Dibbini Adds Jessica Smith to Coaching Staff

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head women’s soccer coach Mike Dibbini has announced an addition to his inaugural coaching staff, as he has hired former Kansas assistant coach Jessica Smith to the same position with the Wildcats. Smith joins Gabe Romo on Dibbini’s first staff at K-State.

“K-State soccer is proud to welcome Jessica Smith to our program,” said Dibbini about Smith’s addition to his staff. “This is an exciting time for K-State as we are preparing for our inaugural season in the fall of 2016. In Jessica, we secured not only a very good coach but she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience at the Division I level, primarily in the Big 12 Conference. We are excited that Jessica and her family will join the K-State family.”

Smith served as an assistant coach on the Kansas staff from 2011 until 2015. During her time on the sidelines with the Jayhawks, she helped guide the program to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances in 2011 and 2014 and a trip to the Big 12 Conference tournament final in 2015.

Under Smith’s guidance, the Jayhawks’ offense tallied 35 or more goals in four seasons as the 2011 team registered one of the top offensive seasons in program history. KU scored the second-most goals in school history (46) and totaled 131 points, which was the third-highest single-season mark in program history.

“I am very grateful to Coach Dibbini and the administration for the opportunity to join the K-State family,” said Smith about her addition to the staff. “From the start of this process, it was clear to me the level of commitment to build a successful women's soccer program and the support our team will receive to reach our goals. My family and I have felt so welcomed by the K-State family and we truly look forward to making the Wildcat community our home.”

In 2013, Smith was selected as one of 15 women by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) for their inaugural 30-Under-30 Coaching Program for rising coaches.

Smith holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National “B” License, which she attained in 2011. From 2009-10, Smith aided the Jayhawks as a volunteer assistant coach.

“The opportunity to start a Big 12 program in my home state of Kansas was a challenge that I could not pass up,” stated Smith about helping build a program from the ground up. “I am anxious to get on the field this spring to train our current team, as well as getting on the recruiting trail to find players who will help impact our program. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to build a program in a power 5 conference and I could not be more ready to get to work.”

Before she joined the KU coaching staff, Smith coached at various levels in the Kansas City Metro area, including as a varsity assistant coach for both the boys’ and girls’ teams at Olathe Northwest High School. During her time at ONWHS, she helped guide the Lady Ravens to back-to-back region championships in 2008 and 2009, while assisting with the Ravens’ boys regional championship team in 2007. Several of her players on both the girls’ and boys’ sides went on to play soccer at the collegiate level.

In addition to her coaching duties at Olathe Northwest, Smith served as a coach with the Kansas State Olympic Development Program (ODP) girls’ program. In 2008, she was an assistant with the 1992 team, which was the first Kansas ODP team (boys or girls) to win an ODP Regional Championship. Her team went on to participate in the US Youth Soccer National ODP Championship tournament. Smith is currently working on Region II ODP staff with the 2000 birth year team.

Smith has also spent time working with TOPSoccer programs throughout the state of Kansas in 2008 until 2011 as a chairperson as well as a coach. TOPSoccer is U.S. Youth Soccer’s outreach program for children with special needs.

As a student-athlete from 2002-05 with Kansas, Smith played in 83 career games and was team captain in 2005. She was a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection and helped the Jayhawks win the Big 12 regular season title in 2004 and aided the 2003 squad to a third round appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Smith scored 16 goals in her career with the Jayhawks including seven in her freshman season. Her 16 career goals rank eighth in school history. She also dished out 10 assists. She garnered a pair of Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors and was named to the Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week in 2005. She graduated from KU in 2006 with a degree in sports and fitness management.

Smith was an NSCAA All-American at Wichita Southeast High School. The product of Wichita, Kansas,is the program’s all-time leading scorer after graduating in 2002. In 2012, Smith was an inaugural inductee into the Wichita Southeast High School Athletics Hall of Fame.

The K-State Soccer Founders Club currently has over 940 members from 37 different states. To join or receive more information, contact the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 221-CATS.