K-State Welcomes Coach Dibbini
New K-State women's soccer head coach Mike Dibbini addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon at the K-State Alumni Center, and from his coaching style to his recruiting plans, those in attendance had the opportunity to get to know the new coach a little bit better.
"I'm very, very excited to be here and to be a part of the K-State family," said Dibbini in his opening statement. "This is my dream job and hopefully my final destination."
Dibbini comes to K-State after spending the past two seasons at Cal Poly-Pomona where, in 2014, he 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.
Despite being a native of Palmdale, California, Dibbini is no stranger to the Midwest as he spent 17 years in Salina, Kansas, surrounded by soccer. A former standout soccer player for Kansas Wesleyan University, Dibbini spent seven years as the head coach at Salina Central High School upon graduating from KWU in 1999 before taking over the soccer program - both men's and women's - at his alma mater in 2006.
"Every search for every position in K-State Athletics starts with a commitment to integrity," said K-State director of athletics John Currie yesterday afternoon. "Candidates are evaluated as to their fit within our five core goals, and in Coach Dibbini, we believe we have the perfect fit for the K-State family. He beat an incredible field to win this job, and I know that someday we'll be watching him lead K-State to a Big 12 Championship."
Sporting his brand-new official Purple blazer, the inaugural head women's soccer coach took the podium to speak at his first-ever press conference.
Here's a look at what he had to say:
Question: With the popularity of soccer in Kansas City booming right now, do you believe this is the best time to start up a program at K-State?
Dibbini: Absolutely. I think the Kansas area has a rich tradition with soccer, especially in the major cities such as Kansas City, and with the (Women's) World Cup coming up this summer, there's no better timing than right now.
Question: All of the other Big 12 schools already have soccer programs, so how do you plan to catch up to them quickly?
Dibbini: By identifying student-athletes and recruiting above the level right away. Right now, No. 1 is recruiting the top Kansas kids available and getting them on board, getting them to understand the philosophies, the values and understand what we're all about. We'll share the vision with them, and then, attract others, nationally, and put it all together. Recruiting is a big thing right now.
Question: What have you been told about facilities or a stadium?
Dibbini: That's still a work in progress. I'm visiting with administration still about that question with possible plans and so on, but we're still getting together and deciding on the field and the facilities. There are several options, just like Memorial Stadium is a possibility, but we're looking at different options as well.
Question: What are the values you want to instill in this team both on and off the field?
Dibbini: Obviously, we want to have a great student-athlete experience, but you also want integrity, responsibility, accountability. I want to teach them to make real-life decisions on their own and be accountable for those decisions. I was a teacher for many years before I was a coach, so I think it's important that they learn from the positives and the mistakes; that's how they grow as individuals. A lot of our decision making and our values are based on learning from mistakes. Winning with class, losing with class and having a lot of integrity.
Question: What is your personal coaching style?
Dibbini: I'm a very offensive-orientated type of coach, so you're going to see dynamic soccer team that possesses the ball and moves forward. It's a style that attracts fans, and we want the fan experience to be very enjoyable. So we're going to try and go down and score a lot of goals. If we lose the ball, we're going to try and defend together as a team. We'll be an offensive-orientated team - the outside backs and defenders are going to be joining the attack.