Nov 3, 2022
Megan Dzikas’ 12 has learned a great deal since graduating from Florida Southern College.
Now, the one-time star women’s basketball student-athlete and current interim women’s head coach is in a prime position to pass on some of that knowledge to a very young Moccasins squad.
Dzikas was named interim coach in August when former head coach and mentor Betsy Harris stepped down, inheriting a team that will have nine of 12 student-athletes either be freshmen or sophomores.
It is a challenge Dzikas, who came back to Florida Southern as an assistant coach under Harris in 2019, feels very much up to tackling.
“The goal doesn’t change being one seat over,” Dzikas said. “I love having high expectations for myself. I thrive off of that. I love the pressure.”
Indeed, there will be pressure on Dzikas in her second stint as a college head coach, but she feels she is well prepared.
Dzikas was able to experience two of Florida Southern’s more successful head coaches.
As a player Dzikas excelled under Jarrod Olson (2006-12), and as an assistant coach she was a part of Harris’ strong run that included 159-career wins with the Mocs.
“Both of them are huge influences in my coaching,” Dzikas said. “Both of them are mentors. Jarrod accelerated me as a player, and Betsy did that as a coach.”
Dzikas also gives credit to ongoing mentorship from Florida Southern College Athletics Director Drew Howard and Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator Jill Stephens.
“I chose FSC because of its great community, family, and winning tradition. Those things have excelled since I was here, and it’s getting better. It’s inspiring to have great leaders to work with. Drew and Jill … being able to use Jill as a mentor is awesome. It’s just a wealth of knowledge around you.”
Dzikas found her way back to Lakeland after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at rival Saint Leo University. Prior to that, she spent two seasons at the NAIA level as an assistant coach (2014-15) and head coach at St. Catharine College in Kentucky (2015-16).
Prior to her time at St. Catharine, Dzikas was a graduate assistant for two seasons at Goucher College, a Division III institution in Maryland.
During her time climbing the coaching ranks, Dzikas was named a 30 Under 30 Award winner by the Women’s College Basketball Association in 2016.
When Dzikas was on the court she was one of the most prolific 3-point shooters in school history.
A two-time all-Sunshine State Conference player for the Moccasins during her collegiate career, Dzikas helped lead Florida Southern to an 87-31 record, including a 49-9 mark in conference play. She also led the Mocs to a pair of SSC regular-season titles and one SSC Tournament championship. Dzikas was also part of a team that finished as the runner-up in the NCAA South Regional in back-to-back seasons. She was the Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year in 2008-09.
Familiarity with what current Florida Southern student-athletes are experiencing is something Dzikas is hoping will transition her to a successful season.
“Relationships are very important,” she said. “Building a relationship with the players is key. I want my team to be able to trust me, and I have to trust them. I always tell them our biggest recruits are the ones in the trenches with me. My current players are my biggest recruits.”
As for Dzikas making her way back to Florida Southern, it was something she always held out hope for, even if she turned down a chance to return a few years earlier.
“I love FSC so much,” Dzikas said. “I always kept up with FSC after I left after having such a great experience here. Betsy offered me the (assistant) job after my first year coaching at Saint Leo, but I declined. I was in my second college in two years, and I didn’t want to hop around. We were finally able to link up and I’m very thankful for her getting me back here. I thought eventually one day I’d get back here. I’m excited to still be a part of a women’s basketball program that has given so much to me and has forged relationships with me as a player and a coach that will be with me the rest of my life.”
The women’s basketball season will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11 against Lee University in the first day of the Sunshine State Conference/Gulf South Conference Regional Crossover at Saint Leo.
The Mocs’ first home game will be at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19 against Palm Beach Atlantic.
View the entire season schedule for the women’s basketball team here.
Follow the team at FSCMocs.com and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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