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North Carolina might be holding the championship trophy, but Pitt scored a victory today when Jamie Dixon won the Naismith award as the national coach of the year.

"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."

Even though he was not Pitt's first choice after the departure of Ben Howland following the 2002-03 season, Dixon has since recorded the most wins in D-I history in his first six years on the job. His record now stands at 163-45, three times reaching the Sweet 16 and once reaching the Elite Eight. The Panthers have reached the Big East tournament championship four times under Dixon, winning in 2008. While some would view this season with disappointment due to Pitt's lofty expectations, many programs would kill to have the same level of success that Pitt's experienced under Dixon.

The Naismith Award has been given to one men's and one women's coach every year since 1987. Last year's men's winner was John Calipari (who also won at UMass in 1996), and past winners include Bob Knight, Mike Krzyzewski, Dean Smith, Jay Wright, and Larry Brown. Howland won the award while at Pitt in 2002.

Dixon wins Naismith award; Blair to make announcement soon [PG]

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Unknown said...

Wow. I'm actually pretty stunned by this. Not because Dixon wasn't worthy, but because I figured Izzo locked it up by getting Michigan State to the championship game. Either way, a great accomplishment for a great coach.

Penn.DOT(DadOf2) said...

Congrats to Jamie, what a great season!!! A real shock indeed, to agree with what Justin had said. I would have thought Izzo or Roy Williams would have won the honor, but Jamie seems to coach on a different level. Keep up the good work, Jamie!!

the nigerian nightmare said...

Should've went to Ed DeChellis :)