Skyline College’s latest coaching hire Mike Sharabi is leaving the No. 1 ranked men’s soccer team in the California Community College Athletic Association to head his first women’s program.
Announced as Skyline’s new women’s soccer coach last week, Sharabi will be tasked with reestablishing a program that played its last games in 2019. After the pandemic closures of 2020, the Lady Trojans did not field a team in 2021.
This will mark the third time in Sharabi’s career he has coached at a school where he also played. A 2000 graduate of Burlingame, he returned to the high school varsity ranks to coach the Burlingame boys’ soccer team from 2011-13. A graduate of Menlo College, he served as an assistant coach for Oaks men’s soccer from 2006-09. He was a two-time all-Coast Conference player at Skyline from 2000-01.
“This is kind of my third alma mater I’m going to be coaching at,” Sharabi said. “It’s good to go back to schools where I kind of have memories and certain traditions of the school.”
Predominantly a coach of boys and men in his career, this will be Sharabi’s first stint as a women’s soccer head coach. He worked as an assistant coach for the Foothill women’s soccer team from 2010-13 before returning to the community college in 2018 as the men’s head coach.
“I really just want to create a fun and safe environment for these girls,” Sharabi said. “I want to establish a culture where it is a good balance of competition every day and also enjoyable. I want to create an environment where the girls are looking forward to coming to practice every day, create an environment where there is a focus on academics as well as soccer. ”
Sharabi is the first outside hire for Skyline athletic director Dino Nomicos, and a fitting one at that. After stepping away from his longtime post as Trojans baseball manager, Nomicos turned over the team to Tony Brunicardi, a Burlingame graduate. The Skyline hitting coach under Brunicardi is another Burlingame graduate, Anthony Granato, who as a high school shortstop was Sharabi’s one-time double play partner with the Burlingame baseball team.
A two-sport athlete in high school, Sharabi was a varsity second baseman who did not exactly see for himself a future in soccer. He comes from a baseball family. His younger brother DJ was also a baseball standout at Burlingame and went on to play at the College of San Mateo before becoming an Olympian with Team Israel in the Tokyo Summer Games in 2021.
The elder Sharabi took the soccer path out of high school, though, landing at Skyline thanks to being recruited by then men’s soccer coach Andres Wolf, now the AD at CSM. After four years of collegiate soccer, Sharabi jumped right into coaching, joining the Menlo College staff the season after his last as a player.
“There was no time away,” Sharabi said. “Jumped right into it.”
It was the start of a coaching career that caught Sharabi by surprise.
“It totally did,” Sharabi said. “When you’re in college and you’re playing soccer, whatever you’re doing, you never really know what you’re doing and where you’re going to end up. If you had told me at that time that I was going to be coaching in 17 years, I wouldn’t have believed you. ”
What a coaching career it has been. Sharabi has won every step of his coaching journey, most recently turning the Foothill men’s program into a state power. The Owls are two-time reigning champions of the Coast Conference-North and have not suffered a loss in conference play since 2018. He was named Coast Conference Coach of the Year in both 2019 and ’21.
In 2013, he was integral a rare feat. As an assistant to the Foothill women’s team under head coach Owen Flannery, he helped the Owls to the CCCAA state final four. The Foothill men’s team also reached the final four that season, marking the first time in history both Foothill teams reached the celebrated stage.
Sharabi’s Gentleman Owls also twice reached the state final four.
“I left basically one of the top men’s programs in the country for this opportunity,” Sharabi said.
Residing in San Mateo, Sharabi accepted the position at Skyline along with the opportunity to take a fulltime teaching position at the college, he said. He was a part-time employee at Foothill, serving exclusively as a coach while previously working in the club soccer ranks as director of coaching for the Peninsula Youth Soccer Club. He also serves as a coach with the Silicon Valley Soccer Academy.
Last year, Sharabi and his wife Gina had their first child, daughter Malia.
A big draw to Skyline was Sharabi’s longtime friendship with Skyline men’s soccer coach Gabe Saucedo. In taking over the women’s program for former head coach Kevin Corsiglia, Sharabi said Saucedo and he is strategizing to integrate their coaching roles between the men’s and women’s teams, with Saucedo assisting with the women’s team, and Sharabi assisting with the men.
“We’re just going to work together with both teams,” Sharabi said. “He’s going to help me with the women and I’m going to help him with the men. And we’re just building a staff where both soccer teams are under one umbrella. We just want to work together. ”
Despite Skyline not fielding a women’s soccer team since 2019, there are four players committed to the program who were enrolled at the college prior to Sharabi’s hire in Emily Dubon, Fiona O’Donoghue, Melanie Garcia and Alaa Hammed.
Sharabi said the local recruiting pipeline has thus far helped him fill 14 of the team’s projected 20 roster spots.
“I hit the ground running and started recruiting players that day I got the job,” Sharabi said.