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San Antonio Riders

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

San Antonio Riders
Year Founded1991
Year Retired1992
CitySan Antonio, Texas
Team ColorsBrown, Metallic Gold, Orange, White, Blue, Scarlet Red
Franchise W-L-T RecordRegular Season: 11-9
World Bowls (0)



The San Antonio Riders were a professional American football team that played in the WLAF in 1991 and 1992. The team played in the Alamo Stadium in 1991 and then were forced to move to Bobcat Stadium on the campus of Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in San Marcos, Texas for the 1992 season.

The team was owned by Larry Benson, the brother of Tom Benson (owner of the New Orleans Saints of the NFL). The limited partners of the team were Tom Landry (Pro Football Hall of Fame coach for the Dallas Cowboys) and Tom Landry, Jr. The General Manager was John Peterson.

The team's record in 1991 was 4-6. San Antonio turned things around in 1992 with a mark of 7-3. The Riders were not able to compete in the highly competitive North American West Division during the 1992 season, and like Frankfurt of 1991, they did not make the playoffs despite a 7-3 record.

Former players include professional wrestler John "Bradshaw" Layfield, better known as JBL of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Jason Garrett who not only went on to play with the Dallas Cowboys, but in 2007 became their offensive coordinator, and head coach Mike Riley, who went on to coach the San Diego Chargers of the NFL.

After the 1992 season saw the suspension of the WLAF (and ultimately the abandonment of North American teams), Benson applied to the Canadian Football League to have the Riders join that league instead for the 1993 season. The CFL accepted, and admitted the Riders and the Sacramento Surge/Gold Miners to the CFL. The Riders were to change names to the San Antonio Texans (there was already a Rough Riders and a Roughriders, both of whom were known as the "Riders" for short), but the team folded abruptly prior to the 1993 season. (The San Antonio Texans name would later be used for the aforementioned Gold Miners when they moved to San Antonio in 1995.)



Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties

SeasonWLTFinishPlayoff results
19914602nd North American West--
19927303rd North American West--





Coach Mike Riley

Michael Joseph Riley (born July 6, 1953) is an American football coach and the current head coach of the Oregon State Beavers. Riley has also coached in several professional leagues, and is a former head coach of the San Diego Chargers of the NFL and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League .


Early years

Riley was born in Wallace, Idaho in 1953 and moved to Corvallis, Oregon in 1965. He grew up watching the Oregon State Beavers while his father, Bud Riley, served as defensive coordinator under legendary coach Dee Andros from 1965–1972. Riley was a hometown hero himself from his athletic days at Corvallis High School. Riley was the starting quarterback who led the Spartans to the state title game in both 1969 and in 1970. They came up short against Medford High School in 1969, 27–0, but avenged the loss the following season when they met Medford again and came out victorious 21–10.

He considers the college town of Corvallis, Oregon his hometown.

Playing career

Riley played college football at the University of Alabama under legendary head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. In his four seasons at Alabama, he helped the Tide to four Southeastern Conference titles and the 1973 UPI (Coaches' Poll) National Championship.

Coaching career

Riley began his coaching career immediately after his playing days ended, first as a graduate assistant at the University of California in 1975, and then as a graduate assistant at Whitworth University where he received his Master’s degree in physical education.

In 1977, he was hired as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Linfield College. During his stay at Linfield he assisted head coach Ad Rutschman’s Wildcats to a six-year record of 52–7–1, which included five conference titles and an undefeated NAIA Division II championship season in 1982.

Riley coached the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League from 1987-1990 and won two Grey Cups during his tenure. He also coached the San Antonio Riders of the defunct World League of American Football. He was hired to coach the San Antonio Texans of the CFL in 1993, but the team folded before it could begin play.

He returned to the college ranks in 1993 when USC head coach John Robinson offered him the position of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach; he later became assistant head coach. The Mesa Tribune named him the league’s top assistant coach in 1993 after leading the Trojan offense to record setting numbers.[citation needed] USC quarterback Rob Johnson earned numerous Pac-10 and NCAA records under Riley's tutelage and would later become a first-round NFL Draft pick. “He’s a player’s coach, who gets the most out of you by treating you like normal,” Johnson later said.[citation needed]

Riley remained at USC through the 1996 season, helping the Trojans to victories in the Rose, Cotton, and Freedom Bowls. USC won one outright league title, shared another, and finished second one time.

Oregon State Beavers

Riley was hired as the head coach at Oregon State in 1997 to replace Jerry Pettibone. In the Beavers' first season under Riley, they posted a record of 3–8. This was a difficult season for Riley as he attempted to run his NFL-style offense with players recruited by Pettibone to run the wishbone triple-option.[citation needed] The 1998 season was another big step in the right direction, with the Beavers posting a 5–6 record, their best record since 1971. The 1998 season was capped off by a double-overtime 44–41 win over the Oregon Ducks in the Civil War game.

Although his first stint with the Beavers only lasted two seasons, Riley is considered, by FSN commentators, to have laid the foundation for the success of the Beavers in the years to come. The 1999 team, led by Dennis Erickson, posted a 7–5 record and earned a trip to the Oahu Bowl, ending a record[citation needed] 28 season streak of sub .500 seasons.

In the NFL

In 1999, Riley left the Beavers to become the head coach of the NFL's San Diego Chargers. Riley coached the Chargers from 1999 to 2001, with a record of 14–34. His last game was indicative of his last season, as the Chargers played well, but one poor play turned the tide. The 2001 Chargers ended their season with a loss to the Seattle Seahawks, after Doug Flutie passed for 377 yards and drove for the tying field goal with 16 seconds remaining, but poor special teams play led to a long Seahawks kick return and subsequently a 54-yard winning field goal.

Riley was fired as head coach of the Chargers and became an assistant coach of the New Orleans Saints. He was offered the University of Alabama job in December 2002 after Dennis Franchione left for Texas A&M.[citation needed] Riley was also under consideration for the UCLA job during that period.[citation needed] After spending one season with the Saints, Riley returned to become the head coach at Oregon State in 2003 following Erickson's departure for the NFL.

Return to the Oregon State Beavers

After starting the 2006 season 2–3, the Beavers went 9–4 on the regular season, including an upset of #3 USC in Corvallis. The Beavers completed their impressive season with a win over Missouri in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, ending their season with a 10–4 record.

In 2007, the Beavers again started 2–3 and finished 8–4 on the regular season, including an upset of #2 Cal in Berkeley. The Beavers finished the year 9–4 with a win in the 2007 Emerald Bowl in San Francisco, CA, over the Maryland Terrapins.

In 2008 Riley's Beavers knocked off #1-ranked USC 27–21 at Reser Stadium. The Beavers went into the Civil War with a chance to reach the Rose Bowl as Pac-10 champions but were defeated by Oregon 65-38, and instead accepted another invitation to the third place Sun Bowl, where they beat Pitt 3-0.

Riley has a 5–1 NCAA football bowl record as a head coach, having won the 2003 Las Vegas Bowl, 2004 Insight Bowl, 2006 Sun Bowl, 2007 Emerald Bowl, and 2008 Sun Bowl. Riley is a combined 8–1 in bowl games as a head or assistant coach. In the 2009 Maaco Bowl Las Vegas, the Beavers lost to the BYU Cougars of the Mountain West Conference.

In Riley's second stint the Beavers have produced two current NFL quarterbacks, Matt Moore and Derek Anderson.

Riley was rumored to be up for the USC vacancy created by the resignation of Pete Carroll, but those rumors were put to rest by signing a 3-year extension through the 2019 season.


The Uniform

1991 Riders Uniform

The 1991 San Antonio Riders jersey was different from the 1992 one in a major way.  When the uniforms were being screen printed, they forgot to print the Riders logos on the sleeves so the 1991 jerseys only have the stripes on them.

1991 Riders Home Jersey
1991 Riders Home Jersey (back)
1991 Riders Helmet
1991 Riders Pants

1992 Riders Uniform

1992 Rider Home Jersey
1992 Riders Home Jersey (back)

RIDERS 'Loaners' assigned to WLAF By Tim Griffin Express-News  

San Antonio Express-News

January 10, 1992


RIDERS 'Loaners' assigned to WLAF By Tim Griffin Express-News Staff Writer

The Dallas Cowboys will be one of four NFL teams that will stock the San Antonio Riders with players in 1992.

The NFL released assignments Thursday for each of the World League's seven North American teams. More than 100 NFL players are expected to be "loaned" to the World League in 1992.

San Antonio will get players from Dallas, New Orleans, Denver and San Diego.

Riders majority owner Larry Benson said the NFL players should boost interest in the World League's second season.

"The theory is that we might get players who are a step faster and might have a little better name recognition," Benson said.

None of San Antonio's feeder teams have decided who will be assigned to the World League. Those players will receive roster exemptions until the final cut before the NFL season begins.

"I think this will be a good plan, but don't ask me who the players will be," Dallas personnel director Bob Ackles said. "None of us have figured out anything like that yet."

Among the players who could be available include New Orleans quarterback Mike Buck, Dallas quarterback Craig Kupp, Denver quarterback Shawn Moore and Dallas wide receiver Alexander Wright.

Ackles will meet with representatives from San Antonio's other feeder teams during the next few days. The teams will then determine how the rosters will be stocked.

Other affiliations will include:

Birmingham Atlanta, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Phoenix.

Montreal Buffalo, Chicago, New England and Pittsburgh.

New York/New Jersey Detroit, Houston, New York Giants and Jets.

Ohio Cincinnati, Cleveland, Green Bay and Minnesota.

Orlando Miami, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Washington.

Sacramento Los Angeles Raiders and Rams, San Francisco and Seattle.

The three European teams will have no specific NFL teams assigned to them. They will receive players on an at-large basis from a common pool of the 28 NFL teams.

All of the nine existing WLAF teams reduced their roster to 26 players Thursday to stock the new Ohio franchise.

The most notable names left unprotected by San Antonio were running back Undra Johnson and wide receiver Billy Hess. Both started most games for the Riders but received injuries while working at NFL summer training camps.

Copyright 1992, 2002 San Antonio Express-News


Alamo Stadium (1991)


Alamo Stadium is a 23,000-seat football stadium in San Antonio, Texas.

High school football games

Since its opening in the 1940s, the stadium has been home to numerous high school games.

Pro football franchises that used the stadium

Completed in September 1940 as a WPA project, the stadium was the home of the Alamo Bowl in 1947, the San Antonio Wings of the WFL in 1975, the San Antonio Gunslingers of the USFL from 1984-1985, the San Antonio Riders of the WLAF in 1991, and the San Antonio Matadors of the Spring Football League in 2000.

College football games hosted

The stadium has also hosted college football games. Texas A&M defeated Tulsa, 41-6, on Oct. 5, 1940 and Baylor University defeated Villanova, 7-0, two weeks later on Oct. 19, 1940.

Alamo Stadium today

The stadium is still standing and is currently owned by the San Antonio Independent School District. It is the largest high school stadium in the state of Texas. The stadium is currently used by the high schools of the SAISD, including Brackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Fox Tech, Highlands, Sam Houston, Jefferson, and Lanier High Schools for mainly High School football games. The venue is home of the Annual Chili Bowl Game, a football game between Fox Tech and Lanier High Schools. It regularly sells out, and is consistently one of the highest attended regular season football games in Texas, averaging about 23,000 spectators.Its also home to track meets hosted by SAISD, also home to the Region IV-4A & Region IV-5A track meets which occur in late April or early May.

Bobcat Stadium (1992)


Bobcat Stadium is a 15,218-seat multi-purpose stadium in San Marcos, Texas. It opened in 1981 and is home to the Texas State University Bobcats football team. It was also home of the San Antonio Riders of the World League of American Football. In 2002 the stadium was renamed Jim Wacker Field at Bobcat Stadium in honor of the Texas State University former football coach and director of athletics.

LocationSan Marcos, Texas
Coordinates29°53′28″N 97°55′32″W / 29.89111°N 97.92556°W / 29.89111; -97.92556Coordinates: 29°53′28″N 97°55′32″W / 29.89111°N 97.92556°W / 29.89111; -97.92556
Broke ground1979
OwnerTexas State University
ArchitectLockwood, Andrews & Newnam
Texas State Bobcats (NCAA) (1981-present)
San Antonio Riders (WLAF) (1992)

1991 Stats, Roster & Results
1992 Stats, Roster & Results

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