Pitt hires Dixon as head basketball coach

The search is over. It was announced that Jamie Dixon is the next head coach of the Pittsburgh Panther basketball team this afternoon.<br><br> The Panther athletic department, after failing to woo Skip Prosser, offered the job to Dixon and in doing so saved itself and its 4 incoming freshmen any further embarrassment.

Dixon, while not the popular choice with the boosters, was the "man" according to the players. And with the Panthers fielding a very strong incoming freshman class next season, they listened to the voice of the players.

Although assistant coach Ernie Ziegler will be leaving for UCLA, Barry Rorhssen will be staying. Rorhssen was the prime factor in landing marquee freshman Chris Taft.

Pitt received a jolt late last week when Prosser signed a last-minute, 10-year deal with Wake Forest. Prosser, a Carnegie native, seemed a shoo-in earlier last week.

It's been reported that Dixon is the only other person that interviewed for the position. And he had Ben Howland's blessing, ""He's the only guy they should be focusing on ... He's ready to do the job, he can do the job and he will do the job. It should be an unbelievably easy hire. Jamie Dixon is right there for them."

Dixon is inheriting a Panther team that saw renewed national recognition and a 57-11 record over the past two seasons. The Panthers return All-Big East selections Julius Page, Chevon Troutman and the best kept secret in the conference, Jaron Brown.

John Biles

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