The Birmingham Fire was a professional American football team based
in Birmingham, Alabama that played in the World League of American Football in 1991 and 1992. The team played at Legion Field,
and it made the playoffs in both seasons.
| ||Team: || ||Birmingham
Affiliation:|| ||World League of American Football|| |
| ||Years of Operation:|| ||1991-1992|| |
| ||Stadium:|| ||Legion Field|| |
| ||Owners:|| ||Gavin Maloof (majority 1991-1992); Phillip Maloof (minority
1991); Dr. Larry Lemak, Richard Scrushy, Thom Gossom, Jr., Edgar Weldon (minority 1991-1992); Steve Trimmier (1992)|| |
| ||Head Coach:|| ||Chan Gailey|| |
| || Notable Achievements:|| ||Made the playoffs in 1984 and 1985;
won nine games in a row in 1984.|| |
| ||Yearly Record:|| |
||5-6|| ||Lost in first round of playoffs.|| |
|1992|| ||7-3-1|| ||Lost in first round of playoffs.|| |
Maloof was the primary owner of the Fire. He had previously owned the Houston Rockets of the NBA. He hired long time NFL assisant
Chan Gailey as head coach. The Fire also had one of the first African-American general managers in pro football, Michael Huyghue.
Life after the WLAF
Gailey became the head coach at Samford University. When he left to re-enter the NFL, he was replaced by Fire offensive line
coach Pete Hurt. Gailey went on to become the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and at Georgia Tech and as of 2010, the head
coach of the Buffalo Bills.
Gavin Maloof would join his brother in becoming
owners of the NBA's Sacramento Kings.
In 1995, the Fire nickname was resurrected
in Düsseldorf, Germany as the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe.
worked in the front office of the Detroit Lions and the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2007, he started working with the proposed
United Football League which started in 2009 where he is the league Commissioner.
|Coach Chan Gailey
Thomas Chandler Gailey, Jr. (born January 5, 1952, in Gainesville,
Georgia) is an American football coach who last served as offensive coordinator for the National Football League's Kansas
City Chiefs. He was formerly head coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team and the Dallas Cowboys.
Gailey had previously served as offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins in 2000–01
when the Dolphins posted consecutive 11–5 records. He was on the Pittsburgh Steelers staff from 1994-97 when the Steelers
won four straight AFC Central titles and played in one Super Bowl (XXX). He was offensive coordinator in 1997 when Pittsburgh
ranked sixth in the NFL in total offense and seventh in scoring. Gailey served as the offensive coordinator for the Kansas
City Chiefs in 2008 and three games of the 2009 pre-season before he was relieved of duties by Chiefs head coach Todd Haley.
Gailey attended Americus High School in Americus, Georgia
and was a student, an Eagle Scout, and a letterman in football, basketball, baseball, and golf. In football, he was an All-State
selection as a quarterback. Gailey graduated in 1970.
Gailey attended the University of Florida, and was a student
and a three-year letterman for the Gators as a quarterback. In 1974, Chan Gailey graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Physical
Troy State, Air Force, Troy
Gailey stayed with Florida as a graduate assistant for two years before taking his first actual coaching job
as the secondary coach for Troy State University in Alabama. After two seasons there, he spent four seasons with the Air Force
Academy, including two as defensive coordinator under head coach Ken Hatfield. In 1983, he
took over the head coaching duties at Troy, where he led the Trojans to a 12-1 record in 1984 en route to the Division II
Professional Leagues (1984-1992,
Gailey moved to the National Football League the next
year, when the Denver Broncos signed him as a defensive assistant and special teams coach. The team made three Super Bowl
appearances during his six-year tenure. In 1991, Gailey left the NFL to become the head coach of the Birmingham Fire of the
World League of American Football, where the team made the playoffs in both years that he was coach.
After a one-year stint as head coach at Samford University, he returned to the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After starting off as coach for the wide receivers, then moved up to offensive coordinator for the 1996 and 1997 NFL seasons.
The Steelers won their division all four years, and made one Super Bowl appearance.
1998, Gailey was hired to take over a struggling Dallas Cowboys squad, one that had faltered under Barry Switzer during his
last year. Gailey's Cowboys won the NFC East in 1998, and made the playoffs under his two years at the reins, although they
failed to win a playoff game. Gailey is the only Cowboys coach to make the playoffs every season with his team.
Gailey returned to the offensive coordinator role, this time with the Miami Dolphins
for the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
Gailey was hired by the Yellow Jackets in 2002 to replace George O'Leary who left to
become Head Coach at the University of Notre Dame, and was fired in 2007. In his first five years at Georgia Tech, he had
compiled a 37-27 record. Georgia Tech went to bowl games each year under Gailey, and won two: the 2003 Humanitarian Bowl (a
52-10 win over the University of Tulsa), and the 2004 Champs Sports Bowl (a 51-14 victory over Syracuse University). Gailey
compiled six winning seasons in six years at the helm. However, he never defeated Tech's biggest rival, the University of
Georgia, never won the ACC, never went to a BCS bowl, never won more than 9 games, and never finished in the top 25. The 2006
season was his most successful at Georgia Tech winning the ACC Coastal Division, but losing his last 3 games to rival UGA,
Wake Forest in the ACC championship game and West Virginia in the Gator Bowl.
name was mentioned for both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins head coaching jobs following the 2006 season, two teams
for which he was offensive coordinator. Gailey got neither job. On January 19, 2007 Gailey announced he would return to Georgia
After a 7-5 2007 regular season and losing for the sixth straight
year to the Georgia Bulldogs football team, it was announced on November 26, 2007 that Gailey had been dismissed and his $1
million/year contract bought out.
Gailey was hired on January 16, 2008 to become
the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs. Gailey inherited a Chiefs offense that ranked at the bottom of the league
in almost every category the previous season. He was demoted after three pre-season games in 2009 and relieved of playcalling
duties by head coach Todd Haley. For the 2010-2011 Season, the Buffalo Bills announced the Chan Gailey would be their new
Trojans (Gulf South Conference (NCAA Division II)) (1983–1984)|
|Samford University Bulldogs
(NCAA Division I-AA Independent) (1993–1993)|
|Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Atlantic Coast
(tied)||L Silicon Valley Classic||—||—|
|2003||Georgia Tech||7-6||4-4||4 (tied)||W
(tied)||W Champs Sports Bowl||—||—|
|2005||Georgia Tech||7-5||5-3||3 (Coastal)||L
(Coastal)||L Gator Bowl||—||—|
|2007||Georgia Tech||7-6||4-4||3 (Coastal)||L
| National Championship Conference
Title Conference Division Title|
from final Coaches Poll.|
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
The Birmingham Fire uniform colors where dark blue, white and red with golden yellow accents. The
jersey and pants were made by Wilson like the rest of the league. The home jersey was the same for both 1991 and 1992
being dark blue in color. The sleeves had red flames coming from the edges with golden yellow trim. The numbers
were white with red outlines. The away jerseys differed from 1991 to 1992. In 1991, the away jersey was white
with red numbers. The numbers had dark blue outlines on them. The sleeves still had the same flame design to them. The
away jersey in 1992 was the same as the 1991 except for the numbers. These numbers where dark blue with a red outline.
The helmet was made by Riddell like the rest of the league. It was blue with red and golden yellow
flames comng from the front of the helmet near the Riddell logo. The design was the same for both years except in 1992
when the league added a WLAF sticker to the back left that was silver with two upward arrow head lines under the WLAF logo.
The pants were white with a wide dark blue stripe down the side. Inside this stripe was a red strip
with a golden yellow strip on either side. The Wilson logo patch was on the left hip.
were white with a dark blue (or was it black?) top.
|1991 Fire Home Jersey
|Home Jersey (back)
|1991 Fire Helmet
|1991 Fire Away Jersey
|Away Jersey (back)
|1991 - 1992 Fire Pants
|1992 Fire Away Jersey
|Away Jersey (back)
|Birmingham Fire Socks
|1992 Fire Helmet (back with WLAF sticker)