After announcing plans to build a program in October, the K-State women’s soccer team took a major step forward Friday, announcing the hiring of Mike Dibbini as the program’s first intercollegiate head coach.
Dibbini joins K-State following stints with Kansas Wesleyan and, most recently, Cal Poly Pomona. He earned 13 postseason tournament appearances and an overall winning percentage of .750 (286-78-25) at KWU and Cal Poly, and was named conference coach of the year 12 times at the NAIA and NCAA Division II levels.
“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,” K-State Director of Athletics John Currie said in a release. “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.”
Dibbini has experience building programs from the ground up, having revitalized the Cal Poly program into a national winner in just two years. The Broncos posted a 6-7-5 record in Dibbini’s first season with the Broncos in 2013, and then climbed as high as No. 16 in the national rankings this past season. Cal Poly finished 2014 with a 15-6-1 mark and a trip to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.
“First, I would like to thank Athletics Director John Currie and the search committee for this great opportunity,” Dibbin said. “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.”
Before leading Kansas Wesleyan’s men’s and women’s squads to well over a dozen regular season and conference tournament championships in eight years, Dibbini was a two-time All-American with the Coyotes. He finished a four-time All-Conference, All-Region and All-American selection at KWU and Bethany Lutheran.
Dibbini’s hiring comes earlier than expected, as plans were to begin the coaching search in January 2015.
The team is expected to kickoff in the fall of 2016 and will offer 14 scholarships to a roster of 25-30 players.