Seattle Seahawks Team History
the Seattle Seahawks took the field for the first time in the
1976 season, it marked the culmination of a quest for a National
Football League franchise that had its roots in the Pacific
Northwest metropolis as early as 1957. That is when discussion
first began about the possibilities of constructing a domed
stadium that would assure a major league sports franchise for
the city. On June 4, 1974, the NFL awarded its 28th franchise
to Seattle to play in the 64,984-seat Kingdome.
A civic suggestion campaign netted 20,365 entries and 1,741
different names, but "Seahawks" was selected and announced
on June 17, 1975. Just a little more than two months later,
after a 27-day sale, the season ticket campaign was shut off
with 59,000 tickets sold.
On January 3, 1976, Jack Patera, who had been a Minnesota assistant
coach, was named the team's first head coach. The Seahawks finished
2-12 in 1976, when they played in the NFC, and 5-9 in 1977,
when they moved into the AFC. The Seahawks had winning 9-7 records
in both 1978 and 1979 and Patera was named NFL Coach of the
Year the second year.
The strike-shortened 1982 season proved to be a transitional
year for all of pro football, but no club fit the transitional
description better than the Seahawks. Patera was removed after
six-plus years as head coach. Mike McCormack finished the season
as interim head coach and then was replaced in 1983 by Chuck
Knox, who guided the Seahawks to an 83-67-0 record in nine seasons
up through the 1991 campaign.
Knox led the Seahawks to the AFC championship game his first
season. Seattle won an AFC West wild-card berth for the first
time in its eight-year history and then knocked off Denver and
Miami before losing to the Los Angeles Raiders 30-14 in the
Once again in 1984, Knox guided the Seahawks to the playoffs
with a 12-4 season. Seattle's success came without ace running
back Curt Warner, who led the AFC in rushing as a rookie in
1983 with 1,449 yards. Warner was injured in the first game
and missed the rest of the season. Knox led Seattle back to
the playoffs in 1987 and to the team's only AFC Western division
championship in 1988. That year, they lost to the eventual AFC
champion, the Cincinnati Bengals, in the first playoff round.
The greatest individual star in Seahawks history, wide receiver
Steve Largent, retired after the 1989 season as the NFL's all-time
leading receiver. At the time of his retirement, Largent held
six all-time NFL receiving records. In 1995 he became the first
Seahawk to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
During the 1988 season, Ken Behring purchased the majority ownership
of the club from the Nordstrom family. On February 11, 1989,
he named former Los Angeles Raiders head coach Tom Flores as
the team's new president and general manager. Three years later
in January 1992, Flores was named the Seahawks new head coach.
In nine seasons as the Raiders' head man, Flores compiled a
91-56-0 record with victories in Super Bowls XV and XVIII. In
1995 Flores was replaced by Dennis Erickson, the highly-successful
University of Miami coach. The future of the Seahawks in the
Pacific Northwest was secured after Paul Allen purchased the
team in 1997 and two years later hired Mike Holmgren as their
head coach and general manager.