April 7, 2009
ATLANTA—The University of Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon has been named the 2009 Naismith Men’s College Basketball Coach of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.
Dixon guided Pitt to a 31-5 record (15-3 Big East), earned the school’s first-ever No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Tournament and led the Panthers to the NCAA East Regional final, the program’s most wins in an NCAA Tournament (3). Pitt also achieved the consensus No. 1 national ranking for the first time in school history, set or tied school records for victories (31) and league wins (15) and finished the year with a perfect 19-0 home record. Dixon has now guided Pitt to NCAA Tournament appearances in each of his first six seasons as head coach, becoming the first coach in school history to achieve that honor. He has amassed a career record of 163-45, which places him third on Pitt’s all-time coaching wins list.
With his 163 career wins, Dixon set an NCAA Division I record for most victories after six seasons as a head coach. He surpassed the previous record of 161 wins held by North Carolina State's Everett Case from 1947-52. Dixon concluded the 2008-09 season as the Big East's all-time winningest coach by percentage in overall league games (.698), ranking ahead of Georgetown’s John Thompson (.653), Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun (.651), Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (.637) and St. John’s Lou Carnesecca (.635). He also ended the campaign ranked third among NCAA active coaches in career winning percentage.
Other finalists for the award were Jeff Capel (University of Oklahoma), Trent Johnson (Louisiana State University) and Bill Self (Kansas University).
Dixon was chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s board of selectors, a collection of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The Naismith Award, presented annually to the men’s and women’s top college coaches, is the most prestigious national award in college basketball.
“Pittsburgh had a tremendous season and much of that success goes to Jamie and the wonderful coaching job he did with this team,” said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. “During his six seasons he has built a solid program that continues to produce wonderful results, both on and off the court.”
In 1987, Indiana’s Bob Knight won the inaugural Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year award and went on to win the 2007 Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Men’s Basketball award. Last year, the coaching recipient was John Calipari of the University of Memphis. For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.