1984: Based in Northern Florida and playing at the Gator Bowl, the Jacksonville Bulls were one of six expansion teams added in the USFL’s second season. The team name came from Owner Fred “Bubba” Bullard, a Jacksonville businessman. The teams colors were chosen as a combination of the popular college teams in the area, with garnet from the Florida State Seminoles, orange from the Florida Gators, and silver from the pants worn by the Georgia Bulldogs. Jacksonville had a unique helmet with a streaking Bull wrapped around both sides of the helmet with the team name written over the back. The Jacksonville Bulls employed a successful marketing play as NFL legends Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick joined as minority owners and helped promote the team, with longtime Georgia radio announcer Larry Munson doing the team’s play by play on local radio. Coached by Lindy Infante the Bulls were not one of the USFL’s most talented teams, but fans did not seem to care as they were one of the highest drawing teams, averaging 46,730 fans, which included a record of 73,227 in Week 2 against the New Jersey Generals, a game they lost 28-26 as Danny Miller’s Field Goal at the end of the game sailed wide right. A week earlier, the Bulls had a successful debut at the Gator Bowl, crushing the Washington Federals 53-14. Close loses would be the hallmark of the Bulls inaugural season as they were competitive, with six losses coming by a touchdown or less. However, in the end they just did not have the weapons and ended in last place with a record of 6-12. Robbie Mahfouz and Matt Robinson split the duties at quarterback, with Gary Clark emerging as the star receiver with 760 yards.
1985: Looking to improve for their second season, the Jacksonville Bulls took advantage of the Pittsburgh Maulers folding and signed former Heisman Winner Mike Rozier. They later acquired Quarterback Brian Sipe for the New Jersey Generals. Once again, the Bulls led the USFL in attendance, averaging 44,325 fans per game. The Bulls got off to a good start beating the reigning champion Baltimore Stars 22-14 to start the season at Gator Bowl. However, just a few weeks into the season Brian Sipe suffered a career ending injury, making just 89 passes for 685 yards with four touchdowns. Mike Rozier had much more success in Jacksonville rushing for 1,361 yards with 12 touchdowns. Without Sipe, the Bulls turned to Ed Luther at quarterback, who finished the season with 2,792 yards with 15 touchdowns. Rookie Keith Millard helped lead an improved defense with a team high 12 sacks. The Bulls again had a big crowd come out to see the New Jersey Generals and Herschel Walker, legend at the University of Georgia. This time 60,100 fans would go home happy as Mike Rozier had a big day to lead the Bulls to a 30-20 win in Week 11. The Bulls would fall just short of reaching the playoffs posting a record of 9-9.
1986: The Jacksonville Bulls were one of the teams that most looked forward to the USFL’s move to the fall. They had a large fan base and looked to be an improved team after merging with the Denver Gold, as Mouse Davis assumed the coaching reigns and was set to take the high octane Run and Shoot offense to Northern Florida. However, the USFL would end up ceasing operations after three years as they received just $1 in their lawsuit against the NFL. Gary Clark and Keith Millard would go to have successful NFL careers, while Mike Rozier was part of the Houston Oilers Run and Shoot. The biggest impact the Bulls had was not felt until the USFL was long forgotten in 1995, as Jacksonville was granted a NFL expansion team called the Jaguars.
©MMXVII Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the United States Football League. This site is not affiliated with the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on January 23, 2017. Last updated on January 23, 2017 at 10:30 pm ET.