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May 11 - USFL founded, with Jim Joseph as a partner in the Bay Area (later Oakland Invaders) franchise.
Summer - Joseph leaves the Invaders to organize his own USFL team, to be placed in Los Angeles.
July - Jim Joseph is forced to relocate his USFL franchise after cable television moguls Bill Daniels and Alan Harmon are forced to relocate their San Diego franchise to Los Angeles.
August 6 - The team officially relocates to Phoenix, Arizona.
September 8 - The USFL's entry in Phoenix is christened the Arizona Wranglers, a name submitted by Adrienne Hogate and chosen from 360 entrants in a "Name the Team" contest conducted by the club.
September 25 - Joseph selects the team's colors and logo design, both created by Phoenix's Robert Brookson.
November 9 - The Board of Regents of Arizona State University grants the Wranglers access to use Sun Devil Stadium for games beginning in 1983.

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January 10 - Doug Shively, an assistant with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, is named the Wranglers' first head coach.
March 6 - The Arizona Wranglers play their first-ever USFL game... and are promptly shut out by the Oakland Invaders, 24-0.

To see more of the
Wranglers timeline, visit the
Timeline of the USFL

Years Played in USFL: 1983, 1984
Club Owner(s): Jim Joseph, Brad Liebman (1983); Dr. Ted Diethrich, George Allen, Willard (Bill) Harris (1984)
Playing Site: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona
Head Coach(es): Doug Shively (1983); George Allen (1984)
Overall Record: 16-23-0  (14-22-0 regular season)
. .

Year Head Coach W L T Pct. Finish Post-Season Notes
1983 Doug Shivley 4 14 0 .222 4th, Pacific Div. Failed to Qualify
1984 George Allen 10 8 0 .556 2nd, Pacific Div. Lost USFL Champ. Game
Team Totals 14 22 0 .389 --- 2-1 in post-season play

Depending on your point of view, the Arizona Wranglers could be considered either one team, two, or perhaps even three.  They could be the mutant offspring of the Oakland Invaders, a team that relocated twice before ever pumping up a football, two different teams, one playing in each season, three different teams, or any combination of the above.
No matter how you look at it, throughout its brief history the Arizona Wranglers were a team of change - change of locations, owners, players, coaches, and in the end, team names as well.  Originally the Wranglers were never part of the USFL's plans.  Jim Joseph had been a part owner of the Bay Area USFL franchise (which would eventually become the Oakland Invaders) together with friend and business colleague Tad Taube.  As Taube's involvement in the USFL became more active, Joseph initally took a back seat, but an unexpected opportunity had come forward - Alex Spanos, who originally was to head up the USFL's presence in Los Angeles, gave up his franchise to buy a stake in the NFL's San Diego Chargers (Spanos would later acquire majority control of the team).

Wanting to have an active role in a USFL team himself and with the league's consent, Joseph and Taube flipped a coin to decide which of them would have which franchise - the "winner" got Los Angeles, while the "loser" got Oakland.  Joseph won the toss and was awarded the Los Angeles franchise... for a while.

Shortly after the coin toss, Bill Daniels and Alan Harmon, a team of Colorado-based mega-moguls from the still burgeoning cable television industry, took an interest in the USFL, trying to place a team in San Diego.  However their efforts to secure Jack Murphy Stadium were rebuffed by the City of San Diego, and the league, surmising that a team owned by cable television magnates would be better suited in the entertainment capital of the world, allowed Daniels and Harmon to in essence run Jim Joseph out of town.

Joseph found a home for his team in the desert of Phoenix, Arizona, where the Arizona Wranglers were finally born.  He hired Atlanta Falcon assistant coach Doug Shively as the Wranglers first head coach, then held closely to the USFL's financial blueprint - spending little on players and getting little talent in return.  The team drafted RB Eric Dickerson in the first round of the USFL Draft, but made no serious attempts to actually sign him.  Instead, the team opted for "mid-line" rookies such as quarterback Alan Risher, and players recently released by NFL clubs, such as Curtis Bledsoe.

For their first eight weeks on the field, however, the rag-tag Arizona Wranglers were actually a competitive football team, going 4-4-0 and beating among others the Chicago Blitz, who were viewed by many prior to the season as the USFL's dominant team.  The team had kept itself in contention for the Pacific Division title... and then the bottom dropped out.  In Week 9 the Wranglers lost to Oakland, 34-20, starting a ten game tailspin that saw the team finish last in the USFL's weakest division, at 4-14-0.

Jim Joseph was, for lack of a better term, unhappy.  Having started as the owner of a team near his home in San Francisco, he'd been bounced from there to Los Angeles, then again to Phoenix, the caretaker of a team that was losing games on the field and money from his pockets.  Simply put, he wanted out.

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