Harry L. Strobel was named the head coach of Bellevue High School football and basketball teams on June 10, 1942.
A native of Massillon, he starred in football, basketball and baseball at Washington High School where he and Paul Brown were teammates. Both later attended Miami University of Ohio and performed brilliantly in three sports.
Strobel’s first coaching job was at Brilliant, along the Ohio River near Steubenville, for three years compiling an 18-8-4 record. After one year terms at North Canton (7-2) and Louisville (5-4-1), he went to Orrville, where his grid teams were undefeated in two of his five years there, compiling a record of 31 wins, 10 losses and four ties.
The Bellevue Gazette sports editor Fred Edwards wrote this introductions of Harry Strobel: “Bellevue football fans can expect a dash of the same pepper, power and precision execution of gridiron fundamentals which have worked for the superlative Massillon High School teams of the past few years when Harry L. Strobel, newly appointed Bellevue High School head coach takes up his duties this fall.”
On Aug. 20 that year, 40 candidates of assorted sizes reportedly turned out to greet Coach Strobel. Bellevue had primarily been known as a basketball school as evidenced by its previous 10-year record of six league titles, three runners-up and two trips to the state basketball tournament. The football team compiled a 28-52-10 record that same 10-year span.
Strobel faced two gigantic problems in World War II and defense jobs. Many of the lettermen held jobs — good paying jobs, while others were due to be called into the armed services.
He injected a fine competitive spirit in his teams. Starting slowly in the first two seasons the Redmen dropped 12 while winning four. He brought them to a peak in 1944 when they won seven, lost one and tied one to win the title in the new Northern Ohio League and added the Little Big Four championship title in its final year. Two members of that 1944 squad were All-Ohio selections. Bob Green, team captain, was first team and Gene Dudley was selected to third team.
Strobel was successful coaching Redmen basketball. His 1942-43 basketball squad, led by a pair of sophomores Bob Green and Gene Dudley, posted a 10-8 season record, sharing the Little Big Four League honors with Port Clinton.
Bellevue was honored that same year by being selected as the site of the Northwestern Ohio Sectional and District Tournament with Bellevue High School Principal Ed Masonbrink as manager. Ten Class A teams were entered. The following year, 1943-44 with only Green and Dudley returning and up from the 1942-43 reserve team that finished with a 9-3 record were juniors Fred Friend and Charlie Hickman, and sophomore Vince Schlict, Strobel’s Redmen provided a preview of things to come.