Just weeks after being named head coach of NYIT’s women’s soccer team, Karim Diallo will spend his summer as associate head coach of the Long Island Rough Riders women’s soccer team for the upcoming United Women’s Soccer season.
Diallo, who was named national Co-Defensive Player of Year while helping guide the Rough Riders men’s team to the 2002 USL D3 Pro League title, replaces Adam Whitehead after one season.
“It means a lot because I have great memories playing in college, but I think the best soccer I played was with the Rough Riders,” Diallo said. “We had a successful season then, and I’m pleased and humbled and excited to be in charge of the women’s team today.”
A native of Guinea in West Africa, Diallo came to the United States and played his college ball at Dowling, which won three conference titles (1998, 2000, 2001) while Diallo was a member of the men’s team.
Diallo, who had previously coached at his alma mater for eight years, was named head coach of NYIT’s women’s team in April after serving two seasons as an assistant coach with the program. In 2017, the Bears recorded the third winning season in program history by going 9-7, coming within one point of a postseason berth.
Diallo also serves as a youth trainer and coach with the Massapequa and East Islip soccer clubs and the Long Island Junior Soccer development programs.
He takes over a club that looks to follow its strong 2017 UWS season where the Rough Riders went 8-2-2 en route to a UWS Eastern Conference title and berth in the league’s National Championship Semifinal. Long Island lost on penalty kicks to eventual UWS champion Grand Rapids FC in the national semifinal.
The Rough Riders begin the 2018 season on the road against New Jersey Copa FC in an Eastern Conference final rematch at 4:30 p.m. on May 12 at Saint John Vianney High School in Holmdel, N.J.
“We’re hoping to go further than last year,” Diallo said. “Obviously we got to the playoffs and that’s great, but we’re hoping to have the same motivation and drive to get to the Final Four and win the championship. It would be a dream come true for me to win a championship playing with the men’s team and win one coaching the women’s team.”