Following the debut season of K-State soccer, K-State athletics and head coach Mike Dibbini announced a two-year contract extension through the 2020-21 season on Thursday.
“Coach Dibbini and his staff have done a remarkable job in two short years of building a strong foundation for K-State soccer,” interim athletic director Laird Veatch said. “This extension was initiated by John Currie and reflects how pleased we are with the program’s progress in its first competitive season. The Manhattan community has fully embraced our newest program as evidenced by the record-setting crowds that filled the K-State Soccer Complex last season, and we look forward to an exciting season this fall as we play our first Big 12 Conference schedule.”
In the program’s first season in 2016, Dibbini guided K-State to a record of 4-9-3, while the program ranked fourth in the nation for average attendance with 2,265 per match.
The Wildcats return 17 letterwinners, including more than 90 percent of the point scorers from a year ago. In addition to the returners and four additional redshirt student-athletes, K-State recently announced a 12-member signing class for the 2017 season. The class consists of players from California, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
“First, I would like to thank President Richard Myers and our athletics administration for their support of me, my staff and our young soccer program,” Dibbini said. “Having the support and commitment from our athletic department and university allows my staff and me to continue to strive and build on a solid firstyear foundation.
“The process of building a soccer program from scratch in the Big 12 is a challenge, especially in this modern era of recruiting and prospective student-athletes verbally committing as early as their freshman year in high school. However, my staff and I are very confident we can be competitive sooner than expected.”
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 .733 as a collegiate head coach (269-87-34). Dibbini coached eight years at KWU leading both the men’s and women’s programs before moving to Pomona in 2013.
In his second year at Cal Poly Pomona in 2014, Dibbini led 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.
At Kansas Wesleyan, Dibbini served as the coach 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.
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 in Orange Beach, Alabama.
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 11836-11 overall.
Before coaching at KWU, Dibbini was the boys’ and girls’ soccer coach at Salina Central High School 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.
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.