Dixon Naismith Coach Of Year

Pitt's best men's basketball season was not overlooked, as Panthers coach Jamie Dixon was named the Naismith College Basketball Coach of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.

"Pittsburgh had a tremendous season and much of that success goes to Jamie and the wonderful coaching job he did with this team,'' Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president said. "During his six seasons, he has built a solid program that continues to produce wonderful results, both on and off the court.''

Pitt set numerous school marks on its way to a program-best 31-5 record, its first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and East Regional final (Elite Eight), the most NCAA Tournament wins (3) and initial consensus No. 1 national ranking (three weeks over two separate occasions).

The Panthers also set or tied school records for victories (31) and league wins (15) and finished the year with a perfect 19-0 home record. Dixon has now guided Pitt to NCAA Tournament appearances in each of his first six seasons as head coach, becoming the first coach in school history to achieve that honor, and has amassed a career record of 163-45 to place third on Pitt's all-time coaching wins list.

With his 163 career victories, Dixon set an NCAA Division I record for most wins through six seasons as a head coach. He surpassed the 161 by North Carolina State's Everett Case from 1947-52. Dixon concluded the 2008-09 season as the Big East's all-time winningest coach by percentage in overall league games.

Dixon's mark (.698) puts him ahead of Big East legends like Georgetown's John Thompson (.653), Connecticut's Jim Calhoun (.651), Syracuse's Jim Boeheim (.637) and St. John's Lou Carnesecca (.635). He also ended the campaign ranked third among NCAA active coaches in career winning percentage.

Other finalists for the Naismith Award were Oklahoma's Jeff Capel, LSU's Trent Johnson Kansas' Bill Self. Dixon was chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's board of selectors, a collection of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The Naismith Award, presented annually to the men's and women's top college coaches, is the most prestigious national award in college basketball.

In 1987, Indiana's Bob Knight won the inaugural Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year award and also received the 2007 Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Men's Basketball award. Last year, the coaching recipient was John Calipari from Memphis. For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.

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