Oct. 3, 2012
PITTSBURGH--University of Pittsburgh basketball coach Jamie Dixon was named an honorary spokesman for fitUnited Pittsburgh, a United Way initiative which focuses on combating the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States. At a Wednesday morning news conference at the Petersen Events Center, Dixon, Allegheny County United Way President and Chief Professional Officer Bob Nelkin and Senior VP of Food and Beverage at Eat'n Park Brooks Broadhurst introduced fitUnited Pittsburgh before more than 100 media members, guests and community leaders.
Created by the United Way and supported by more than 35 local corporations and organizations, fitUnited Pittsburgh focuses on children in Allegheny County--from birth to pre-teen years--in an effort to impact the health and wellness of our community's children. The initiative will encourage neighborhoods throughout Allegheny County, by way of hundreds of corporations and organizations, to adopt and adapt proven practices and programs in improving childhood nutrition and physical activity.
Several members of the Pitt men's and women's basketball teams led children from Falk School in a basketball workout prior to the event. Junior Trey Zeigler and freshmen James Robinson and Chris Jones represented the men's team, while redshirt juniors Abby Dowd and Ashlee Anderson represented the women's squad. Pitt women's basketball coach Agnus Berenato and Pitt mascot "ROC" also made appearances.
Dixon's family charity organization, the Maggie Dixon Foundation's goals and objectives are aligned perfectly with fitUnited Pittsburgh. One of the Maggie Dixon Foundation's main goals is to prevent heart disease among youth.
"One of the main causes of heart disease is not maintaining a healthy lifestyle," Dixon said at the press conference. "And maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one aspect that people have most control over. Through fitUnited, it is my hope that we can make a difference and educate our children on the importance of exercise and proper nutrition. I'm extremely excited, thankful and proud to be a part of fitUnited. I'm willing to do everything I can to help the cause."
A four-time National Coach of the Year recipient, Dixon has guided Pitt to a 238-77 overall record, eight-straight NCAA Tournaments, three Big East championships, two 30-win seasons, nine 20-win seasons, one NCAA Elite Eight, three NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances and eight consecutive 10-win league years (2003-11). His 238 career wins rank as the third most wins in NCAA Division I history after nine years as a head coach and he concluded the 2011-12 season as the winningest coach in Big East history with a .661 winning percentage (combining regular season and tournament games).
Dixon is heavily involved in the Pittsburgh community. In addition to fitUnited Pittsburgh, Dixon has been involved with the Maggie Dixon Foundation, Coach Dixon Timeout Program, CARE Foundation, Coaches vs. Cancer, American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh, Junior Achievement, YMCA, Boy Scouts of America, Frank McGuire Foundation, Catholic Youth Association, Woodlands Foundation, American Heart Association, Caring Place, HOPE Network Hoops Classic, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Diabetes Foundation and Dapper Dan Charities.