Gabe Romo is moving up the ladder. Romo, who will begin his fifth season with Kansas State’s soccer program in 2020, was named the team’s associate head coach by Mike Dibbini.
“This title change speaks to the importance and value that Gabe has to the soccer program,” Dibbini, the Wildcats’ head coach, said in a release. “He has been an intricate part of all aspects of our program. Gabe has played for me and coached alongside me for many years. His role on the pitch won’t change as far as developing and working with the goalkeepers and helping organize the team defensively.
“He will continue to be our recruiting coordinator as he has built some really strong relationships for our program. We are very fortunate to have Gabe continue to build this young program going forward.”
Romo’s on-field coaching duties include working with K-State’s defense and goalkeepers. He also plans practice preparation and development for the team’s defense, organizes and arranges the Wildcats’ schedule and coordinates all recruitment of prospective players, from unofficial and official visits to evaluation.
“I am very humbled by this promotion,” Romo said. “The love and passion I have for the institution, student-athletes and soccer program is something I take great pride in. I am extremely blessed to call K-State home.”
Romo joined K-State in 2014 following a stint as the head coach for both the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Holy Names University in Oakland, Calif. Romo guided the men’s program to a 6-12 record and tutored the 2014 Pacific West Conference (PWC) Player of the Year and All-PWC first-team honoree in Jaime Phillips.
Prior to his time at Holy Names, Romo coached at Kansas Wesleyan as a member of Dibbini’s staff and as the head men’s soccer coach from 2011 to 2014. During the team’s 2013 campaign, Romo posted a 13-4-3 record while earning Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) Coach of the Year honors. In 2014, he coached the Coyotes to an NAIA national tournament appearance, winning the KCAC regular-season and tournament titles along the way.
In 2012, he was the associate head men’s and women’s soccer coach under Dibbini at Kansas Wesleyan. Romo was tasked with assisting with all aspects of both programs, which included recruiting and retention of student-athletes and aiding in the design and implementation of training sessions.
Both programs excelled in 2012, as the men finished with a 16-3-2 record and won the KCAC regular-season and tournament titles. It also advanced to the NAIA national tournament and finished ranked No. 10 in NAIA. The women notched a 20-2 record and secured the KCAC regular-season and tournament crowns on their way to an NAIA national tournament appearance and a final NAIA ranking of No. 11.
In 2011, Romo was the first assistant coach for the Kansas Wesleyan men’s and women’s programs. He helped both programs to KCAC regular-season and tournament crowns and appearances in the NAIA national tournament. The men finished with an overall record of 17-4; the women went 16-2-2 mark.
Before his time on the sidelines with his alma mater as an assistant coach, Romo was the head coach Lancaster (Calif.) High School in 2009-10 before serving in the same capacity at La Canada (Calif.) High School in 2010-11.
Romo graduated from Kansas Wesleyan in 2009 with a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice. During his time with the Coyotes, Romo was a four-year letterwinner and team captain in 2008 on the men’s soccer team. Kansas Wesleyan compiled a 56-22-5 in his four years, including three KCAC regular-season conference titles (2005, 2007 and 2008) and two KCAC tournament crowns (2005 and 2006).