Dixon Is 2009 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year

Issue Date: 
November 30, 2009
Jamie DixonJamie Dixon

University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball head coach Jamie Dixon has been named the 2009 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year.

USA Basketball, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., is the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the United States. Among its members are the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It oversees U.S. teams in a number of arenas, including the Olympic Games and the Pan American Games. It also fields men’s and women’s national teams for players 19 years old and younger (U19), as well as a U17 team for players 17 and younger.

Dixon’s USA Basketball team won a gold medal at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship this past July. His USA squad compiled a perfect 9-0 record during the games, which were played in Auckland, New Zealand. The victory ended an 18-year drought for USA Basketball, which hadn’t won the men’s U19 World Championship since 1991.

“Jamie Dixon has established himself as one of the finest collegiate coaches in the game today, and this past summer, he proved himself on the international court, too,” said USA Basketball Chair Jerry Colangelo. “In leading the USA Men’s U19 Team to the World Championship, he not only accomplished something that the U.S. had not done since 1991, but to do so, he had to quickly form a team from 12 individual players and earn their respect and confidence. He obviously did so, and his team responded by winning its nine games in an impressive team manner.”

Dixon said the USA Basketball award “is a tremendous honor from an outstanding organization. Everyone—our coaching staff, players, and the USA Basketball support staff—contributed to our success this summer. This award is a direct reflection of their hard work, dedication, and commitment.”

The USA Basketball National Coach of the Year title was  previously awarded to Duke University’s Mike Krzyzewski in each of the last three years (2006-08). Other prominent award winners have included Larry Brown, coach of the Philadelphia ’76ers,’ in 1999, and of the Detroit Pistons, in 2003; and Syracuse University’s Jim Boeheim, who won the title in 2001.

USA Basketball also nominated Dixon for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s 2009 National Coach of the Year award, which is expected to be announced in January.

Dixon’s impressive performance as a USA head coach came on the heels of a record-setting NCAA season. In his sixth season at Pitt in 2008-09, Dixon guided the Panthers to its first-ever NCAA Regional Final and Elite Eight appearance, the school’s first No. 1 national ranking, and the program’s first No. 1 seed upon entering the 2009 NCAA Tournament. He was rewarded with being named the 2009 Naismith National Coach of the Year, college basketball’s most prestigious national award.