Pitt basketball: Jamie Dixon will not be fired

Jamie_Dixon_(Karwoski)

 Jamie Dixon is the best coach that the Pitt basketball team has ever had. Florida is the number one overall team in the country, thus they should have beaten Pitt. It should come as no surprise that Pitt lost. Dixon has a great young team that will blend well with talented recruits that are coming in.

Jamie Dixon WILL NOT be fired. Sean Miller WILL NOT leave Arizona for Pitt. Arizona is a much more lucrative coaching position than Pitt is. If you want Dixon fired then you are just a bandwagon fan.

In light of Pitt’s recent lost to Florida in the NCAA tournament I chose to repost what I wrote on March 9.:

 

Open letter to Pitt basketball fans:

Jamie Dixon is not going to be fired, so, stop right there. Programs go through rough stretches, it happens to the best of them. North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA and Arizona have each gone through difficult stretches recently. Most college basketball teams would love to have the Pitt basketball coach at the head of their program.

This is Pitt’s first season in the ACC, a conference whose members play a completely different brand of basketball than that of the traditional Big East style of basketball that Pitt is accustomed to playing. The ACC style of play is more of a finesse and high scoring style compared with the more physical low scoring Big East style of play. Pitt made the transition and finished in fifth place in a conference that many expected to be the best in college basketball this year.

Prior to the season, college basketball analysts predicted that Pitt would finish fifth in the ACC. Jamie Dixon’s Pitt basketball team finished exactly where many predicted them to finish.

As for labeling this season as a collapse, that is not the case. When Pitt built up there impressive 16-1 start to the season, they did it against teams like Albany, Youngstown State and Howard. More than half of those wins came against teams that are not in one of the major conferences.

Pitt came into today’s matchup with Clemson needing to come out on top in order to seal an NCAA tournament bid. They struggled for most of the game, but ultimately was able to get the job done in overtime.

With a 12-1 non-conference record and an 11-7 ACC record, this Pitt team won most of the games that they needed to and is going to be in the NCAA tournament.

CBS analyst Jon Rothstein calmed the nerves of Pitt fans with:

Jamie Dixon has his Panthers in the NCAA tournament for the 10th time in his eleven years of coaching. In his 11 years at the helm of the Pitt basketball program, Dixon has won 284 games to only 94 losses.

Sure, Pitt has had some unsuccessful NCAA tournaments under Dixon. However with three Sweet 16’s and an Elite Eight appearance, Pitt fans should not be complaining. Obviously, the goal of every season is to make it to the Final Four, but that does not mean that a Sweet 16 loss is a failure. Upsetting, yes, but many fans of rival schools would love to have a team with that much success.

To those fans who label Dixon as a bad recruiter, stop. Dixon has recruited numerous top-30 recruiting classes. He has recruited players such as Steven Adams, Dante Taylor, Khem Birch and DeJuan Blair. Almost each of his recruiting classes is headlined by at least one if not two consensus top-100 recruits.

Dixon is constantly in the news for his humanitarianism which brings positive publicity to the university. In October of 2010, Jamie Dixon was driving on a Pittsburgh highway when he spotted a car wreck. Dixon pulled his car over and rescued one of the trapped passengers.

He started the Maggie Dixon heart foundation following his sister Maggie’s sudden death due to cardiac arrest. His foundation is routed in the Pittsburgh community, and he routinely makes appearance at fund-raisers for the foundation.

Pitt has a great basketball coach and an even better person as the face of their program.

If Pitt fires Dixon, he will have his pick of programs as most college basketball teams with a vacancy at head coach will attempt to court him.

  • Joe

    I Never wanted Dixon from day 1, I preferred Skip Prosser.
    Now I would rather have Archie Miller, he will be hot now that he is in the sweet 16.
    Dixon will never win a National Championship unless he starts signing 1st Round NBA type players.
    And they won’t come here because Dixon is an uber control freak and these kids want to be able to take an open shot without being bench is they don’t run the offense.
    Name the last National Champion that won without at least 1 NBA first rounder?

    • JA

      Louisville won last year without any NBA 1st rounders
      In fact Pitino has the least number of NBA players on NBA rosters today indicating his tremendous coaching ability

    • Aron Minkoff

      Prosser was a great coach and its a shame that he never got to maximize his potential but I am not convinced that he was a better coach than Dixon is. Pitt is not a perennial national championship contender. It never will be. The program may have plateaued, but that happens. Short of getting Calipari NBA lottery picks are not going to jump at the gun to come to Pitt. Although, Dixon did recruit Steven Adams, a lottery pick last year.

  • Joe

    I’ve been hoping he takes one of those jobs I hear about he is offered.
    He only talks to them to get more money from Pitt, not that I blame him for that.
    His mentor Howland left, went to 3 final 4′s and got fired and is out of work.
    They had ACC player of the year in Patterson, but Dixon stifled him with his over protective uber control freak coaching, all the Pittsburgh sports media knows all about Dixon and his control freak style, they just won’t bash him until he leaves.

    • Aron Minkoff

      Yes, Dixon is a control freak and micro-manages every aspect of the game but do not think for a second that Lamar Patterson was even close to being the ACC player of the year. The skill is simply not there. Warren, Parker, Paige, Ennis are all a class above him.That being said, Lamar had a great career for the Panthers. Pittsburgh is not a destination that top talents wants to come to. Western PA does not breed basketball, Jamie Dixon is the best that Pitt will get and he is a top-10 coach in all of the NCAA. He is just as much a part of the university as any other coach of any other major program. Dixon is not going anywhere.

      • James DeLeon

        Question: So Pitt is a less desirable place to be than UCONN which doesn’t seem to have trouble making the Final Four and winning – that’s with a second year coach.

        How did they do it?

  • James DeLeon

    We keep hearing from Dixon fans how long it takes to make the Final Four…ten maybe twenty years. How, then, did Kevin Ollie do it in his second season at UCONN?

    I think the Dixonites apologize for their demigod a little too much.