Indianapolis Colts History and Facts

Learn more about your favorite team!


Most Indianapolis residents know that the Colts came from Baltimore, but before that, the franchise was relocated from Miami, where the bankrupt Seahawks were purchased and relocated to Baltimore. Debating over the team's new name, a contest was held and the team was renamed the "Colts" as a result. Originally, the Colts wore green and silver uniforms and were coached by Cecil Isbell. Their first game was September 7, 1947 and they won 16-7 against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

More Indianapolis Colts History and Facts


  • The Colts joined the NFL when the AAFC was dissolved in 1950. That year, after posting a 1-11 record for the second year in a row, the franchise was dissolved due to financial restraints.



  • Baltimore went two seasons without an NFL team until in 1952, NFL Commissioner Bert Bell challenged the franchise to sell 15,000 season tickets within six weeks in order to re-enter the NFL. The franchise met that goal in little over a month. The NFL's Dallas Texans franchised moved to Baltimore where the team became the "Colts" but kept the blue and white colors of the Texans.



  • In 1954, the Colts hired Weeb Ewbank as head coach. Ewbank holds the longest tenure of any Colts head coach - nine seasons. Under his leadership, the team won two conference and NFL championships.



  • In 1963, Don Shula, a former Colts player, replaced Ewbank. That year,quarterback John Unitas led the Colts offense to eight team records and set a then-NFL seasonal mark of 237 completions.



  • The Colts experienced their first Super Bowl in 1968, Super Bowl III. The team lost to the New York Jets, 16-7.



  • In 1972, Robert Irsay acquired the club.



  • Baltimore hired Ted Marchibroda as head coach in February, 1975. Marchibroda led the Colts to three consecutive division titles before posting consecutive 5-11 seasons in 1978 and 1979.



  • Mike McCormack replaced Marchibroda as head coach in January, 1980.



  • In December 1981, Frank Kush succeeded McCormack as head coach.



  • President Robert Irsay and General Manager Jim Irsay appointed Rod Dowhower as head coach on January 28, 1985.



  • On December 1, 1986, Ron Meyer succeeded Dowhower as head coach. Meyer led the club to the division title in 1987.



  • Meyer earned a 36-35 regular-season record before being succeeded by as head coach on October 1, 1991.



  • Marchibroda returned as head coach on January 28, 1992, leading the Colts to a 9-7 record in 1992.



  • Lindy Infante became head coach on February 15, 1996. The Colts were 9-7 in 1996, reaching the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1975-77.



  • In 1997, Jim Irsay became Owner and Chief Executive Officer and Bill Polian was named president.



  • Jim Mora succeeded Infante as head coach on January 12, 1998.



  • In 1999, the Colts won the division title and earned its first playoff game since the team moved to Indianapolis.



  • Tony Dungy succeeded Mora as head coach in January 2002. Dungy led the Colts to a 10-6 record before losing in the Wild Card round at the New York Jets, 41-0.



  • In 2003, the Colts were 12-4, won the AFC South and lost the AFC Championship Game to New England, 24-14.



  • Dungy led the Colts to the AFC South title in 2004. The following year, the team became the fourth in NFL history to achieve a 13-0 start, but lost to Pittsburgh 21-18 in the Divisional Playoffs.



  • In 2006, the Colts enjoyed a 12-4 record and achieved a 29-17 win over Chicago in Super Bowl XLI in Miami Gardens, Florida.



  • In 2008, the Colts were 12-4, extending their league mark with six consecutive 12+-victory seasons. The club became the first in NFL history to win at least seven consecutive games in five consecutive seasons. Manning won his third AP NFL MVP award. Indianapolis fell in the Wild Card Playoffs in overtime at San Diego, 23-17.



  • Jim Caldwell succeeded Dungy as head coach on January 12, 2009. Dungy finished as the only coach in Colts history to post over 10 wins and earn playoff appearances in seven straight seasons. That year, the club was 14-2 and became only the third team to start a season 14-0. The team returned to Miami Gardens, Florida for Super Bowl XLIV and fell to New Orleans, 31-17.