March Madness

Jaime Dixon makes homecoming as he was named TCU head coach

Jaime Dixon aims to make a comeback in next year’s NCAA Tournament but it will be with another team as he agreed to coach his alma mater, the Texas Christian University (TCU) Horned Frogs.

Dixon accepted the coaching chores for his alma mater last March 21 and the team hopes to exceed its performance that was shown in this year’s tournament. Trent Johnson uses to handle the coaching job with the Horned Frogs, but their dismal output with a 12-21 win-loss record was enough for the school to show him the way out.

Dixon, however, was coaching the Pittsburgh Panthers and led the team to qualify in the NCAA Tournament despite losing to Wisconsin in the first round. He was also credited to the Panthers’ one Big East regular season championship and one tournament title.

Dixon won Big East Coach of the Year honors in 2004 for leading Pittsburgh to a school-record 31 wins and the Big East regular season championship. He took Pittsburgh to the final game of the Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008, winning the 2008 Big East Tournament Championship against No.1 seed Georgetown.

He is Pittsburgh’s first and only head coach to guide the Panthers to seven consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and seven consecutive seasons of at least 20 overall wins and 10 league wins. In the NCAA tournament, Dixon led the Panthers to the Sweet Sixteen in 2004 and 2007 and to the Elite Eight in 2009, a year that saw his Panthers earn their first-ever No.1 rankings in the AP Poll and Coaches’ Poll, their first-ever victories over a No.1 ranked team (UConn, twice), and their first ever No.1 seed in the NCAA Tournament (East Region).

ESPN reported that Pittsburgh’s athletic director Scott Barnes said that they knew of the talks between Dixon and the Horned Frogs after the Panthers were knockout in the Tournament.

“We all knew that job was open, so it wasn’t a surprise. As we went through the process, we learned there was a very small window of opportunity and wasn’t sure he was going to have an opportunity to take later, and his heart and his head was moving that way,” Barnes said.

TCU will introduce Dixon as its new coach during a news conference. Athletic director Chris Del Conte tweeted late Monday, “Look who’s coming home,” with a picture of Dixon and his family with the AD and other TCU officials.

Photo Courtesy: Danny Karwoski/Wikimedia

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