Dana Dimel, a 1986 Kansas State graduate, serves as the co-offensive coordinator and running backs/tight ends coach for head coach Bill Snyder. Dimel began his third tour of duty with the Wildcats in 2009 after serving three seasons at Arizona.
Dimel has co-coordinated an offense that has been a major reason why the Wildcats have advanced to five-straight bowl games and recorded four-straight seasons with at least eight wins. In addition, the Wildcats have more Big 12 Conference wins -- 27 -- since 2011 than any other team in the league.
The latest chapter came in 2014 when Dimel helped direct an offense that led the nation in scoring efficiency (scoring drives/total drives), while the Wildcats lead the Big 12 with 5.14 points per red zone possession over the last three years. In 2014, K-State also ranked 11th nationally in team passing efficiency, 14th in red zone offense, 16th in passing offense and 24th in scoring offense. The Cats were also 25th in third-down conversions and 12th in fourth-down conversions. Thanks to the direction of Dimel, K-State broke the school record for total passing yards (3,736) and completion percentage (65.30) in 2014, while the Wildcats totaled 5,481 offensive yards to rank fourth and scored 465 total points to rank sixth.
Dimel's play calling helped wide receiver Tyler Lockett leave K-State with the school's career receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdown records, while quarterback Jake Waters broke the school marks for single-season passing yards (3,501) and total offensive yards (3,985).
The 2012 season perhaps was Dimel's best at K-State as he co-coordinated an offense that finished in the top 25 nationally in nearly 10 categories, including a ninth-place ranking in yards per attempt, 11th in scoring offense and 13th in yards per completion. K-State was led on the ground by running back and All-Big 12 selection John Hubert as the second-year starter finished fourth in the Big 12 at 72.8 yards per game and placed second in the league with 15 rushing touchdowns. Quarterback Collin Klein, a Heisman Trophy finalist, also placed in the top 10 as he finished sixth at 70.88 yards per game.
Dimel's units found success again in 2013 as the K-State offense ranked eighth nationally in yards per completion, 13th in passing efficiency, while the Wildcats ranked fifth and third in school history in those categories, respectively. One of the best offenses in the nation on third downs (No. 13) and inside the red zone (No. 27), K-State ranked in the top 10 in school history in yards per play (second), total yards (fifth), passing yards (fifth) and points (eighth).
Under Dimel's tutelage, Hubert broke through after 900-plus yard seasons in 2011 and 2012 as he produced the 14th 1,000-yard rushing season in school history in 2013. Hubert earned Honorable Mention All-Big 12 honors, while he was also a candidate for the Doak Walker, Maxwell and Walter Camp Player of the Year awards. Dimel guided Hubert to the No. 2 spot on K-State's career rushing yardage list, while Hubert's main blocking back, Glenn Gronkowski, also garnered All-Big 12 accolades and repeated the feat again in 2014.
In 2011, Dimel led a rushing offense that saw Klein set a new Big 12 record and NCAA record by a quarterback with 27 rushing touchdowns while surpassing the 1,000-yard rushing mark on the season. K-State maintained one of the top rushing offenses in the Big 12 in 2011 en route to a 10-3 record and a berth in the 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl.
In 2010, the Wildcat offense ranked third in the Big 12 and among the top 25 nationally at 33.6 points per game. K-State was also ranked among the top 10 teams in the country in total red zone efficiency and No. 1 nationally in touchdown percentage in the red zone. The Cats' 47-percent conversion rating on third down ranked second in the league, while they were the least penalized offense in the Big 12.
In 2009 and 2010, Dimel had the charge of grooming a former community-college quarterback and molding him into a physical running back in the always tough Big 12 Conference. That player was Daniel Thomas, and 2,850 yards and 30 touchdowns later, Thomas left Kansas State as a two-time Big 12 rushing champion, an All-American and one of the most decorated running backs in school history. Thomas ranks third in K-State history for career rushing yards, a feat he accomplished in just two seasons, fifth in rushing touchdowns and also second in single-season school history with 1,585 rushing yards in 2010. Thomas burst onto the scene in 2009 as he eclipsed the 100-yard mark five times in a game and finished the year with 1,265 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns en route to Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors.
Dimel joined the staff at Arizona in early 2006 in his previous post to coach tight ends and then took on bigger responsibilities calling plays as the running game coordinator and H-backs coach. In 2008, he worked primarily with tight ends and later became running backs coach as well as the associate head coach for the Wildcats. Arizona finished 8-5 in 2008, which included its first bowl win in 10 years after a 31-21 triumph over No. 17 BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl. The Wildcats' top scoring threat in 2008 was Rob Gronkowski, a tight end tutored by Dimel. Despite missing the first three games of the season due to illness, Gronkowski was a unanimous First Team All-Pac-10 selection at tight end after collecting 47 receptions for 672 yards and 10 touchdowns. The older brother of the current K-State fullback, Gronkowski was drafted by New England in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft and has become one of the top tight ends in the NFL, helping the Patriots win Super Bowl XLIX.
A K-State alumnus who lettered for the Wildcats in 1985 and 1986 as an offensive lineman, Dimel spent 10 years on the K-State staff from 1987 to 1996. Kansas State's offensive line coach for much of his tenure, Dimel also served as offensive coordinator during the 1995 and 1996 campaigns. In 1995, his first at the controls of the Wildcat offense, Kansas State set school records for both touchdowns and total points as well as total offense. He mentored 11 offensive linemen who went on to sign NFL contracts, while he was also instrumental in developing All-Americans Barrett Brooks, Jim Hmielewski and Quentin Neujahr along with all-conference selections Jason Johnson, Todd Weiner and Ryan Young.
In 1997, Dimel became the youngest head coach in NCAA Division I when he took the reins at the University of Wyoming at the age of 34. Dimel spent three years at Wyoming, guiding the Cowboys to an impressive 23-12 overall record, and left Laramie as one of only 10 head coaches at the time to win no fewer than seven games in every year as a head coach. Dimel also had three players earn Academic All-America distinction at Wyoming, including linebacker Brian Lee, who was also a Consensus All-American linebacker.
Considered one of the nation's most successful young head coaches at the time, Dimel led the Cowboys to eight-win seasons in both 1997 and 1998 before being named head coach at the University of Houston, where he guided the Cougars' football program from 2000-02. While at Houston, his 2001 and 2002 recruiting classes were ranked No. 1 in Conference USA by Rivals.com. In his final season at Houston, Dimel's team finished 5-7, including a final-game win over conference champion Louisville. Also, running back Joffrey Reynolds set the Conference USA rushing mark of 1,545 yards.
During his career as a head or assistant coach, Dimel has coached 34 players who have gone on to play in the NFL. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Dimel and his wife, Julie, have a son, Winston, and a daughter, Josey. Winston is a redshirt freshman fullback for the Wildcats.