Dr. Frank “Doc” Dinka Memorial Men’s Soccer Scholarship

Dr Frank Dinka, Godfather of Springfield Soccer
Dr Frank Dinka, Godfather of Springfield Soccer, July 2005
I’d like to invite all readers of this website to consider making a contribution to the Dr Frank “Doc” Dinka Scholarship fund that was established in the Coaches name. This website averages 300-400 visitors a day during the off-season. If each person were to donate $20 to the fund, it would be fully-funded and be able to begin offering scholarships to worthy student athletes with the Fall 2010 season. Join Harry Cooper, Jan Stahle and former Asst AD Bill O’Neil who made the initial donation of $5000 to begin the fund.

Donations to the Dr. Frank “Doc” Dinka Memorial Men’s Soccer Scholarship
Checks can be made out to: “The Missouri State University Foundation” and mailed to:

Missouri State University
Attention Men’s Soccer
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, MO 65897

Or please contact the Missouri State University Development Office at (417) 836-4143 to make a donation using a credit card. Please refer to the Dr. Frank “Doc” Dinka Memorial Men’s Soccer Scholarship when making a donation.

Dr Frank Dinka has been featured on this website several times, first in a post on his role as ‘the godfather of Springfield soccer‘ for developing not only the Missouri State Men’s Club team but also assisting in the development of the Youth program at the YMCA by having his Club team players acting as coaches. Coach Dinka was taken from us too early soon after the introductory article but not forgotten. In July 2009 a Scholarship in his name was created by three men with long ties to Dr Dinka as Harry Cooper, Jan Stahle and Bill O’Neill established the scholarship that carries his name.

Coach Dinka was inducted into the Missouri State Sports Hall of Fame on February 6th, 2010 for his role in building the program and his focus on developing student-athletes.

Dr Frank Dinka, Missouri State University
Dr Frank Dinka, Missouri State University
Soccer Coach, 1967-1986
Inducted February 6, 2010

Dr. Frank Dinka is the father of the current Missouri State soccer program as he pioneered the sport on the MSU campus more than a decade before it joined intercollegiate athletics. A native of Skalica, Slovakia, and an avid soccer player as a youth, Dinka played and coached soccer with the U.S. Army’s First Infantry Division in Germany. He graduated from the University of Bridgeport in 1956 and joined the MSU faculty in 1958. He received his master’s degree from Southern Illinois University and his doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis and was a Professor of Political Science at MSU.

Operating with limited resources from the university for travel, equipment and officiating, he began MSU men’s soccer as a club sport in 1967. Dinka found competition against nearby colleges and gradually expanded the base of the team’s schedule over more than a decade on the club level. With no scholarship assistance and with players whose recruitment to compete in soccer at MSU all came through word-of-mouth from other Missouri State players, Dinka coached the club through practices and matches while still maintaining his full teaching load. His teams posted winning records 12 of 14 seasons on the club level.

He guided the club team through 1980 and stayed on as head coach when soccer was elevated by Director of Athletics Aldo Sebben to intercollegiate status in 1981. Dinka was at the helm the following year when soccer joined the rest of MSU intercollegiate athletics in moving to NCAA Division I status. Dinka coached the Bears through 1986 when he turned the reins over to former assistant Jan Stahle and resumed full-time teaching after a total of 20 seasons with soccer. At the varsity level, Dinka’s teams saw their win totals increase five of his six campaigns and finished with a 33-60-6 varsity record. Dinka, who also helped start Springfield’s YMCA Youth Soccer Program, taught at MSU until his retirement in 1996. He passed away Oct. 6, 2005.

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