Who says you can’t go home again? TCU director of intercollegiate athletics Chris Del Conte announced Monday that Jamie Dixon, 2007 TCU Hall of Fame Inductee, will be the new men’s basketball coach. The news comes on the heels of the firing of Trent Johnson after a disappointing 2016 season.
The hire is considered a major win for TCU as Dixon ranks No. 9 among winningest active Division I coaches. He returns to his alma mater after serving 13 seasons as head coach at the University of Pittsburgh where he earned four college basketball National Coach of the Year honors. During his tenure at Pitt, the Panthers put together a 328-123 record and earned 11 NCAA Tournament berths, including three Sweet Sixteen appearances and one NCAA Regional Final. Only two coaches (Mark Few and Roy Williams) in NCAA history have taken their school to the NCAA Tournament more times in their first 13 seasons as a head coach than Dixon.
As a player, Dixon led the Horned Frogs to Southwest Conference titles as a junior and senior before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1987. He was selected in the 1987 NBA draft by the Washington Bullets and went on to play professionally in New Zealand. But he found real success on the sidelines at Pitt where he guided the men’s basketball program to three Big East Championships, including two outright regular-season titles and one tournament championship.
If Dixon’s past is any indication, he should be able to turn the TCU men’s basketball team into a winning program in fast fashion as he is one of only nine coaches in NCAA Division I history to win more than 100 games during his first four seasons of a coaching career.
The hire, along with the new Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena, should put the Horned Frogs in a prime position for recruiting. Dixon’s players at Pitt have excelled as well with Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder), DeJuan Blair (Washington Wizards) and Lamar Patterson (Atlanta Hawks) currently playing in the NBA.
TCU hosted a press conference today at 1 p.m. officially welcoming Jamie Dixon "home". The large video board in the Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena displayed video clips from Dixon's career as Horned Frog before he came up to say a few words. He expressed his excitement to be back at TCU.
"This felt right. I've seen what TCU was, what it is now and I know what it can be." Dixon said. There's no doubt in my mind we can win championships."