Played in Patriot Center
in Fairfax, Virginia
Red, Blue, White
|Head coach||Mike Hohensee|
League championships (0)|
Conference championships (0)|
Prior to 2005, the AFL did not have conference championship games
Division championships (0)|
Prior to 1992, the AFL did not have division
The Washington Commandos were an Arena football team based in Fairfax, Virginia. The Commandos were founded in 1987 and were an inaugural member of the Arena Football League (AFL), and were based in Landover, Maryland. The team then became known as the Maryland Commandos after the club returned in 1989 season after not playing during the 1988 season. Following the 1989 season, the Commandos moved to Fairfax, Virginia, where they once again became known as the Washington Commandos. The team never achieved much success at either of its locations, winning a total of 4 games in 3 seasons, including a winless 1989 season.
Inaugural season (1987)
The Commandos had the honor of playing in the first AFL regular season game on June 19, 1987, losing to the Pittsburgh Gladiators 46-48 at the Civic Arena. The Commandos picked up their first win in franchise history the following week, when they defeated the Denver Dynamite, by a score of 36-20 in their home opener. The Commandos finished the season with a 2-4 record, a disappointment, but the team was in every game except one, losing 3 games by a total of 6 points.
Move to Maryland (1989)
After a one-year hiatus, they returned to play in 1989 and operated as the "Maryland Commandos". The team went 0-4 in the short abbreviated 'travelin' season of 1989. The Commandos coaching staff consisted of Ray Willsey, Mike Hohensee, Mike Dailey, Jerry Kurz and Rich Salzer. Hohensee, Dailey and Kurz would all go on to become members of the Arena Football Hall of Fame.
Return to Washington (1990)
The team returned to the Washington name for their final season in 1990. They were coached by Hohensee, who had been promoted from his assistant position. The Commandos started the season 0-3.
In 1987 and 1989, the team played its home games at the Capital Centre (later known as USAir Arena) in Landover, Maryland. For the 1990 season the team was based at the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
Return of the AFL in Washington
In 1999, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder announced that he would bring an expansion team to DC to be called the "Washington Warriors". But after a ten year wait and because of the AFL's canceling its season in 2009, that never materialized.
On February 10, 2016, it was announced that Ted Leonsis of Monumental Sports, owner of the NBA's Washington Wizards, WNBA's Washington Mystics and the NHL's Washington Capitals was close to landing an expansion franchise to play at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC in 2017. The announcement was made official by AFL commissioner Scott Butera on March 10, 2016. It will be the first time since 1990 since the Commandos played in the DC area. On July 14, 2016, the team name was revealed as the Washington Valor.
|Washington Commandos roster|
Wide receivers/Defensive backs
| Running backs/Linebackers
Offensive linemen/Defensive linemen
| Wide receivers/Linebackers
Rookies in italics
Arena Football League Hall of Famers
|Washington Commandos Hall of Famers|
|No.||Name||Year Inducted||Position(s)||Years w/ Commandos|
|--||Mike Dailey||2012||Assistant Coach||1989-1990|
|--||Mike Hohensee||2012||Asst./Head Coach||1989-1990|
The following Commandos players were named to All-Arena Teams:
- QB Rich Ingold (1)
- WR/DB Dwayne Dixon (1), Lenny Taylor (1), Chris Armstrong (1)
- OL/DL Jon Roehlk (1), Michael Witteck (1), Chuck Harris (2)
- K Dale Castro (1)
Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 1990 Arena Football League season.
Note: The Finish, Wins, Losses, and Ties columns list regular season results and exclude any postseason play.
|ArenaBowl Champions||Division Champions||Wild Card Berth||League Leader|
|Season||Team||League||Division||Regular season||Postseason Results|
|Totals||4||14||0||All-time regular season record (1987-1990)|
|0||0||-||All-time postseason record (1987-1990)|
|4||14||0||All-time regular season and postseason record (1987-1990)|
- "Arena Football Debuts". www.nytimes.com. The New York Times. June 21, 1987. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
- Gary Tuma (June 20, 1987). "Gladiators smashing in 48-46 win". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
- "Commandos win home-opener". The Free Lance-Star. June 29, 1987. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
- "Commandos 52, Gladiators 31". www.apnewsarchive.com. Associated Press. July 24, 1987. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
- Kevin James Shay (September 3, 2013). "Arena Football League considering putting team at proposed Shady Grove venue". www.gazette.net. Post-Newsweek Media, Inc./Gazette.Net. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
- Tom Boggie (June 9, 1990). "Firebirds Host Commandos In Arena Football Opener". The Daily Gazette. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
- David Fink (June 23, 1990). "Barretta leads Glads over Commandos". Pittsburgh Post=Gazette. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
- "ArenaFan Online : Washington Commandos - Team History - 1990". www.arenafan.com. ArenaFan.
- Are You Ready for the Washington Warriors?, Bryan Curtis, Slate.com, May 6, 2002
- Cheap Seats Daily: Washington Warriors Won’t Ever Play in the AFL?, Dave McKenna, Washington City Paper, August 5, 2009
- Leonsis close to securing Arena Football League team for D.C., WTOP Radio website, February 10, 2016
- AFL Lands New Team in Nation's Capital, ArenaFootball.com, March 10, 2016
- "Washington Valor Announced As Team Name". arenafootball.com. July 14, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2016.