Kane County Eagles
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|Year founded: 1992|
|Team Colors||Red, Black and White|
|Head Coach||Keith C. Hac|
National Championships: 1992, 1993, 2001, 2003, 2007
The Kane County Eagles are a semi-professional American football team based in Mooseheart, Illinois. They were members of the Mid Continental Football League and current members of the North American Football League (NAFL).
Over the past 12 years, the Kane County Eagles have demonstrated an excellence on and off the field of play. Recognized as one of the premier teams in minor league/semi-pro football, the Eagles are proven winners and strong members of the community. The team’s lifetime record is 225-42-2 with 5 national championships.
Originally known as the Glen Ellyn Eagles, the team achieved its initial success as the DuPage Eagles under Owner/Hall of Fame Head Coach Jim Nugent by winning the American Football Association’s National Championship in Orlando, Florida in 1992 and 1993.
In 1996 Arney Silvestri and Semi-Pro Hall of Fame Head Coach Ed O’Reilly purchased the team and moved operations to Kane County. With the addition of Pat Sharpe as General Manager, the team was rechristened the Kane County Eagles. The team spent one year as a member of the Greater Chicagoland Football League and continued its winning tradition by capturing the first league championship in 1996.
The Mid-Continental Football League accepted the Eagles as a new member in 1997. Under the direction of new Head Coach Sal Saldivar, the Eagles established league dominance by capturing MCFL Championships in 1998 (Cleveland 7-0), 2000 (Jackson Mi,34-20) and 2001 (Cleveland 41-17).
With a perfect 15-0 record during the 2001 season, the Eagles earned another AFA National Championship when they traveled to Marlboro, Massachusetts and defeated the 4-time defending AFA champion Shamrocks, 23-22.
The Eagles came close to an MCFL three-peat in 2002, but suffered a heartbreaking 18-12, triple-overtime loss to the Cleveland Lions in the MCFL Championship contest held in Cleveland, Ohio.
For the 2003 season, the Eagles joined the North American Football League where they currently compete in a national league with over 90 other teams. In their inaugural season in the NAFL, the Eagles wrapped up a perfect season (16-0) by winning the NAFL National Championship at the Disney World Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. In the championship contest, the Eagles defeated the Eastside Hawks (owned by NFL player, Sam Adams) of Riverside, Washington, 24-17.
Prior to the 2004 season, long time Defensive Coordinator Keith Hac took over as head coach. The Eagles captured the NAFL Great Lakes Western Division title and the NAFL Great Lakes Regional title, but fell in the tournament's Eastern Conference Semi-final round of the playoffs.
The 2005 season found the Eagles again participating in the NAFL's Great Lakes Region and finishing with an 18-2 record. The Eagles advanced to the NAFL Semi-finals and lost to the eventual NAFL Champion Central Penn Piranha in Harrisburg, PA in a final four battle.
For the 2006 season, Sue Berg was selected to the Minor League Football Hall of Fame - Class of '06! Sue has been with the Eagles for over 20 years and her contributions to the team and minor league football helped earn this exciting honor.
Sue joins Jim Nugent (Owner/Head Coach), Cheri Kardas (Executive), Ed O'Reilly (Head Coach),Troy Faunce (Player), Sal Saldivar (Head Coach) and Pat Sharpe (Executive) as Eagles who are members of the Minor League Football Hall of Fame.
The Eagles reached the NAFL Final 4 again in 2006 when they endured a brutal Playoff road schedule that saw them record wins in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and South Dakota en route to capturing the NAFL Great Lakes Regional title and the Northern Conference Championship. The playoff run came to an end in Dallas where the Eagles fell to the Western Conference Champion Diesel, 13-0. The Eagles played this game minus starting QB, Sam Clemons who missed the game due to his honeymoon.
During the 2007 season, the Eagles captured their fifth national championship, defeating the defending national champion Dallas Diesel, 24-3 in Las Vegas. During the playoff run, the Eagles accomplished something no other team in the history of minor league football has ever achieved, winning 6 playoff road games! Starting with a sound whipping of the Racine (WI) Raiders (48-17), continuing with a 31-6 thrashing of the previously undefeated Ohio Red Bulls, followed by a 44-21 victory over another the previously undefeated team, the Pittsburgh Colts. The playoff road continued in Kansas City, Mo with a 41-6 pounding of the Midwest Titans, and finally, a hard fought but convincing 32-21 victory over the Central Penn Piranha (a team that had never lost at home and had compiled a remarkable 126-0 home record).
The Eagles entered the 2008 season with hopes of capturing their 6th National Championship. However, with many of the coaches, staff and players heavily involved with the CIFL Arena Chicago Slaughter, the team struggled thru the season and finished with 8-1-2 record. In a recurring problem that hurt the team the entire season, the Eagles opened the NAFL playoffs against the Wisconsin Wolfpak with out either of their top two QBs (Sam Clemons or Ronnie Gordon). With the offense struggling the Eagles fell behind early but rallied late only to fall 14-13. It was the first time in 10 years that the Eagles failed to win at least three playoff games and the first time since joining the NAFL in 2003 that they did not advance to at least the NAFL final four.
Following the 2007 season, the Minor League Football Hall of Fame opened its doors for Eagles Steve Rannochio (Player) and Arney Silvestri (Executive). Sue Berg (Executive) received her second induction. Chris Roe (Player)
The end of the 2008 season also ended the Eagles themselves, There will be no eagles 2009 season and it is unlikely that they will come back at all.