The Commerce Journal

Sports

September 3, 2013

Tom Dibbern named head track and field/cross country coach

COMMERCE — Texas A&M University-Commerce Athletic Director Ryan Ivey today announced the hiring of Tom Dibbern as the Lions’ new head track and field and cross country coach.

“We are excited to welcome Tom to the Lion family,” Ivey said. “His credentials and previous success at Angelo made him a great fit for the future and vision of our program. We had some extremely qualified and successful candidates throughout the search, but Tom rose to the top.  His experience in the Lone Star Conference, the state of Texas and his reputation as a relentless recruiter, made him a great fit.”

Dibbern has established himself as one of the top track and field coaches in the country, bringing with him a lengthy resume of success. A two-time National Assistant Coach of the Year, he has coached a US Olympic Trial qualifier, 8 USATF national championship competitors, a pair of NCAA Division II National Athletes of the Year (including a national record holder), three individual national champions and over 40 All-Americans.

Dibbern comes to Commerce after helping Angelo State establish itself as one of the top track and field programs in the country. During his 10 seasons in San Angelo, Dibbern coached two Division II national champions, 31 individual and three relay teams which achieved All-America status and 29 Lone Star Conference individual champions. He has been a major factor in helping the Rambelles to six Lone Star Conference titles since 2005, including five-straight since 2009.

Dibbern served as the primary coach for the Rams and Rambelles long jumpers, triple jumpers and high jumpers, and also coaches the javelin throwers, short sprinters, short hurdlers, sprint relay teams and multi-event athletes. He was named the 2011 NCAA D-II Men’s Regional Assistant Coach of the Year after winning the Women’s National Assistant Coach of the Year honors in 2009 and 2010.

In 2010, Dibbern played a pivotal role in the Rambelles winning the NCAA D-II Outdoor National Championship, the first in school history. In addition to his regional honors, he was named National Assistant Coach of the Year, and later was named head coach of the ASU cross country team.

Before arriving at Angelo State, Dibbern spent one season as the assistant men’s and women’s track coach at Oklahoma Baptist University, where he coached the multi-event and field event athletes. He helped lead the men’s and women’s squads to third-place finishes at the NAIA Indoor National Championships, and the women’s team to a fifth-place effort at the NAIA outdoor national meet. Under his guidance, four OBU athletes garnered All-America honors, including one NAIA national runner-up, 15 qualified for NAIA national meets, and five new school records were set.  Prior to his time at OBU, Dibbern spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Hastings (Neb.) College, working with the multi-event athletes, jumpers and javelin throwers. At Hastings, he coached three NAIA national champions, three national runners-up and 13 All-Americans. He also helped HC qualify more than 25 athletes to NAIA national meets and set four new school records. In addition, he helped coach the women’s team to a fifth-place finish at the NAIA Outdoor National Championships in 2002.

Dibbern was also a highly successful student-athlete, competing for the Angelo State track and field team from 1997-99 and in 2001. He placed as high as third at the LSC Championships in the triple jump, and twice qualified provisionally for the NCAA D-II National Outdoor Championships. After taking time off due to an injury, he returned in 2001 to compete in the decathlon.

Dibbern has proven to be one of the most qualified coaches in the country, holding an Instructor Training Certificate and a Level II Coaching Certificate from U.S.A. Track and Field in the jumps, throws, multi-events, sprints and hurdles. He is currently working towards his USATF Level III certification.

A native of Albany, Texas, Dibbern received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Angelo State in 2001 and his master’s degree in physical education from Hastings College in 2003, solidifying himself as the right person to lead the Lion track and field and cross country programs.

“Our track and field program has a rich history and tradition, and Tom is the right person to get it back to its winning ways,” Ivey said. “He has been part of building National champions, both team and individuals, and I have no doubt that he will achieve a high level of success here at A&M-Commerce.”

Dibbern fills the void left by former Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Darren Schnedier, who resigned August 14th. With such a short time frame leading up to the start of the men’s and women’s cross country season in less than two weeks, Ivey also expressed his gratitude to those who helped make this hiring a reality.

“I want to thank the search committee and University personnel for their help in expediting this search, but also for their diligence in making sure we got the right person.”

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