Together From The Start: Erv Strohbeen’s indoor football journey from player to coach

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 6:44 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - When it comes to the Sioux City Bandits, the program has developed a deep history of success with players and coaches who come back for more year after year.

It all stems with the leader of the team who has been with the organization from the very start.

“I played nine years. I was one of the first 10 players signed to a contract with the original Sioux City Attack. So, been with it since the start,” said Erv Strohbeen, Sioux City Bandits head coach.

From the inaugural season of the Sioux City Attack, to now being the head coach of the Sioux City Bandits for 12 seasons. The organization has become a big piece of head coach Erv Strohbeen.

“I had a good nine-year playing career. But, you know, I felt it ended too short, you know, I still wanted to play. So the next best thing was to go into coaching because I still had a passion for it,” said Strohbeen.

He left it all on the field during his years playing in the Auditorium, and now gives it his all from the sidelines as head coach of the Bandits. The organization has become a place where the football world comes full circle.

“You know, Dennis Wagner is my offensive line coach... I played for him. So that’s kind of a cool deal. You know, my college coach is now on the same staff as I am. So all the guys on the staff have either played with me or for me, or we’ve been together a long time,” said Strohbeen.

Wagner spent time coaching at Briar Cliff and Wayne State College. He was Strohbeen’s head coach at Wayne State where he saw Strohbeen’s career come to life. He says he always knew Strohbeen had the potential to be a strong head coach based on the leadership he showed on the field. Now, the two stand side by side bringing their goals to life.

“By the time he was in his second or third season....he played a lot of football for us. You could tell he would be a great coach, because like I said, guys follow him, and when he says something, they listen, they take it to heart, and nobody outworked him. He was the first one there and the last one to leave. And that’s the mentality that he tries to have,” said Dennis Wagner, Sioux City Bandits offensive line coach.

From player, to coordinator, to now longtime head coach, Erv Strohbeen hopes to continue creating that close camaraderie, and keep building the Bandits’ culture for years to come.

“I love these guys like brothers, you know. So they look at me as a head coach or their position coach, but I’m also a guy that, you know, they call when they need something, or they’re going through some bad times or, or we want to hang out and have some fun together,” said Strohbeen.

“It’s bigger than football when it comes to him. You know, he has a family. He understands everything. So you know, just little things like that is great to have,” said Fred Bruno, Sioux City Bandits wide receiver.

Strohbeen has won three championships during his time with the Bandits, and is just one win away from 100 career wins. He has a passion for the game, but above all enjoys the camaraderie and opportunity to coach with life-long friends.

“Playing for him, it was an honor. Working with him, it’s been an honor as well. He’s just one of those guys that’s persistent and consistent. He understands what Sioux City means to him. So he pours that into us. So it means a lot to us. It’s a second home for me,” said Marlon Lobban, Sioux City Bandits defensive coordinator.

And the quest to bring more championships back to Sioux City is always strong, even if he never saw this on the horizon.

“I could’ve never imagined I’d be the head coach of an indoor profession football team. I just never thought that far ahead in life I guess,” said Strohbeen.

But he’s sure glad the journey led him here.