Saturday, June 10, 2017

Former Haldane Coach To Arlington "B" Is No-Brainer

I would like to preface this letter of recommendation by saying coach Ahmed Dwidar is an excellent coach, a first-rate individual who is an innate leader and self-starter in every sense. I've known coach Dwidar for 10+ years and established a relationship built on trust, loyalty, and first-rate professionalism.

Having coached at the grass-roots, high school, and collegiate level, Mr. Dwidar is defined by characteristics such as kindness, loyalty, and devotion...

He is as compassionate as he is caring and outgoing. One vital aspect you may note is that he's always established a lifetime bond with the players he's coached through time. Many of his former players have worked for him. In today's competition-crazed climate of high school sports, where player/coach division runs rampant and students transfer at a furious and unrivaled pace, the loyalty of coach Dwidar is very hard to come by.  
He’s been instrumental in nurturing the development of countless athletes the pitch. He's been very active in the recruitment of his scholarship players, ensuring that each and every one of his players with NCAA potential is seen in front of the right eyes.

Tough and demanding on the field, all of Dwidar's players are held to a high standard. There is a mandatory curfew he implements during the seasons. There are team mandatory meetings. There is film sessions at various locations. There are team dinners and gatherings and awards ceremonies. He truly embodies the "all in" coach, having a hand in every team practice and activity and league in which his players are involved.

Beyond mentoring them on the field, Mr. Dwidar has contributed to society by molding all of his players into fine, respectful, and responsible young men throughout his time as a head coach.

A vital component which truly differentiates Ahmed from other coaches of his ilk is his commitment to the player development concept. Player development and conditioning is a 12-month commitment on his end. His individual workouts and team workouts help ensure that his players are ready-made for the rigors of the fall season.

When coach Dwidar initially accepted the position at Haldane High School in the fall of 2010, he was very adamant about changing the culture of the program. The timing was right, as the youth-laden team possessed a wealth of unknown and unproven talent.
 Dwidar put the seeds in place. By orchestrating captain’s practices and team workouts and involving his team in a variety of summer leagues prior to the fall season, the operation began to grow. The program steadily developed more support from other fall teams and sports teams in general.

 Due all of Mr. Dwidar's ground work, the chemistry experiment worked. Well prior to the first game of the season, his team had a feel for each other's style and enjoyed playing together. Under his tutelage, there would be no ego and zero emphasis on individual totals from his players.

Mr. Dwidar spearheaded the events and the practices which allowed this group to mesh, building a groundwork of trust and brotherhood.

From the outside looking in, the odds were stacked against him and his program, which was short on numbers and had a thinner bench then most. This is a tough component to sidestep, especially when his teams were forced to play against bigger and more established programs such as Lakeland and Yorktown.
Vowing to never reference this visible disadvantage as a built in excuse, Dwidar employed a number of thorough speed and agility classes and open gym style practices so his players could handle the endurance factor. There would be limited substitutions and his starters had to develop the cardio and strength necessary to withstand physically taxing battles.

Prior to the first official practice of the year, he had an accurate read on who would be playing where on the pitch.

He helped push the development of legendary Haldane players such as Chris and Jay Marchese, both of whom authored stellar careers at the school under Dwidar.

Dwidar won two Section 1 championships in his first four years at the program and made soccer a livelihood. No coach in Section 1 history has won two titles under the age of 30, as Dwidar did. The year round focus never dwindled. Through winter leagues and spring leagues, conditioning days, and summer leagues throughout the region, the sport became a brotherhood.
Of course, many of Dwidar's athletes were multi-sport athletes and Dwidar was always supportive of them as they competed in other sports. Dwidar’s role at the school went above and beyond his basic day-to-day responsibilities as head soccer coach.

Dwidar, whose brother is a professional soccer player in Egypt, helped serve as a mentor to Jackson Zuvic, one of Haldane’s best-ever forwards under another local Haldane guy and legendary Blue Devil athlete Joe Virgadamo. Dwidar's reach went beyond his own players.

He was an advocate of athletes throughout the school and was always offering a layer of support to each team. This is what enabled him to embrace the role of “program guy,” a tag few coaches possess these days. His involvement with the Haldane community and outgoing personality made him a favorite amongst the parents, kids, coaching staffs, and even rival coaches.

In addition to making chills-evoking speeches in the locker room and applying standard motivational tactics (he knew how to get the best of his players), Dwidar truly savored the “family” concept of his team.

He hosted team bonding events such as barbeques (after long, arduous practices in scintillating summer heat). He helped call college coaches and sell his best players to them and arrange visits, doing everything in his power to help facilitate a scholarship offer. He watched and dissected film with his team everyday, allowing his captains and every one on the team to chime in and discuss what they saw and what stood out to them.

Mr. Dwidar helped forge a piecemeal group into a true unit. He became instrumental in leading these young men to greater lives on the field and off of it, even after they graduated or left his program.

He is a true old-school coach who has his players’ best interest in heart. It is rare and refreshing to find a coach of Dwidar’s type, one who cares about his players as people first, student-athletes second. I highly recommend Dwidar, who is currently an assistant coach at Dutchess Community College, to your program.


Zach Smart

NTSI Basketball Academy
Director of Media Relations
Director of Player Personnel

Scotland, PA