Cape Fear Heroes

The Cape Fear Heroes are a professional indoor football team based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and a member of the American Arena League (AAL). The Heroes are owned by Barbara Spigner.

Cape Fear Heroes
Established 2011
Play in Crown Coliseum
in Fayetteville, North Carolina
League/conference affiliations
Team colorsRed, white, silver, & blue
CheerleadersHeroes Dance Team
Owner(s)Barbara Spigner
Crystal Williams
PresidentRobert Williams
General managerJimia "J.B." Brantley[1]
Head coachChris McKinney[1]
Team history
  • Cape Fear Heroes (2012–present)
League championships (2)
  • AIF: 2012
  • SIF: 2017
Conference championships (1)
  • AIF Eastern: 2012
Division championships (0)
Playoff appearances (6)
  • AIF: 2012, 2013, 2014
  • SIF: 2017
  • AAL: 2018, 2019
Home arena(s)

They began play in 2012 as an expansion member of American Indoor Football (AIF). The Heroes fared very well in their first three seasons of play, going to back-to-back-to-back AIF Championship Games, going undefeated in 2012. They Heroes finished as runner-up in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, it was announced that the Heroes would be leaving the AIF, and joining the X-League Indoor Football (X-League). In June 2015, the team's season was abruptly ended when they were suspended by the league.[2]

They have won one conference title, in their only season playing in a conference, while finishing with the best regular season record in the AIF for 3 consecutive seasons. The Heroes play their home games at the Crown Coliseum.


The Heroes are the fourth arena/indoor football team to be based in Fayetteville, following the Cape Fear Wildcats of arenafootball2 (which played from 2002 until 2004 after which they to Albany, Georgia and became the South Georgia Wildcats), the Fayetteville Guard which played in the National Indoor Football League (20052007) and American Indoor Football Association (20082010), and the Fayetteville Force which only played in the Southern Indoor Football League for the 2011 season, after which both the Force and the SIFL folded. Despite the AIF's purchase of the Force, the Heroes are considered a completely new franchise.[3]

American Indoor Football: 2012–2014

The Cape Fear Heroes were founded as an expansion team in the 2012 American Indoor Football season by a partnership headed by Barbara Spigner. Jack Bowman, who was also the director of the league, also operated the Heroes as president and general manager, while Charles Gunnings was named the head coach. The Heroes went 7–0 during their inaugural regular season and defeated the California Eagles 79–27 in the AIF Championship Game.[4]

In the 2013 season, Spigner became the sole owner of the team and the Heroes went 7–1 in the five-team league. The Heroes returned to the AIF championship game and fell to the Harrisburg Stampede 57–42.[5]

Following the 2013 season, owner Barbara Spigner took over as general manager from Jack Bowman.[6] In December, 2013, Spigner named Josh Resignalo the team's head coach.[7] The team finished as the top seed in the 2014 regular season and appeared in their third-straight championship game, losing to the Baltimore Mariners.

X-League: 2015

On July 31, 2014, the Cape Fear Heroes announced that they have joined the X-League Indoor Football (X-League). After falling to 4–4, it was announced that the X-League had suspended the Heroes for the remainder of the season for not being in good standing with the leagues rules.[2] Just days later, the Heroes announced that they would be leaving the X-League entirely and operating independently the rest of the season.[8]

2016: Suspension of operations

On August 23, 2015, it was announced that the Heroes would be the charter member of Supreme Indoor Football (SIF), one of the two leagues (along with the Continental Indoor Football League) which comprises the Indoor Football Alliance.[9] However, after the CIFL effectively disbanded in January 2016 when the Erie Explosion (the last remaining CIFL team) announced they would take the season off and only one of the SIF's teams (the Buffalo Lightning) were ready to play a 2016 season, the Heroes announced that it would sit out the 2016 season on March 3.[10]

SIF and AAL: 2017–present

Heroes' owner Barbara Spigner again relaunched Supreme Indoor Football as a league with the Heroes as one of the charter members. They would go on to win the championship against the previously undefeated Triangle Torch. During the offseason, many of the SIF members joined the newly formed American Arena League. On August 23, 2017, the Heroes also announced they would be joining the new league.[11]


Season-by-season results

League Champions Conference Champions Division Champions Playoff berth League leader
Season League Conference Division Regular season Postseason results
2012 AIFEastern 1st700Won Eastern Conference Championship (Stampede) 57–32
Won AIF Championship Game (California) 79–27
2013 AIF 1st710Lost AIF Championship Game (Stampede) 42–57
2014 AIF 1st510Lost AIF Championship Game (Baltimore) 44–45
2015 X-League 7th440
2017 SIF 2nd420Won semifinal (Bulls) 63–14
Won Championship (Torch) 30–24
2018 AAL 4th[lower-alpha 1]530Lost semifinal (Atlanta)[lower-alpha 2] 54–61
2019 AALAtlantic 2nd[lower-alpha 3]530Lost division final (Carolina Havoc) 22–60
Totals 37140All-time regular season record (2013–2019)
44All-time postseason record (2013–2019)
41180All-time regular season and postseason record (2013–2019)
  1. Qualified for the playoffs as the third seed due to the Georgia Doom opting not to participate.[12]
  2. Hosted the #2 seed as the Havoc had home scheduling issues.
  3. The AAL counted all games played by member teams, including games against non-league members, and forfeits in the league standings for the 2019 season.

Head coaches' records

Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 2019 American Arena League season.

Name Term Regular season Playoffs Awards
Charles Gunnings2012–2013, 2015, 2017–201828100.73742
Josh Resignalo2014510.83301
Chris McKinney2019–present530.62501


  1. "Heroes announce new leadership for 2019 arena season". The Fayetteville Observer. November 14, 2018.
  2. "Edge season over as X-League skips to title game". The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. June 4, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  3. Batten, Sammy (November 18, 2011). "Heroes welcomed as Fayetteville's latest indoor football team". Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  4. Sammy Batten (June 8, 2013). "Cape Fear Heroes seeking second straight American Indoor Football championship". The Fayetteville Observer. Archived from the original on November 14, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  5. Al Myatt (June 9, 2013). "Cape Fear Heroes lose American Indoor Football championship to Harrisburg Stampede 57-42". The Fayetteville Observer. Archived from the original on November 14, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  6. Sammy Batten (November 14, 2013). "Owner overhauls Cape Fear Heroes". The Fayetteville Observer. Archived from the original on November 14, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  7. Sammy Batton (December 12, 2013). "Josh Resignalo named head coach of Cape Fear Heroes". The Fayetteville Observer. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  8. Sammy Batten (May 30, 2015). "Cape Fear Heroes leaving X-League". Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. "Supreme Indoor Football and Continental Indoor Football League Join Forces". OurSportsCentral. August 23, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  10. "Cape Fear Heroes to Sit out 2016 Season". OurSportsCentral. March 3, 2016.
  11. "Heroes unveil new practice facility, announce new league". The Fayetteville Observer. August 23, 2017.
  12. "2018 American Arena League Final Regular Season Standings and Playoff Pairings". AAL. June 12, 2018. Archived from the original on June 13, 2018.
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