Going into the 1984 season, the USFL made the decision to expand to eighteen teams in order to boost league capital. However, efforts to expand to Minneapolis-St. Paul and Seattle fell through. San Antonio was mentioned as a possible market for expansion, as rapid growth through the 1970s propelled it to major-city status. By 1984, almost 800,000 people lived in ...
History of the Gunslingers
The San Antonio Gunslingers were a professional American football team based in San Antonio, Texas that played in the USFL in 1984 and 1985. Owned by oil magnate Clinton Manges, the team played its home games in Alamo Stadium and its colors were kelly green, royal blue, silver, and white. Rick Neuheisel was the team’s quarterback and only recognizable name.
Manges appeared to pay team expenses out of his own pocket as they arose. The result was an organization that was notoriously cheap, even by USFL standards. The front office was staffed mainly by friends and family. The team bus was an old San Antonio Independent School District bus with a malfunctioning gas gauge; the driver had to manually check the tank. The Gunslingers had to add 14,000 folding chairs around the end zones to bring the stadium to the USFL's minimum capacity. The team office was located in a double-wide trailer in the Alamo Stadium parking lot.
Manges hired local coaching legend Gil Steinke to run the team as general manager and head coach. In 23 years at nearby Texas A&I, Steinke had a record of 195-63-5, including a 6-1 record in NAIA Championship games. However, Steinke had been off the sidelines for almost a decade and was displaying clear signs of mental deterioration to the point of senility. He frequently forgot plays and play calls, and got lost in cities that he supposedly knew well. In a league with free-spending owners, Steinke's Gunslingers rarely had the edge in talent but most games were very disciplined on the field, allowing them to remain somewhat competitive in spite of the team's shoestring budget.
1984 – 1985 / United States Football League
1984 – 1985 / San Antonio Gunslingers
Gunslingers – Refer to men in the American Old West who had gained a reputation of being dangerous with a gun and had participated in gunfights and shootouts.
Original USFL Team
Final USFL Team
Team’s Final Outlook
A month after the season, Commissioner Harry Usher had seen enough, and gave Clinton Manges an ultimatum–make restitution for the team’s debts in 15 days or lose the franchise. When this didn’t occur, the Gunslingers became the only USFL franchise to be revoked.
USFL Championship 0
1984 – 1985 / Alamo Stadium
1984 – 1985 / Clinton Manges
1985 / Gil Steinke (2 wins – 4 losses)
1985 / Jim Bates (3 wins – 9 losses)
1984 / Gil Steinke (7 wins – 11 losses)
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
Averaged 15,444 in 1984 and 11,721 in 1985 (23,000 seat stadium)
*Blue is this team’s history