Minnesota Fighting Pike

Minnesota Fighting Pike
Established 1996
Folded 1996
Played in Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota
League/conference affiliations

Arena Football League (19961996)

  • American Conference (1995-1996)
Team colors

Green, Gold, White

Owner(s) Tom Scallen
President Tom Scallen
Head coach Ray Jauch
Team history

Minnesota Fighting Pike (1996)

League championships (0)
Conference championships (0)
Prior to 2005, the AFL did not have conference championship games
Division championships (0)
Home arena(s)

The Minnesota Fighting Pike were an Arena football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They joined the Arena Football League (AFL) in 1996 as an expansion team. The Fighting Pike were the first ever attempt at an arena/indoor football team in the state of Minnesota. The owner of the Fighting Pike was Tom Scallen. The Fighting Pike played at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team colors were green and gold. In a 2012 AFL Poll, the Fighting Pike were voted as the 8th greatest nickname in AFL history.[1]

Franchise history

In November 1995, the announced that they would be nicknamed the "Fighting Pike" and that Art Haege was named the team's Head Coach.[2]

During the team's first tryout, Haege walked out, stating he was going "Back to Iowa." The next day, Haege faxed in his resignation to team owner Tom Scallen.[3][4]

The Pike were 0-7 at home, and the average attendance for the 7 home games was 8,894.[5]

The roster was full of players that had played at the University of Minnesota or other Minnesota colleges and universities. Former Gopher Rickey Foggie was the quarterback and he struggled adapting to the Arena Football League after many years in the Canadian Football League. Once during the season he was benched in favor of Southwest State's Jeff Loots, who threw four interceptions in a game. Loots was playing on his third expansion team in three seasons. Another player from Southwest State was Alvin Ashley. Perhaps the best-known ex-Pike is kicker Mike Vanderjagt, later a star in the CFL and NFL.

Ray Jauch was the head coach. He was assisted by John Coatta Jr. on offense and Frank Haege on defense.

The team's lack of exposure or advertising was the key reason for the team's folding at the end of the 1996 season. The team did not have a regional television deal to promote their games or have the games advertised in newspapers and other media.

The Pike's final game of the season against the Memphis Pharaohs was played in Tupelo, Mississippi, because the Pharaohs had been evicted from their arena. After the game, the Pike ceased operations. There were no announcements nor press releases; players left town and staff did not receive their final paychecks.

The Pike's official mascot was a giant Pike named "Tackle." He was known to "dive" into a promotional hot tub at the arena.

Players of note

Final roster

Minnesota Fighting Pike roster

Running backs

  • -- Harry Jackson
  • -- William Freeney

Wide receivers

  • -- David Andrews
  • -- Reggie Brown
  • -- Fernando Evans
  • -- Wayne Hawkins
  • -- Eric Jennings
Offensive linemen/Defensive linemen
  • -- Scott Dolfi
  • -- Jon Garber
  • -- Sheldon Haliburton
  • -- Brian Krulikowski
  • -- Mike Sunvold
  • -- Franklin Thomas


  • -- Norman Brown
  • -- Nate Johnson III
  • -- Macey Stephens
  • -- Kevin Wolfolk
Defensive backs
  • -- Tony Harris
  • -- Adrian Lunsford
  • -- D.J. McCarthy
  • -- Randy Smith
  • -- Tony Young


  • -- Ty Stewart

Rookies in italics
Roster updated August 16, 2012
32 Active, 0 Inactive, 0 PS

More rosters

Coaches of note

Head coaches

Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 1996 Arena Football League season.

Name Term Regular Season Playoffs Awards
W L T Win% W L
Ray Jauch 1996 4 10 0 .286 0 0

Coaching staff

Minnesota Fighting Pike staff
Front Office

Head Coach

Offensive Coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator – John Coatta Jr.

Defensive Coaches

Statistics and records

Season-by-season results

Note: The Finish, Wins, Losses, and Ties columns list regular season results and exclude any postseason play.

Arena Bowl Champions Conference Champions Division Champions Wild Card Berth League Leader
Season Team League Conference Division Regular season Postseason Results
Finish Wins Losses Ties
1996 1996 AFL American Western 4th 4 10 0
Totals 4 10 0 All-time regular season record (1996)
0 0 - All-time postseason record (1996)
4 10 0 All-time regular season and postseason record (1996)

* Season currently in progress

Team leaders

Other media


  1. "Top 25 Team Names in Arena Football History". www.arenafootball.com. Arena Football League. February 16, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  2. "Transactions". Hartford Courant. November 10, 1995. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  3. Anthony Hall (July 5, 2007). "A Return Of The Minnesota Fighting Pike?". www.realclearsports.com. Real Clear Sports. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  4. Dan Barrerio (January 17, 1996). "Coach tells Pike: This I don't like, I'm takin' a hike; `They weren't my kind of folks,' says Haege.". The Star Tribune. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  5. "Minnesota Fighting Pike history - 1996". www.arenafan.com. Arena Fan. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
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