The year 2002 will mark five seasons as head soccer coach on the Palouse for Dan Tobias. After guiding Washington State to the NCAA Tournament in 2000, he is looking to make the postseason an annual affair for the Cougars.
Tobias made an immediate impact on the WSU soccer program, engineering the school’s best conference record in 1998, his first season. In 2000, the former Cal Poly assistant guided the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament and a 13-7-0 record overall, just one win shy of the best mark in school history. That team capped off the regular season by defeating No. 2 Washington in overtime. Tobias has recorded 33 wins in four seasons.
This is the first collegiate head coaching assignment for Tobias, 38, who has guided several professional U.S.I.S.L. men’s teams. In addition to his coaching duties, the California native was a guest lecturer for a philosophy of sport class on campus.
“The soccer program at Washington State University has made tremendous strides, particularly over the last four seasons. Our growth resulted in a program-best 2000 season which culminated in a berth in the then 48-team NCAA Tournament,” Tobias said. “Our goal is to establish this program as a perennial playoff team, and with the caliber of student-athletes on our roster, we know that’s very achievable. With a strong nucleus returning for the 2002 season, we have great reason to be very enthusiastic and excited about this year’s team and teams to come.”
As a recipient of the NSCAA Distinguished National Diploma, Tobias was a masterful recruiter during his four seasons (1994-97) as an assistant women’s coach at Cal Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. The Mustangs boasted a combined 56-21-4 overall record while Tobias was with the program. In 1997, Cal Poly was crowned the Big West regular season champion with a 15-6 record. During Tobias' tenure, the Mustangs were ranked in the top 25 nationally and the top 10 in the region.
In the spring of 1998, Tobias was both head coach and interim general manager for the California Jaguars, a Division II professional team and Major League Soccer affiliate of the San Jose Clash. Tobias also served as head coach of the Central Coast Roadrunners of the U.S.I.S.L. during his final two years at Cal Poly. He led the 1996 and 1997 Roadrunners to consecutive national championships while garnering National Coach of the Year honors in 1996. The 1997 team was also the U.S. Open Cup Amateur Champions. Tobias is an active member of the coaching staff for the Washington State O.D.P. program for various age groups. He is also a staff coach for Region IV O.D.P.
Tobias, who grew up in the small community of Hermosa Beach, Calif., played college soccer for four seasons at Cal Poly and captained the 1987 squad that earned the school’s first NCAA berth. He graduated in 1987 with a degree in business administration and received the National Collegiate Business Merit Award for academic and athletic excellence. Tobias received a master’s in business administration from Hamilton University in June 2002.
Tobias was recently engaged to Gretchen Bouton, who is also an employee at Washington State University. The couple is set to be married during the summer of 2003.