Norfolk, Virginia, and the organization already has in place a prominent owner and General Manager.
“We are delighted to welcome Norfolk, Virginia, and the Tidewater region as our sixth city and are excited to have a successful team owner in Jim Speros and a proven winner in Doug Williams on board to lead the team,” UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue stated. “Like Omaha, which came on board as an expansion team in April and has already generated considerable excitement, Norfolk fits the ideal UFL model of having a passionate fan base that we believe deserves a professional football team.”
Williams is a former signal caller for the Washington Redskins, and he was selected the MVP of Super Bowl XXII after becoming the first African-American quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl Championship. The Louisiana native will take over immediately as the General Manager of the Norfolk organization.
“I am very fortunate to be able to bring a pro football team to the state of Virginia and especially to the Tidewater region,” said Speros, who as mentioned will be the owner of the expansion franchise. “There is already a lot of football history in this area and I believe Norfolk will become the shining star of the United Football League.”
Speros brings a wealth of professional football experience to the UFL on a variety of levels. He was an assistant coach under Joe Gibbs in Washington after a successful college career at Clemson University, and the Virginia businessman was also a founding owner of the Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League (CFL). While serving as its president, Speros helped lead the Stallions to the 1995 Grey Cup Championship, becoming the first and only U.S. based team to do so. After his five-year run with the Stallions, Speros shifted to the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes.
“Virginia is a great state, but it does not have a professional sports team,” Speros continued. “It has the legendary 757 area code that has produced the likes of Bruce Smith and Michael Vick and is truly a hotbed for football. The fans are knowledgeable, there is a military presence here, and I am sure they will all enjoy the opportunity to watch quality football.”
The UFL will play a 10-week season with five teams in 2010, which is its second year of operation. The season schedule will run from September until November, with the league championship being conducted on Thanksgiving Weekend. For more information on the United Football League, visit www.ufl-football.com.