PLAINVIEW, N.Y. – The Long Island Rough Riders have named Karim Diallo as associate head coach of its women’s team for the United Women’s Soccer season.

Diallo, selected national co-defensive player of year while helping guide the Rough Riders men’s team to the 2002 USL D3 Pro League title, replaced 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 to play soccer at Dowling College. Dowling won three conference titles (1998, 2000, 2001) while Diallo was on the team.

Diallo, who had coached at his alma mater for eight years, was named head coach of the New York Institute of Technology 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.

The Rough Riders went 8-2-2 last season en route to the UWS Eastern Conference title and berth in the UWS National Championship wemifinal. Long Island, which scored a conference-best 35 goals during the regular season and tied for the second-best defense (10 goals allowed), lost on penalty kicks to eventual UWS champion Grand Rapids FC in the national semifinal.

Long Island begins its season on the road against New Jersey Copa FC in an Eastern Conference final rematch at 4:30 p.m. 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.”