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Jamie Dixon Named Sporting News Coach Of The Year

It has been a rough couple of days for Panther fans but a bit of good news came across the wires today as coach Jamie Dixon has been named the Sporting News Coach of the Year. Though Pitt was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in the third round by Butler on Saturday night and some in the Pitt fan base have been critical of the coach, the Sporting News had some kind words for him.

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Player improvement. This is the core of the Jamie Dixon philosophy, developed in his early years as Pitt’s head coach . It was the impetus for Pitt’s regular-season championship in the Big East and for his selection as Sporting News coach of the year.

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Typically such awards are presented to coaches whose teams exceed expectations, but many predicted the Panthers would be their league’s best.

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Why were the experts counting on Pitt, though? Because of all the lottery picks in their lineup?

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No—it’s possible none of the Panthers will play in the NBA. Pitt was expected to be good because it has Dixon. The Panthers have won at least 20 games and 10 in the Big East in each of his eight seasons. During the same period, neither Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim nor Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun can say the same—and it’s not like either’s program has struggled.

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Hard to add much to that. Dixon runs a good college program, rather than just a one-and-done pro factory. He ensures fans have a good team every single year, and though it might fall short in March too often, Pitt is consistent. One of these days, it's going to break through, and fans will have Dixon to thank...as if they shouldn't be thanking him already.  

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.