By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - A friendly, family atmosphere attracted Armand Dikranian to USF in more ways than one.
The USF women's soccer program's new assistant is embarking on his first Division I coaching experience and is getting to work for the same school as his brother, Fred, who is an assistant for the USF men's soccer team. Combine that with Armand Dikranian's high regards for the philosophy of Bulls head coach Denise Schilte-Brown and assistant Chris Brown and you have a pretty nice coaching situation to walk into.
"What I saw here that really pulled me in was the family element. Denise and Chris, I know they're really good people, top class," Dikranian said. "Character and values are very important and that's something I wanted to be a part of."
Dikranian comes to USF from Division II Southern Connecticut State, where he served as the women's soccer program's top assistant and had a long list of duties that consisted of on-field instruction, off-field instruction through the use of technology, recruiting, academic mentoring and social media along with other day-to-day duties.
"We tried to cover as much as we could," he said. "The benefits from that are you're firsthand doing everything, so the learning curve is great. You become a better coach from it."
Dikranian played college soccer for Fairfield University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in mathematics before getting a master's degree in secondary education at the University of Bridgeport. Dikranian served as assistant coach for the Bridgeport men's soccer team that recorded at least 10 wins in each of the four seasons when he was there.
"It was a great learning experience," the 27-year-old said. "I've been fortunate to be around good people."