Mike Dyer wants to help Special Olympics Southern California athletes reach the same thrills he experienced during his time as an athlete.
A right shoulder injury in 2018 and a pair of surgeries may have cut his time on the basketball court short, but Mike had a plan in place years prior to transition into coaching. In February 2014, he completed his coaching certification, thanks in part to encouragement he received from a family in Camarillo to transition into the role.
At the 2019 Summer Games, Mike helped the Ventura County Dolphins earn a silver medal in their division.
While he didn’t have any prior coaching experience, the 57-year-old said his ability to communicate with the athletes eased the transition.
“I can help get them to understand what I want. They listen to me. When I talk to them, they come alive,” Mike said.
“I can help them correct their little mistake shooting a basket or doing a layup, and I love it.”
The glory of earning a medal as an athlete may be in his past, but watching his team celebrate on a medal stand gives Mike an even greater feeling.
“I don’t need that anymore. I want these guys to get them and to be proud of themselves,” he said.