Randy Dedini, who has thrice been named Big Sky Coach of the Year, completed his 10th season as head coach of the Sacramento State women’s soccer team in 2016. Dedini, who took over the squad in 2007, has guided the Hornets to unprecedented success, including two NCAA Tournament appearances and two conference titles, both firsts in school history. He is the winningest coach in program history in terms of total wins and winning percentage.
Dedini, who ended the 2016 season with a career record of 81-83-25 (37-37-13 Big Sky), has guided Sacramento State to .500 or better conference records in six of his 10 seasons, including a regular season Big Sky title in 2007. The Hornets also won the Big Sky Conference Tournament title in 2007 and again in 2010 to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Dedini was named Big Sky Coach of the Year following the 2007, 2010, and 2016 seasons.
Dedini earned his third Big Sky Coach of the Year honor in 2016 after he led the Hornets to a 6-2-2 Big Sky record for a second place regular season finish and the No. 2 seed for the Big Sky Tournament after the team was picked to finish sixth in the preseason Big Sky Coaches' Poll. The 2016 Hornets set new program records for points in a Big Sky regular season (20) and Big Sky wins in a season (6). The Hornets also ended the regular season undefeated (4-0-1) in Big Sky road games for just the second time in program history.
The 2016 team won five straight games to end the regular season, matching the longest winning streak in program history. The Hornets also set program records for the longest road winning streak (3) and road unbeaten streak (5).
As the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament the Hornets earned a bye into the semifinals before being edged by Northern Arizona, 3-2. The Hornets ended the season leading the Big Sky in save percentage and ranking second in the league in goals against average while seven players earned all-Big Sky honors. Seniors Rachel Leonard and Jennifer Lum were named to the first time, with Leonard also named Defensive Player of the Year and to the NSCAA Division I All-Pacific Region third team, while freshman Mikayla Reed was named Co-Big Sky Top Newcomer.
Dedini has mentored a total of 31 first or second team all-Big Sky selections, including offensive player of the year Katie McCoy in 2007, defensive player of the year Rachel Leonard in 2016, and conference Golden Boot (point leader in conference games) winners McCoy (2007) and Kim Kemper (2008). McCoy and Elece McBride were named Big Sky Tournament MVPs in 2007 and 2010, respectively. The team had eight all-Big Sky selections in 2012, including a first team honor for senior Victoria Ramirez and a second team accolade for freshman Kassidy Kellogg.
In 2015 Dedini led his team back to the Big Sky Tournament and to its first postseason win since 2010, beating Eastern Washington 3-1 in the quarterfinal round. The win was the team's fifth straight postseason victory before the squad was narrowly outlasted by second-seeded Northern Colorado in the semifinals. Sacramento State's five regular season Big Sky wins were the most in program history and the team had three players earn all-Big Sky honors with a second team selection for forward Kayla Collins, who led the team with 7 goals and 6 assists for 20 points.
The Hornets narrowly missed Big Sky Tournament berths in both 2013 and 2014, playing with a chance to make the postseason in their regular season finales. The 2013 squad was dealt a big blow when Kassidy Kellogg suffered a season-ending injury in the second game of the year, but Dedini's team remained competitive throughout the season. In 2014 the Hornets lost Alyssa Anderson in the preseason after she and Jennifer Lum earned All-Big Sky second team honors in 2013. Sophomore Maggie Pleis was an all-Big Sky second team selection in 2014 while seven Hornets received honorable mention accolades.
Dedini, a former goalkeeper at Sonoma State, helped mold local product Savannah Abercrombie into one of the top goalies the Big Sky has ever seen. Abercrombie had six shutouts as a senior in 2011, pushing her career total to 29, both a conference and school record. Abercrombie finished her stellar four-year career with a 30-28-9 record, 282 saves and a sparkling 0.92 goals against average.
Dedini took home Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2010 and capped off his fourth season at the helm of the Sacramento State program with his second conference championship. Dedini and the Hornets defeated No. 1 seed and host Northern Arizona, 1-0, in the tournament championship game to clinch their second league title in four seasons.
The Hornets posted a 9-10-1 record in 2010, capping off a late-charging season with wins over Portland State in the semifinals and NAU in the championship match of the Big Sky Conference Tournament. The Hornets met No. 1 ranked Stanford in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, losing 3-0. Sacramento State, which had the top offense in the conference with 34 goals scored, was the No. 3 seed in the Big Sky Tournament after going 4-3-0 in conference play during the regular season. Leah Larot was named first team all-conference and the Golden Boot winner after leading the Hornets and the conference with 10 goals.
Sacramento State went 8-5-5 in 2009 (3-2-2 Big Sky) in Dedini’s third season as head coach. The Hornets had the stingiest defense in the conference, allowing just 13 total scores while netting 20 goals. Abercrombie was three times named Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week and seven players were given all-conference honors, including a first-team selection for defender Cori Shreve.
The team finished the 2008 campaign with a 9-8-2 overall record, including a 3-3-1 mark in Big Sky Conference play. Two Hornets, Kemper and Kara Taylor, earned first team all-Big Sky honors, while four others earned honorable mention accolades. Kemper also became the second straight Hornet to win the Big Sky Golden Boot award, given to the league’s scoring leader.
In his first season as head coach, Dedini guided the Hornets to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history after collecting their first-ever Big Sky Conference Tournament title. The Hornets also won the Big Sky regular season title in 2007 for the first time in school history while posting a program-record 12 wins. For his efforts, Dedini earned Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year honors - the first head man in program history to do so. Dedini oversaw nine Hornets who earned all-Big Sky honors during his first season, including McCoy, the Big Sky Offensive MVP. McCoy was also named Big Sky Tournament MVP, and earned the conference’s Golden Boot award for leading the league in goals.
As an assistant from 2004-06, Dedini oversaw the team’s ascension into the top of the Big Sky standings. During the fall of 2006, the women’s program reached the Big Sky Tournament championship game for the first time in program history. The team’s 10-7-4 record was also a then program-best until the 2007 team bettered that win total. In 2006, a highly-touted recruiting class made major contributions during the year. The program’s 30 goals during the season were fueled by Dedini’s aggressive offensive approach and the ability of the newcomers to contribute immediately. Sacramento State outshot its opponents 172-106.
Dedini first started as the goalkeepers coach for the Hornets in 2004. During that year, freshman keeper Brittany Auernig was named rookie of the year after making eight starts and 59 saves. Dedini made the move to top assistant in 2005. The Hornets’ improved recruiting efforts and change in philosophy paid off with a then program-best second place finish in the conference standings and an 8-8-3 overall record. The team also advanced to the Big Sky Tournament for the first time since 2001.
In his own playing career, Dedini competed at American River JC before transferring to Sonoma State. Dedini had two standout seasons for the Seawolves as the starting goalkeeper and graduated with a degree in kinesiology. A second team All-American in 1993, Dedini posted a school-record 13 shutouts that season, leading Sonoma State to a 17-3-2 record. He currently ranks second in school history with 21 shutouts and his career goals-against-average of 0.75 is by far the best in school history. The Seawolves inducted Dedini into the Sonoma State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008 and he is widely regarded as the best keeper in school history.
After graduation, Dedini played in Major League Soccer for the Colorado Rapids and the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting KC). After his MLS career, Dedini spent five years playing with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the A-League (now United Soccer League), earning honors such as team MVP, Iron Man and the century award for breaking the 100-cap mark. In all, Dedini played professional soccer for 11 seasons. While playing for the Riverhounds, Dedini served as the assistant coach for the men’s varsity soccer team at Quaker Valley High School in Pittsburgh, Pa., helping the squad to the 2002 state championship.
Dedini is a Northern California native, having graduated from Vacaville High School in 1988. He and his wife, Katie, have two daughters, Jordyn and Jaycie, and one son, Jake.