MANHATTAN – Following the first Big 12 Championship appearance in the brief seven-year history of the Kansas State soccer program, K-State Director of Athletics Gene Taylor and Head Coach Mike Dibbini announced a four-year contract extension through the 2026 season on Wednesday.
“Coach Dibbini and his staff continue to gain momentum following their first appearance at the Big 12 Championships this fall,” Taylor said. “The trajectory of our program is continuing to climb in the right direction, as evidenced by the type of student-athletes they are bringing in and the tremendous crowds we regularly have at Buser Family Park. We are excited as we know the best days are ahead of us when it comes to K-State soccer.”
As the only head coach in the history of the K-State soccer program, Dibbini has guided the program through a ground up building process. In just seven seasons at the helm of the Wildcat program, Dibbini has recorded a MAC Hermann Trophy candidate, one Senior CLASS Award All-American, a College Sports Communicators Academic All-American, seven College Sports Communicators Academic All-District recipients, a United Soccer Coaches All-Region selection, five All-Big 12 recipients and 69 Academic All-Big 12 honorees.
“I would like to thank Gene Taylor, President Linton and Matt Thomason for their continued support and belief in me leading this program,” stated Dibbini. “My family and I love everything about the university and the community of Manhattan, and it is an absolute honor to have the opportunity to continue to lead as the head coach of K-State Soccer. I'm proud of what we have accomplished over the early years in building this program to where it is today. The future is very bright here, and I look forward to the continued growth and future successes that lie ahead for the program.”
While at the helm of the K-State program for the last seven seasons, Dibbini has guided the program to the two best consecutive seasons in program history with a combined record of 12-20-5 during the last two years. The Wildcats have also tripled the amount of league victories over the last three seasons (six) compared to the first three seasons in Big 12 action (two).
During the 2022 season, earned its first appearance in the Big 12 Soccer Championship by finishing eighth in the league standings with a 2-5-2 Big 12 record and tying the school record for overall wins in a season with a final record of 6-10-3.
As part of their six victories in 2022, Kansas State collected two wins over teams that would finish the season among the NCAA RPI top-100 - Yale (63) and Oklahoma (86). The Wildcats also tied the school record for road wins in a season (3).
On the field, freshman defender Jazmin Brown became the second Wildcat to claim Big 12 All-Freshman Team honors.
In the classroom, K-State tallied a school record six College Sports Communicators Academic All-District VII honorees as Aliyah El-Naggar, Bailey Nemechek, Caylee Thornhill, Maddie Weichel, Marisa Weichel and Alaina Werremeyer earned the distinction.
In his sixth season in Manhattan in 2021, Dibbini led a squad that established new school records for goals (20), goals per game (1.11), assists (20), total points (60) and total points per game (3.33). The Wildcats tied the school record for wins in a season (6), while collecting five points in Big 12 action with an overtime win at Kansas and a pair of home draws against ranked foes, ninth-ranked West Virginia and 23rd-ranked Baylor.
K-State finished the 2021 season with Brookelynn Entz earning CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team honors and an All-Big 12 Second Team citation. In the classroom, the Wildcats were decorated with 10 Academic All-Big 12 First Team recipients.
In a season divided into the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Wildcats played its Big 12 slate in the fall and recorded a program-best 3-6-0 mark in league action and a program-high seventh-place finish. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 Big 12 Championship was not played, an event K-State would have qualified for.
During the 2020 season, the K-State program achieved a pair of program milestones. K-State saw its first international professional signee, as defender Silke Bonnen signed a contract with HB Koge in the Danish League.
After Bonnen’s signing, Entz became the first Wildcat to be drafted into the NWSL as she was selected by the Kansas City Current in the fourth round of the 2021 NWSL Draft. Entz, a 2020 All-Big 12 First Team selection, was the program’s first MAC Hermann Trophy candidate and named to the 2020-21 United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region Third Team.
In the classroom in 2020, K-State placed 15 student-athletes on the Academic All-Big 12 teams, including 14 on the first team. The Wildcats also recorded their first Senior CLASS Award All-America selection (Entz) and United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women Scholar All-West Region recipient (Entz).
Dibbini was hired in December of 2014 as Kansas State’s first intercollegiate women’s soccer coach and guided the program through a year and a half process of forming a program from the ground up.