NUMBER TWO – 2
2003 – Present
Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
Jamie Dixon, when it is all said and done, could become THE best coach to ever represent the University of Pittsburgh, BUT, a particular inability holds him back to this point. More on that in a bit.
Let me first list off his awards, accolades, and feats as the head basketball coach:
- 2003 Big East Regular Season Champs
- Reached Big East Championship games in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008
- 2008 Big East Tournament Champs
- Three trips to Sweet Sixteen
- One Trip to Elite Eight (UGH, Scottie Reynolds)
- Reached the number one spot in top 25
- 2009, Broke Division 1 record for most victories in first six seasons
- 2009 Naismith Coach of the Year
So why is he not number one on the list? It is due in large part, to Dixon’s inability to break through come tournament season. Sweet Sixteen’s are wonderful and the Elite Eight was even nicer, but with the roster he recruited to Pittsburgh, especially between 2005-2009, their should have been multiple visits to the Final Four and beyond.
With the negative put behind us, let’s focus on why he is listed the Number 2 Coach to ever represent the University of Pittsburgh.
When expectations were just beginning under Howland, his long-time assistant, Jamie Dixon, did not fail to keep a momentum going. I am convinced that without Dixon, the Oakland Zoo and the culture long-lived at the Petersen Events Center would minimal, possibly absent.
I know it isn’t all about the rankings, and that is what makes Dixon so great. He doesn’t care about the “Star Ratings,” he cares about intellectual and physical make-up of a player and let’s them grow into their game within his system. In other words, he uses what he gets paid to do, to determine the overall outcome of a program by nothing other than, COACHING!
For as many great moments he has produced in The Pete, he has produced just as many in public. For instance, being a mock first respond-er to an accident while leaving Pitt’s facilities.
He is an ambassador for Cancer Awareness across the college basketball landscape. Being a major reason for the “Coaches vs. Cancer” basketball tournament which brings awareness to the disease and the life of his sister whose life was cut short due to the disease.
As a fan of the program, you cannot ask for a better leader for a given program, but more-so the University of Pittsburgh. Jamie Dixon is a coach that 300 other schools wishes they could possess.
Next: It is back to the gridiron for No. 1