SAN DIEGO, California (August 27, 2019) – The Strike Force announced the return of Burt Grossman and Derek Dahlen to the team's football staff for the 2020 IFL season.
Burt Grossman was hired as the inaugural head coach for the Strike Force in January 2019, his first position coaching position in professional football.
The Pennsylvania native was the 8th overall selection by the Chargers in the 1989 NFL Draft. He went on to spend five years in San Diego where he posted over 60 tackles and 10 sacks in his first two seasons. The former defensive end then made a stop in Philadelphia where he spent the 1994 season for the Eagles and collected 5.5 sacks. The Pitt alum ended his professional career with 45 quarterback sacks and three safeties.
Outside of football, Burt is the Executive Director of Adaptive Sports & Recreation Association (ASRA) in San Diego. ASRA's mission is to provide sports and recreation activities for children and adults with physical disabilities to ensure opportunities equal to their peers. ASRA offers competitive league sports, recreational team sports, instructional camps, sports clinics, and other adaptive activities based on need and interest.
In Burt's first season as head coach of the Strike Force in 2019, the team saw Ernesto Lacayo earn 2nd Team All-IFL honors while Marques Rodgers was named All-IFL and Special Teams Player of the Year.
"We are excited about the future of indoor football in San Diego," said General Manager Ryan Eucker. "With a full offseason to build, we look forward to creating a great experience for our fans and developing strong relationships with our business partners. Beyond the Strike Force, Burt's involvement in the community showcases a big part of who we are as an organization."
In San Diego's inaugural season, Derek Dahlen was brought on after the first three games of the regular season.
Before his arrival in the IFL, he served as the head coach for the San Diego Stars and Stripes all-star high school football team and was also the director of football operations and special teams coordinator. In 2018 Dahlen served the role of operations when the Stars and Stripes faced off against the Mexico National Team.
Dahlen climbed his way up the coaching ladder after being a part of several high school football coaching staffs in the San Diego area. He served as the defensive coordinator for Hoover (2013-14, 2010-11) and Grossmont (2007), a secondary coach for Mater Dei Catholic (2008) and St. Augustine (2006), and a secondary and special teams coordinator for Castle Park (2000-05).
Derek's first experience coaching in the indoor game was with the San Diego Riptide of the af2. He served as a defensive consultant (2004) and defensive coordinator (2001-03). He has also been a defensive consultant for Tecos Football in Tijuana, Mexico since 2003.
"Derek was a great addition to our staff after the start of the season and we're looking forward to having him involved this offseason as we build our roster for 2020," said Eucker. "He has a great feel for multiple facets of the game, we're fortunate to have him."
A San Diego native, he played collegiately at St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif. While there he was selected as Rookie of the Year in 1991 and Defensive Back of the Year the next season (1992). The former Gael also played rugby and eventually earned a spot on the USA Men's National 7's team in 2000. Dahlen was a member of the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club and helped them win four National Championships, including three straight titles from 2000-02.
Outside of the Strike Force, he is a board member of the Inter-California's Youth Athletic Association and an organizer/consultant for the Baja Bowl Festival in Tijuana, Mexico and the owner of Bully's East Prime Bistro Sports Bar.