Courtesy: Kansas State Athletics
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Mike Dibbini, a former standout player and highly-successful coach at Kansas Wesleyan who has most recently rebuilt Cal Poly Pomona into an NCAA Division II championship contender, has been named Kansas State’s first intercollegiate women’s soccer coach, Athletics Director John Currie announced today.
At each of his coaching stints at the NAIA and Division II levels, Dibbini has built winning programs and successful student-athletes. He is a 12-time conference coach of the year who led Kansas Wesleyan and Cal Poly Pomona to 13 postseason tournament appearances and an overall career winning percentage of .750 as a collegiate head coach (265-78-25). Dibbini coached eight years at KWU leading both the men’s and women’s programs before moving to Pomona in 2013.
“As we searched nationally for our first head women’s soccer coach, we wanted to attract a well-connected energetic leader who is the right fit for K-State and possesses the drive and vision to build a program into a national contender. From the moment we announced the launch of our new women’s soccer program we heard from literally hundreds of coaches at all levels of soccer around the country who saw the potential of K-State Soccer and wanted the opportunity to build our program,” said Currie. “In Mike Dibbini, we have secured a leader with deep soccer roots, proven championship coaching ability, a passion of building and teaching the game, and who has first-hand knowledge of the advantages and special family environment of the state of Kansas. I am pleased to welcome him and his wife Trina and their two children to the Wildcat family. Exciting days are ahead for soccer fans across the entire state of Kansas and the Big 12!”
In just his second year at Cal Poly Pomona in 2014, Dibbini directed the Broncos to their best season in 15 years with a 15-6-1 record and a No. 16 national ranking, the second-highest in program history. Cal Poly Pomona advanced to the Division II West Region title game in the third round of the NCAA Tournament (quarterfinals) and produced six all-conference performers including the school’s fourth-ever All-American.
Charged with the task of rebuilding the Bronco program when hired in 2013, Dibbini’s first team posted a 6-7-5 record. Cal Poly Pomona made tremendous strides in year two not only on the playing field but in the classroom as well. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) recognized the efforts of the Broncos with a pair of Team Academic Awards for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years.
“First, I would like to thank Athletics Director John Currie and the search committee for this great opportunity,” said Dibbini. “Throughout the process it became obvious to me that K-State is a special “family” place with genuine people. The current and future resources are excellent. The infrastructure is in place for our student-athletes to have great success and a world-class student-athlete experience. I am thrilled to join the family and look forward to getting started and building a solid foundation of tradition and success at K-State for women’s soccer.”
At Kansas Wesleyan, Dibbini served as the Director of Soccer Programs from 2005-12 for both the men’s and women’s teams. Combined, he amassed a record of 244-65-25 (.768) and in conference play, his teams went 133-7-4 (.938) while capturing 12 regular-season titles and 12 tournament titles.
“We are excited about the addition of Mike Dibbini as the new head coach of our inaugural women’s soccer program,” said President Kirk Schulz. “Attracting successful leaders of high character and integrity is a key component of our goal to be recognized as a Top 50 public research university by 2025 , and Coach Dibbini certainly fits that mold. We are thrilled to welcome the Dibbini family to Manhattan and K-State.”
The Kansas Wesleyan women’s team posted a record of 126-30-14 under Dibbini and, in 2012, the Coyotes were 20-2 overall en route to capturing the league’s regular-season and tournament titles and Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) Coach of the Year and Regional Coach of the Year recognition for Dibbini.
Dibbini also helped KWU secure a berth in the 2012 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round, where Kansas Wesleyan defeated Benedictine to advance to the NAIA National Championship Final site in Orange Beach, Ala. It marked the second time in the Opening Round era that the Coyotes had reached the Final Site, the first in 2008.
The KWU women’s squad won three-straight regular season championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008 while going undefeated during that span, and won four-consecutive conference tournament championships in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 before adding another in 2010.
The Kansas Wesleyan men’s soccer team finished the 2012 season with a 16-3-2 record overall, winning both the KCAC regular season and tournament championships for a third-straight season and advancing to the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round for a third-consecutive year. Dibbini earned his sixth KCAC Coach of the Year accolade in 2012 and through his eight seasons, the men’s team went 118-36-11 overall.
Prior to coaching at KWU, Dibbini was the Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer Coach at Salina Central High School in Salina, Kansas, from 1999 through 2006 and also helped develop the Salina Soccer Academy youth program. In 2006, he was named the AVCTL Division I Coach of the Year. In 1999, he received the Kansas State Youth Soccer Boys Coach of the Year award. He holds an NSCAA Premier Coaching Diploma and USSF National Coaching License.
Dibbini graduated Cum Laude from Kansas Wesleyan University in 1999 with a degree in Elementary Education, and continued on to earn a Master of Business Administration in 2002.
As a student-athlete with two years at KWU and two at Bethany Lutheran (Minn.), Dibbini became a four-time All-Conference, All-Region and All-American selection. In 1997, Dibbini was ranked No. 2 in the NAIA for goals and points while also earning NAIA Academic All-Region and National Small College Player of the Year honors.
Originally from Palmdale, Calif., Dibbini was a two-time All-CIF First Team and Golden League Player of the Year honoree while at Palmdale High School. His high school career featured a CIF Player of the Year selection as well.
Dibbini and his wife Trina, also a Kansas Wesleyan graduate and Baldwin City, Kansas, native, have two children, Jada and Kadin.
Dibbini, who joins a group of elite Wildcat head coaches including former Division II coaching standouts Brad Hill (baseball) and Jeff Mittie (women’s basketball), will lead K-State into its first season of competition in Fall 2016.
Head Coach, Kansas State (present)
Head Coach, Cal Poly Pomona (2013-14; 21-13-6, .600)
Director of Soccer Programs, Kansas Wesleyan (2005-12; combined record – 244-65-25, .768)
Head Coach, Salina Central High School (1999-2006)
Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, Kansas Wesleyan, 1999
Master’s in Business Administration, Kansas Wesleyan, 2002
National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Premier Coaching Diploma
USSF National Coaching License
Children: Jada and Kadin
What They Are Saying About Mike Dibbini
Dr. Phillip P. Kerstetter, Mount Olive College President and former Kansas Wesleyan President
“I am so pleased to hear about Mike’s appointment as the inaugural women’s soccer coach at Kansas State University. He did an outstanding job for us at Kansas Wesleyan. I think this is a choice that will be instrumental in moving the women’s soccer program at K-State incredibly forward and incredibly fast.”
Matt Williams, former Kansas Wesleyan Athletics Director
“Mike is a great guy and he has the ability to come in and build a program. He was very responsible and very respected in the community. He never complained and is a very hard working young man. He recruited very good student-athletes that fit our institution. He was very respected by all of our coaches and the players consider him as a father figure and a very good person of character. I am glad that he has this opportunity. I always thought he could be a successful Division I coach and know he wanted to come back to Kansas; his wife is from Kansas, and he will be a good fit for K-State.”
Gabe Romo, former player and Associate Head Coach at Kansas Wesleyan, current Head Women’s Coach at Holy Names University
“Mike is my mentor. I played for him and I coached with him. He is the reason why I am where I am today in my coaching career. He is a great coach but more importantly he is a great person. Kansas State got a very strong coach who is a good leader and very underrated. Everyone that knows him personally, knows what he can do and knows that he’ll get the job done. I couldn’t be more excited for him and his family. K-State got an excellent recruiter and an excellent human being. His work ethic is very high. He cares about his school. He cares about his players. He cares about the whole department. He will make sure he is a good representative of Kansas State Athletics.”
Kathleen Benton, former player at Kansas Wesleyan from 2007-08
“I am a California kid originally and as Mike Dibbini recruited me, I went out there (on a visit) and signed before I left. It was amazing to see the kind of environment he created. It was a culture of success on and off the field. The coaching staff was phenomenal. Anywhere he is going to end up or go, obviously at K-State now, it is going to be magic. The guy just knows himself and he knows the demographic he is in. He is so adaptable to any situation he is in. He thrives on this kind of situation, especially with an inaugural program. I can’t wait to see what he does, and creating a culture of family and success and a sense of belonging is something, especially in women’s soccer, that’s so vital to success and chemistry. I am very happy for him. He is a big family guy. He deserves everything because he has worked hard for this. As a former player and assistant coach, I am extremely happy for him.”
Brian Swanson, Director of Athletics at Cal Poly Pomona
“Mike Dibbini has been an outstanding coach and a great mentor for our female student-athletes. He has been an outstanding community member and he also takes great pride in the academic success of student-athletes. Although we are sorry to see him leave, Kansas State is getting an outstanding coach and person, and we wish him well. He will do an outstanding job with Kansas State Athletics.”
Stephanie Duke, Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator at Cal Poly Pomona
“Kansas State is getting a proven winner in Coach Dibbini. He is committed to building a positive culture within his team, the student-athlete experience, high achievement in the classroom, and fully supporting his colleagues and other student-athletes. He will be a great fit for K-State and the local community.”