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The Joliet Thunder developmental football club was established in 1991 as the Chicago Thunder. In 2017 the Thunder made Joliet our new home after 25 years of playing in the immediate Chicago area. We will play our home games at Joliet Memorial Stadium as a proud member of the Mid-States Football League. 

The Joliet Thunder developmental football club - NFP is designed to help promote and advance the careers of both athletes and coaches. As well as to provide a venue for those who still love the sport of football. 

We are solely responsible for generating the finances required to run the organization. 

We have set many goals beyond those of good sportsmanship and competitiveness. 
These Goals Include:
  • Develop and support the teaching or personal responsibility, genuine values and commitment to teamwork.
  • Provide its members with the opportunity to be a part of a positive social environment.
  • Encourage its members to volunteer for and partake in various community service projects.
  • Establish and/or support a youth football camp program.
  • Create a scholarship fund for young men and women that have achieved academic excellence. 
Team History

  • 1991 - The Chicago Thunder was founded and became a member of the Midwest Football League. The Thunder finishes its first season winless.
  • 1992 - As a member of the Midwest Football League the Chicago Thunder suffers its worst loss in team history 103-0 to the Racine Raiders and finished its 2nd season winless.
  • 1993 - The Thunder adds Head Coach Terry Thomas and Defensive Coordinator Jim Lipinski and finish its third season with one win.
  • 1994 - The Thunder finishes another Midwest Football League season with 1 win.
  • 1995 - The Chicago Thunder adds Offensive Coordinator Mark May and Defensive Coordinator Dennis Jones.  Joining the Chicago Land Football League and posting a 1-7 record. 
  • 1996 - The Chicago Thunder Finishes the regular season 3-5 but captures the last seed in the playoffs. Wins first league Title 21-7 over the Lake County Chiefs. Defeated in the First round of the Midwest Tournament.
  • 1997 - The Chicago Thunder goes 5-3 and wins 2nd consecutive CFL title.
  • 1998 - The Thunder posts a 6-2 regular season record and is eliminated in the first round of the CFL playoffs.
  • 1999 - With most of the players leaving the team, the Thunder finish 2-5 but advance to the Championship game due to conflicts with higher seeded teams. Thunder loses Championship to Chicago Chargers.
  • 2000 - The "Band" is back together and the Chicago Thunder go undefeated in the CFL and win its 3rd League Title. Tony Ptak officially assumes role of Offensive Coordinator full time.
  • 2001 - The Chicago Thunder finishes the CFL Regular season undefeated and wins its 4th title in 6 years and its first Midwest Regional Title by winning the Mid States Tournament. The Thunder were named the "AA" Team of the Year in 2001.
  • 2002 - The Thunder goes 7-1 in the CFL and wins 3rd straight title. Loses early in Mid States Tournament.
  • 2003 - The Thunder finishes regular season 7-1 and loses to Chicago Chargers in Playoffs.
  • 2004 - The Thunder wins its 6th and final CFL Title. The team caps off its 4th undefeated season with a 15-0 overall record and claims its 2nd Midwest Regional Title by winning the Mid States Tournament.
  • 2005 - The Thunder joins the Mid States Football League and finished the year undefeated and wins its first Mid States Championship by defeating the Indiana Titans 17-7. The Thunder lose in the first round of Mid States Tournament to the Mid State Steel 7-6.
  • 2006 - The Thunder finishes its 6th undefeated season by winning its 2nd Mid States Football League Championship.. The Team is invited to Homestead, Fl. to play for the Minor League Football News "AA" National Championship
  • January 14th 2007 - The Chicago Thunder defeats the Central Ohio Lions 37-9 to claim their first National Championship.
  • 2007 - The 2007 Chicago Thunder win 3rd consecutive MSFL title and go undefeated in the MSFL for 3 years in a row. Despite losing a non-league game to the Chicago Cardinals the Thunder have been invited back to Miami to play in the Florida Bowl, Jan 12th, 2008
  • January 12 2008 - Chicago Thunder defeats Florida Kings and wins Florida Bowl 14-8
  • 2008 - The Thunder win 4th MSFL Championship while setting team records in the MSFL for most consecutive wins, Most consecutive championships, Most Wins in a season for the 4th year in a row, Most Championship appearances, most Undefeated Regular Season games.
  • January 18th 2009 - The Thunder Win the AA National Title. Its 2nd in the last 3 years.
  • 2009 - Despite going undefeated in the regular season, the Thunder were eliminated in the playoffs by the McHenry Pirates.
  • 2010 - An injury riddled season ended with a 4-4 record and with a little help from other teams a playoff birth. The Thunder marched back to the Championship game beating the Leyden Lions and the LW Patriots but came up short in the championship losing to the Roscoe Rush.
  • 2011 - After opening the season with a loss to the Indianapolis Generals, the Thunder continued on to have another winning season, including a run into the playoffs with a another loss to eventual MSFL runner-up, Indianapolis Generals. 
  • 2012 - The Thunder added Chris Van Stone to the coaching staff as Defensive Coordinator. Under Van Stone the Thunder power through another successful season with a 6-3 record in the MSFL regular season and an 8-4 record overall. The Thunder once again rolled through the playoffs, losing to eventual MSFL runner-up Springfield Foxes
  • 2013 - The Thunder finish with a second consecutive season record of 8-4, losing in the semifinals of the MSFL playoffs.
  • 2014 - The Chicago Thunder were once again in the MSFL Championship game after another winning season and a Stellar playoff against the undefeated Patriots.  The Thunder fell to the Racine Raiders and another great game.
  • 2015 - The Chicago Thunder has a new Look Coaching Staff with the promotion of Chris Van Stone to Head Coach and the addition of Offensive Coordinator Mike Oliver.  Also joining the team is Vince Mucci who is in charge of recruiting the talent needed to bring a championship back to the Chicago Thunder. After a cancellation plagued season the Thunder finished with a less than stellar 3-4 record. They managed to get into the playoffs but could not get past the Rockton Rush. 
  • 2016 - After splitting two pre-season games the Thunder went 7-3 in the regular season. Beating the QC Raiders in the opening round but falling to the eventual MSFL Champions LW Patriots in the conference championship. 
  • 2017 - It was with great sadness and regret that we announced the Thunder would not field a team for the 2017 season. We wanted the season to be a year long tribute to the man who made so many lives better, Terry Thomas. The Thunder shall return in 18.
  • 2018 - The Joliet Thunder will be entering our 27th year in 2019. Although 2018 was a building year for the Thunder, we are excited about the 2019 season.
  • 2019 - 2019 was disappointing, to say the least. We hired a coach that we thought was going to return us to greatness. However with less than 2 weeks until the Thunder were to meet for regular season practice to begin, this coach would leave with no notice or warning. Unfortunately we had no choice but to postpone operations for the year. We then immediately hired Ledwrick "Lucky" Williams as our new head coach in 2020 and for the foreseeable future.