Dibbini Takes Over as First Wildcat Soccer Coach

Athletics Director John Currie announced Mike Dibbini, a former standout player and successful coach at Kansas Wesleyan who has most recently rebuilt the Cal Poly-Pomona program into a NCAA Division II Championship contender, as the new program's first head coach, and Dibbini couldn't be more excited for the opportunity.
"I'm very excited to have the opportunity to be the first coach and start up the program from scratch," said Dibbini over the weekend. "It's a great opportunity, I'm excited about the challenges - we can make it happen."
Though a native of Palmdale, California, Dibbini spent 17 years in Salina, Kansas, so he is no stranger to the Midwest. Upon graduating from Kansas Wesleyan University in 1999, Dibbini spent seven years as the head coach at Salina Central High School before taking over the soccer program - both men's and women's - at Kansas Wesleyan in 2006. 
His wife Trina, who Dibbini met during his time at KWU, grew up in Baldwin City, Kansas, and has family in the area.
"I was raised in California, but for half my life I lived in Kansas, so I have a great support structure there in the community, and we have family there," he explained. "The roots are there, and now I've just got to get back and reestablish those roots and connections."
During his time coaching at the collegiate level, Dibbini has built two winning programs and coached numerous successful student-athletes at both Kansas Wesleyan and Cal Poly-Pomona. Along with his overall career winning percentage of .750 (265-78-25), Dibbini has earned 12 conference coach of the year awards and led teams to 13 postseason tournament appearances. 
After spending eight seasons at Kansas Wesleyan, Dibbini moved to Pomona in 2013. In just two years at Cal Poly-Pomona, Dibbini coached the Broncos to their best season in 15 years with a 15-6-1 record and a No. 16 national ranking, the second-best ranking in program history. He led Cal Poly-Pomona to the Division II West Regional title game in the third round of the NCAA Tournament and produced six all-conference performers, including the school's fourth-ever All-American in women's soccer. 
With a successful past of rebuilding programs, Dibbini is familiar with the challenges he will face in the upcoming years.  
Though the inaugural season at K-State won't begin for another year and a half, Dibbini is excited to hit the ground running. He said he begins working at K-State on Monday, January 5, and is ready to get things started. 
"There's a time table for a lot of things, and obviously one of the most important things is scheduling - we have to get out and begin scheduling," explained Dibbini on what he will be focusing on first. "Also, I'll be putting a staff together; a staff that has the same beliefs and values, people that I trust. Then, obviously, another important thing is recruiting. Those three things are very, very important. There's none more important than the other - they work together."
When it comes to recruiting, Dibbini already has connections in the area from his time in Salina. He knows the state of Kansas holds a great future for the sport and is confident K-State women's soccer will be a part of that growth. 
"Kansas City is a hot bed for soccer right now," he said. "So that's definitely going to help. We'll reach out to Kansas City, but there are other hot beds for soccer across the state such as Manhattan, Salina, Wichita, Topeka and Lawrence. There is some big time soccer in the area, and we're going to try to get that recruiting market going."
While he is familiar with the area already, he is also familiar with K-State. Living just west of Manhattan for so many years, Dibbini attended Wildcat sporting events and knows his fair share of K-Staters. 
"I've been in the area and watched the games, so I've been a fan of K-State for a while. You can definitely see the pride there, but it just seems like everybody is a team player," said Dibbini on the K-State family. "They're all very family orientated, personable and genuine. They seem like they'll go that extra mile for you. I got that sense when I first stepped on campus." 
With Dibbini at the reins, a bright future is on the horizon for K-State women's soccer, and in the years to come, K-State Athletics is excited to see how this new chapter unfolds. 
"You know, the sky's the limit for me," he said on the potential of the program right now. "I sit here and watch the Big 12, and I'm getting an understanding of and identifying the right student-athletes. It's going to be a process. We're going to win some, and we're going to lose some, but the process is going to be there. We understand that it's a process and the winning will come into play. Overall, I'm excited. I'm very confident that we will do very well in the near future and long term."
 

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