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Big-12 Coaches Speak Highly of TCU’s Jamie Dixon

Jamie Dixon Media Day Photo | D1Vision

After spending 13 years as the head coach at Pittsburgh, TCU Head Coach Jamie Dixon is already off to quite the start with the Horned Frogs, capturing their first-ever program win over a No. 1-ranked team, their first Big 12 Tournament semifinal game, and the NIT championship title.

With all this success it’s no wonder why so many of the other coaches in the Big-12 conference think highly of the head man at TCU.

“Coach Dixon has a great reputation, does an outstanding job in getting teams to play as a team and to their full capability,” said Baylor head coach Scott Drew. “But we knew coming in talent-wise they were going to be good and they were. Excited they won the NIT! We also won that and it gave us a big boost for the next year.”

In his first year at TCU, Dixon led the Horned Frogs to a 24-15 record (6-12 Big-12), as they began to catch fire late in the year, defeating No. 1 ranked Kansas in the first-round of the Big-12 tournament and winning the NIT championship.

Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard, who spent time as the head coach at Fort Scott Community College from 1999-2000, spoke about how he first developed a relationship with him all the way back then, while Dixon was an assistant coach at Pittsburgh (1999-2003).

“I was the head coach at Fort Scott Community College. He was an assistant at Pitt,” said Beard. “He did a great job of recruiting some of our guys. He’s one of the most respected guys in our industry. He’s a real guy.”

“Jamie hasn’t changed over the years even though the title and the shirt and the paycheck has. Specifically, I wasn’t surprised at all at TCU’s season last year, got good players and a great coach. I think the attention they’re receiving this year, being ranked high in the poll and things like that is deserving. But there is no one I have more respect for than Jamie.”

Shaka Smart, who took the Texas head coaching job one year before Dixon became the head coach at TCU, was able to empathize with Dixon, with both coaches being relatively new to their programs.

“I think it’s challenging your first year anywhere because there is just so much transition and so much unknown,” said Smart. “But I think he did a really nice job getting that team to reflect the way that he believes the game of basketball should be played with the level of toughness and a team orientation.

“They showed that almost from day one, that seemed like. The players did a great job buying in because as a coach you learn it doesn’t matter what philosophy you teach unless the players are all in. And it seemed like they had buy-in with all that. They’re going to be a team to watch this year because they had such a strong year last year and they got the vast majority of those guys back.”

Reporters Tuesday had fun with Dixon, joking about how TCU’s Basketball team was picked to finish higher than their football team in their respective Preseason Big-12 Polls, as TCU was recently picked to finish third in the Big-12 for basketball and now have the No. 4 team in the nation per the AP Top-25 poll.

There have been a few jokes thrown around about that throughout the summer, I guess,” said Dixon. “Gary [Patterson] was giving me a hard time at some points, but I guess he’s getting the last laugh right now. They’re fourth in the country and we’re proud of what they’re doing.”

The two teams picked ahead of TCU to win the Big-12 was Kansas, who has won 13 straight Big-12 titles and West Virginia, led by head coach Bob Huggins. Huggins also spoke about the impact that Dixon has had at TCU.

“Jamie is a really good end-of-the-game coach and that’s what our league is. Nobody blows anybody out in this league. It’s all so highly contested,” said Huggins. “There are really good players. When you look at the stuff that the league sent out about first-round picks, lottery picks, draft picks, and then look and think, there are only ten he teams in this league, there are 16 in those other leagues or 14 and we still, I think, whatever it is, I think it’s the second most amount of first-rounders or second most amount of lottery picks. There are really, really good players in this league and incredible coaching in this league.”

Kansas head coach Bill Self was the last to speak about Dixon and had very positive things to say about the TCU second-year head coach.

“Well, Jamie, you know, and his staff, they did an unbelievable job at Pittsburgh, so him doing well isn’t a surprise to anybody that coaches in our league,” said Self. “We expect him to do well. TCU is — a lot of people thought that’s been a sleeping giant so to speak with the Metroplex and the proximity to guys that can make you better. It certainly appears to everybody in our league that Jamie and staff have maximized their time there, their brief time there to put together a product that certainly their team has a chance to win our league this year.

“I mean, they’re good! They were really well last year on how they finished and winning the NIT obviously gives them unbelievable momentum going forward and you return all five starters and you recruit guys that are probably good enough to start. That’s a pretty nice start! I think they’re there to stay. I don’t think TCU basketball is going to take a step backwards. We all take steps sideways sometimes based on personnel and things that go on, but TCU is going to be a force in our league for as long as he’ s there.”

 

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