SCSU women’s soccer adds new members to coaching staff
Edgar Ayala – Sports Writer
Bob Dikranian and Chris LeGates have been given roles to serve as new additions to Southern Connecticut’s women’s soccer coaching staff.
Head coach Adam Cohen announced that Dikranian and LeGates would be joining Katie DiDio as assistant coaches.
According to Southern Connecticut’s Athletics site, Dikranian founded the men’s soccer program back in 1966, amassing a record of 227-94-21 in 21 seasons for the Owls, while still appearing in 14 NCAA Division II tournaments and six straight trips to the semifinals from 1978-83.
In addition, he guided Southern to their first NCAA championship in 1987, was a 2013 NSCAA Hall of Famer and a two-time NCAA National Coach of the Year.
Yet as more than 20 years has gone by since Dikranian last coached the Owls’ soccer program, he said there was no better place to come back than to SCSU.
“I was asked to help out, and what better place to come than Southern,” Dikranian said. ”I’m happy that I was called back, this is a very talented group who are very coachable.”
Dikranian was also recently appointed as the Coordinator of Soccer Officiating for the Eastern College Athletic Conference, stating that he is happy to help the game in anyway possible.
As for Coach LeGates, he served as the former head coach for women’s soccer at the University of Saint Joseph for 18 years and assistant coach at Quinnipiac University for five.
“I am very thankful to Coach Cohen for believing in me and wanting me to be part of the program,” Coach LeGates said. “The ability to work at this level, with these players, staff and administration at SCSU, made the choice a no brainer.”
LeGates, a five-time Coach of the Year for the University of Saint Joseph, led USJ to a program-record 16 wins, were regular-season GNAC champions and played in the ECAC New England Tournament championship game, all in his final year as head coach.
Caroline Staudle, SCSU’s women’s soccer player and accounting major, has noted LeGates presence in training to be motivating.
“Everyday at practice he comes with a smile on his face, ready for practice and how he can help the team grow,” said junior forward Staudle. “He is very motivating and helps us maximize our abilities at practice. He really changes the environment at practice in the best way possible.”
Like Staudle, LeGates has also gone on to praise Coach Dikranian for his success over the past 50 years as a soccer coach.
“Sitting in the office with him, or on the field or in the press box is like being in a classroom to me,” LeGates said.
“I try to soak up as much of what he is saying that I can. He finds the mistakes and simplifies the game so quickly and efficiently. You can see why he has accomplished all that he has.”
Maeghan Howard, forward on the women’s soccer team, is no stranger to Coach Dikranian, as she was part of the same South Central Premier team that Dikranian managed.
Furthermore, Howard said she has always admired Dikranian, adding that he knows more about the game than anyone she has ever met.
And with the two new additions to the coaching staff, both Howard and Staudle have agreed that the team is capable of reaching new heights this season under new management.
“The new coaches will definitely help in our team’s success,” said Staudle. “We have already seen significant improvement throughout preseason, and with the help of the four coaches, we definitely have the potential to be very successful this season.”
Photo Credit: Staff Photo