Dixon National Coach Of Year Again

For the second straight year, Pitt men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon has received National Coach of the Year honors.

During a presentation at the NCAA Final Four Friday at the Hyatt Hotel in Indianapolis, Jamie Dixon received the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award. The Pittsburgh coach was the Naismith Coach of the Year last year.

Named after legendary Mount St. Mary's head coach Jim Phelan, who won more than 800 games and coached in more contests than anyone in college basketball history, the award is presented annually to the top coach in America by CollegeInsider.com. A distinguished group of coaches, media members and athletic administrators are the voters.

Dixon, who has been listed as a finalist for virtually every national coach of the year honor, also was named the CollegeInsider.com Big East Coach of the Year.

Other finalists for the Jim Phelan Award were Steve Alford (New Mexico), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), John Calipari (Kentucky), Steve Donohue (Cornell), Fran Dunphy (Temple), Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa), mid-season honoree Frank Martin (Kansas State), Chris Mooney (Richmond), Matt Painter (Purdue), Bo Ryan (Wisconsin), Bill Self (Kansas), Brad Stevens (Butler), Mark Turgeon (Texas A&M) and Jay Wright (Villanova).

Previous Jim Phelan Award winners include John Calipari (Memphis, 2009), Bo Ryan (Wisconsin, 2008), Tony Bennett (Washington State, 2007), Ben Howland (UCLA, 2006), Tubby Smith (Kentucky, 2005) Phil Martelli (St. Joseph's, 2004) and Mark Slonaker (Mercer, 2003).

Despite losing four starters -- including NBA players DeJuan Blair and Sam Young, Dixon guided the Panthers to a 25-9 overall record, second-place regular-season finish in the Big East with a 13-5 slate, the school's ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance (all seven years under Dixon) and a No. 3 seed upon entering the NCAA Tourney.

In the preseason, Pitt was unranked and picked to finish ninth in the Big East by Conference coaches. Next year, Pitt returns four of five starters, seven of its top eight scorers, 86 percent of its scoring and 91 percent of its rebounding.

Dixon recently completed his seventh season as head coach and 11th total year at Pitt. Dixon has led the Panthers to a 188-54 record, two Big East championships (2004 regular season/2008 tournament), two 30-win seasons, one NCAA Elite Eight appearance (2009), three NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances (2004, 2007 and 2009) and is the first and only coach in school history to guide Pitt to seven consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, seven straight 20-win overall and 10-win conference seasons. He also propelled Pitt to its first No. 1 national ranking and first No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Tournament in 2008-09.

Dixon's current 188 career victories tie the NCAA Division I record for most wins after the first seven seasons of a coaching career (tied with Gonzaga's Mark Frew). Dixon currently ranks third on the NCAA's active winningest coaches by percentage list.

Dixon also concluded the 2009-10 season as the winningest coach in Big East history with a current .696 winning percentage in Conference games (94-41). Following Dixon are legendary names such as Georgetown's John Thompson, Connecticut's Jim Calhoun, Syracuse's Jim Boeheim and St. John's Lou Carnesseca.

Dixon, who already ranks second on Pitt's all-time career-coaching wins list, also has compiled the best winning percentage for a Pitt head coach after seven years of service and reached 100 victories faster than any other coach in school history. He has also amassed a 116-11 record at the Petersen Events Center and has guided Pitt to the Big East Championship title game in four of his first seven seasons at Pitt (2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008).

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