San Diego Strike Force
|San Diego Strike Force|
Play in San Diego, California
at the Pechanga Arena
|Indoor Football League (2019–present)|
|Team colors||Flight suit green, stealth black, yellow, white|
|General manager||Ryan Eucker|
|Head coach||Burt Grossman|
|League championships (0)|
|Conference championships (0)|
|Division championships (0)|
The San Diego Strike Force is a professional indoor football team based in San Diego, California. It is a member of the Indoor Football League and began play in 2019 at Pechanga Arena in the city's Midway district. It is owned by Roy Choi, who also owns the IFL's Cedar Rapids River Kings and Oakland Panthers. It is the second professional football team in San Diego that began play in spring 2019, after the San Diego Fleet of the Alliance of American Football, more than year after the departure of the NFL's San Diego Chargers in 2017.
The Strike Force is the third indoor team to play in San Diego, after the San Diego Riptide of af2 (2002–2005) and the San Diego Shockwave of the National Indoor Football League (2007). The team may have planned on being called the San Diego Lightning, as the organization's original email addresses and internal website links used that name.
The team was initially announced as a 2019 Indoor Football League expansion team in November 2018. The team announced their colors as black, navy blue, silver, as well as their initial staff on December 17, 2018. Brian Cox, a former sports agent and quarterback, was hired as the general manager, while ex-Chargers defensive end Burt Grossman was named head coach.
The Strike Force was plagued by turmoil throughout its inaugural season, with Grossman remarking the games were like he was "Southwestern College going to play Clemson or something." Their season opener against the Quad City Steamwheelers saw them allow 43 points in the first half as they lost 67–49; Grossman attributed the team's struggles to a lack of headsets for the coaches. He eventually fired the defensive coordinator and released four players on defense; the offensive coordinator had also been fired two weeks prior, though Grossman noted both coaches were on the staff prior to his arrival. The Strike Force's first home game, a 65–44 defeat by the Tucson Sugar Skulls, saw a poor playing field consisting of carpet pieces held together with duct tape; four additional players were released a day later. After a 0–3 start, owner Choi brought in the River Kings' general manager Ryan Eucker to replace Cox. The team finished the season with a 1–13 record and last place in the league; their lone win was a 40–34 victory over the River Kings.
Following the 2019 season, Eucker announced the team would undergo a minor rebrand with a new logos and colors, choosing more military tones in olive green, black, silver, and brass to better represent the city.
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