June 8, 2009
WEXFORD, Pa.--The Woodlands Foundation and the children involved in its "No Handicap" Golf Program for children with disabilities honored University of Pittsburgh men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon with the organization's Spirit Award.
Presented in conjunction with the Woodlands Foundation's annual Golf Classic fundraiser the Spirit Award honors a distinguished American who has demonstrated excellence, sportsmanship and believes that everyone has the ability to play sports. Previous award winners include: Arnold Palmer (2008), Bob Ford (2007), William Marsh (2006), Bob Friend (2004) and Carol Semple Thompson (2003).
Located in Wexford, Pa., the independent, nonprofit Woodlands Foundation was formed in 1998 with the mission of enriching the lives of children and adults with disability and chronic illness. The Woodlands partners with more than 20 different charitable organizations and annually serves over 6,000 participants with disability and chronic illness.
The Woodlands' "No Handicap" Golf Program allows individuals of all ages with a disability, chronic illness or special need to enjoy the game of golf on the region's only fully accessible, par-three, nine-hole course.
The 2008-09 Naismith National Coach of the Year award winner, Dixon has been selected to serve as the head coach of the 2009 USA Basketball Men's Under-19 National Team which will compete in the FIBA world championships, July 2-12 in New Zealand. 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 such an 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.