Gabe Romo enters his fourth season on the sidelines for K-State as an assistant coach. Romo was hired by head coach Mike Dibbini as the program’s first assistant coach in March of 2015.
Romo’s on-field coaching duties include working with K-State’s defense and goalkeepers.
In addition to his coaching duties, Romo’s responsibilities include: practice preparation and development for the team’s defense, organization and arrangement of the team’s game schedule, dispersing team information on the team’s social media accounts, recruiting coordination of unofficial and official visits and recruiting evaluation.
Romo joins K-State following a one-year stint in 2014 as the head men’s and women’s soccer coach at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. 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, Jaime Phillips.
Prior to his time at Holy Names, Romo was at Kansas Wesleyan from 2011-14 as a member of Dibbini’s staff and as the head men’s soccer coach. As the men’s head coach in 2013, Romo registered a 13-4-3 record while earning Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) Coach of the Year honors. Romo guided the Coyotes to a 2014 NAIA National Tournament appearance while capturing the KCAC regular season and tournament titles.
In 2012, Romo served as the associate head men’s and women’s soccer coach under Dibbini at Kansas Wesleyan. Romo was responsible for 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 had significant success in 2012, as the men finished with a 16-3-2 record and secured the KCAC regular season and tournament titles, while making an appearance in the NAIA national tournament and a final NAIA ranking of No. 10. The women notched a 20-2 overall mark and secured 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, while the women carded a 16-2-2 mark.
Before his time on the sidelines with his alma mater as an assistant coach, Romo picked up head coaching experience with Lancaster (Calif.) High School in 2009-10 and 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 letter winner and team captain in 2008 on the men’s soccer team. He helped Kansas Wesleyan to an overall record of 56-22-5 in his four seasons including three KCAC regular season conference titles (2005, 2007 and 2008) and two KCAC tournament crowns (2005 and 2006).
Kat Benton enters her first season as an assistant coach at Kansas State. Benton joins K-State following two seasons as head coach at Kansas Wesleyan.
Benton steered Kansas Wesleyan to a 27-11-4 (.690) record and the 2018 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) regular season and tournament titles.
In 2018, the Coyotes finished with a 17-3-2 overall record and an 11-0-1 record in the conference to capture the conference titles.
The Coyotes placed nine on the All-KCAC teams, including the KCAC Newcomer of the Year (Michelle Pena), the KCAC Defensive Player of the Year (Krysta Catone) and Benton was named the 2018 KCAC Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year. Four student-athletes were named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Plains Region Team and Pena was named as a NAIA Honorable Mention All-American.
In 2017, Benton’s first season leading the Coyotes, she led the program to the 13th consecutive appearance in the KCAC Tournament Championship match. KWU went 10-8-2 overall on the season and posted an 8-2 record in the final ten matches of the season.
Benton mentored seven players to All-KCAC including first-team selections Valerie Ochoa, Antonia Burrell and Jane Potter. Four were named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes and seven were named Academic All-KCAC.
Benton was a two-year letter winner and two-time team captain at Kansas Wesleyan, as she played for Dibbini in 2007 and 2008. She helped lead the Coyotes back-to-back KCAC regular season and tournament crowns. The 2007 squad won the NAIA Region IV title, a first-ever accomplishment for a team from the KCAC, and advanced to the second round of the NAIA National Championships. The Coyotes reached the 2008 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round.
Benton collected a number of honors during her playing career with Kansas Wesleyan including: 2007 NAIA All-America honorable mention, two-time NSCAA All-Regiona, two-time All-KCAC First Team and 2007 KCAC Newcomer of the Year.
Following her playing career, Benton served as an assistant coach on Dibbini’s staff at Kansas Wesleyan from 2009 until 2013, where she oversaw recruiting and served as the head coach of the junior varsity squad. She also was active within the Salina Soccer Club, serving as Director of Academies, Assistant Director of Coaching, and as a coach.
She has also served as a head coach in the Kansas Olympic Development Program since 2013 and has been the head coach of the Sporting Kaw Valley Premier team and is a Technical Director for SKV in Salina. She was named the KSYSA Girls Competitive Coach of the Year in 2016.
Benton holds several top coaching certifications including a USSF F, E, & D licenses, NSCAA Youth II Diploma, NSCAA Goalkeeping I, II, & III Diplomas, NSCAA Advanced Regional Diploma, NSCAA National Diploma, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and NSCAA Premier Diploma. She was named part of the prestigious NSCAA 30 under 30 class in 2014-15 which pegs the top 15 women and 15 men in the country as the best up and coming coaches under 30 years of age
Benton holds an Associate of Liberal Arts degree from Santiago Canyon College in Orange, Calif. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Kansas Wesleyan and received her Master of Business Administration with emphasis in Sports Management from KWU in 2011.