From Student to Mentor

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.

Mike Dyer STORY

Ventura County athlete turned basketball coach Mike Dyer

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.

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