Jamie Dixon spoke with the Seth Davis Show about, among other things, his leaving Pitt for TCU, and why he made the move at this point in his career.
Jamie Dixon had built an established foundation at the University of Pittsburgh. The tenured head coach spent a resounding 13 seasons as the skipper for the Pitt Panthers basketball team, and he was adored by students and fans alike in the Steel City.
“Unheard of, to be honest. It’s very rare,” Dixon told the Seth Davis Show in regards to his lengthy and impressive regime with one school.
“The fact is that we were so good, and our stretch was the best in the country for like five years. We were that good. Being a number one seed was normal. It’s hard to go much higher than that. There is no higher than number one seed. You want that. You want to build that level of expectation. And if you don’t it’s disappointing. Some others may be more vocal about that, but you have to expect that. And you can’t question it because you’re doing the same thing.”
Dixon crafted that level of expectation to perfection. In his first seven seasons with the Panthers, he won 188 games, tying the NCAA Division I record for most wins in the first seven seasons as a head coach. From 2001 to 2004, he led Pitt to three consecutive Big East regular-season titles, advanced to three straight NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances, won the school’s first Big East Tournament title in 2003 and shepherded the program into the competitive waters of the ACC.
With this level of unbridled success, it was a stunner in the college hoops realm when Dixon announced his decision to part ways with the program he had brought to national prominence.
He was headed back to his alma mater, TCU, taking over at a program he once led to the Southwest Conference title.
But why would he leave such a stable situation at Pitt?
“I guess because I had been there at Pitt and I had a lot of opportunities to leave beforehand. I think that probably had something to do with it,” he told Davis.
“The timing was right. My wife always said we’d go back to Texas. She’s from Hawaii, so I don’t know how she had this premonition, but she didn’t say it was going to be TCU. Certainly, my connection going to the school has something to do with it, and my love for the university, but it’s going to be fun and it’s going to be challenging at the same time. That’s why we do it.”
The connection Dixon has with TCU alone is enough to justify his decision. He set so many high standards as a student-athlete with the Horned Frogs, even getting inducted into the TCU Hall of Fame in 2007.
Why not accept a new challenge with a school that was once called home?
It’s a remarkable opportunity for Dixon to bring TCU back into the college basketball spotlight. The Horned Frogs are currently one of only 12 remaining undefeated teams in college hoops, having already picked up marquee wins over the likes of UNLV and Washington.
He has a hefty challenge ahead of him in replicating the success he brought about at Pitt, but if history is any indication, Dixon is well on his way to revitalizing his alma mater and demanding the national spotlight be pointed at Fort Worth.