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Washington Commandos


Washington Commandos

Washington Commandos
Established 1987
Folded 1990
Played in Patriot Center
in Fairfax, Virginia
Washington Commandos logo
League/conference affiliations
Team colors

Red, Blue, White

Head coach Mike Hohensee
Team history
  • Washington Commandos (1987)
  • Maryland Commandos (1989)
  • Washington Commandos (1990)
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
Home arena(s)

Washington Commandos
Founded 1987
Folded 1990
League Arena Football League
Team history Maryland Commandos (1989)
Based in Landover, Maryland (1987 & 1989)
Fairfax, Virginia (1990)
Head coach

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.


  • History 1
    • Inaugural season (1987) 1.1
    • Move to Maryland (1989) 1.2
    • Return to Washington (1990) 1.3
  • Notable players 2
    • Final Roster 2.1
    • Arena Football League Hall of Famers 2.2
    • All-Arena players 2.3
  • Notable Coaches 3
    • Head Coaches 3.1
    • Season-by-season results 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5


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.[1][2] 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.[3] The Commandos finished the season with a 2-4 record,[4] 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".[5] 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.[6] The Commandos started the season 0-3.[7]

In 1987 and 1989, the team played its home games at the Fairfax, Virginia.[8]

Notable players

Final Roster

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
-- Dwayne Dixon 1998 WR/DB 1987
-- Mike Hohensee 2012 Asst./Head Coach 1989-1990
67 Jon Roehlk 1999 OL/DL 1987

All-Arena players

The following Commandos players have been named to All-Arena Teams:

Notable Coaches

Head Coaches

Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 1990 Arena Football League season.
Name Term Regular Season Playoffs Awards
W L T Win% W L
Bob Harrison 1987 2 4 0 .333 0 0
Ray Willsey 1989 0 4 0 .000 0 0
Mike Hohensee 1990 2 6 0 .250 0 0

Season-by-season results

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
Finish Wins Losses Ties
Washington Commandos
1987 1987 AFL -- 3rd 2 4 0
Maryland Commandos
1989 1989 AFL -- 5th 0 4 0
Washington Commandos
1990 1990 AFL 6th 2 6 0
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)


  1. ^ "Arena Football Debuts". The New York Times. June 21, 1987. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ Gary Tuma (June 20, 1987). "Gladiators smashing in 48-46 win". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Commandos win home-opener". The Free Lance-Star. June 29, 1987. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Commandos 52, Gladiators 31". Associated Press. July 24, 1987. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ Kevin James Shay (September 3, 2013). "Arena Football League considering putting team at proposed Shady Grove venue". Post-Newsweek Media, Inc./Gazette.Net. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ Tom Boggie (June 9, 1990). "Firebirds Host Commandos In Arena Football Opener". The Daily Gazette. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ David Fink (June 23, 1990). "Barretta leads Glads over Commandos". Pittsburgh Post=Gazette. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ "ArenaFan Online : Washington Commandos - Team History - 1990". ArenaFan. 

External links

  • AFL Official Website
  • Washington Commandos at
  • Maryland Commandos at
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