Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Speculation Ends Extension for 10 Years Supports Coach's Desire to Hopefully Retire at University of Pittsburgh

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Speculation Ends Extension for 10 Years Supports Coach's Desire to Hopefully Retire at University of Pittsburgh

Article excerpt

Jamie Dixon has signed five contract extensions in his 10 seasons as Pitt's men's basketball coach. The most recent came Saturday, but this one was unlike any of the previous four.

The opening line of the statement that was distributed by the university read: "Stating that he intends to finish his career at the University of Pittsburgh ... "

Dixon, 47, has said many times over the years how much he and his family enjoy the university and the city, but it was the first time he said he would like to retire at Pitt.

This extension is for 10 years, through 2023, and is the longest extension he has signed.

"I guess that's recognizing my advancing age more than anything," Dixon joked later Saturday evening when reached by phone. "It's always been my intention to be here. Every day I go to work I go with that intention, with that belief that I'm going to be here."

Dixon's name is mentioned almost every year around this time when a prominent job opens. This year the job opening Dixon was being tied to was at Southern California, which is near his childhood home and where his parents and sister still reside.

In other years Dixon turned down several other major schools including Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon and Missouri.

Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson did not deny there was a desire within the university to end the yearly speculation.

"Jamie has always been consistent with me in his desire to finish his career here," Pederson said. "At some point you have to let the public know it."

Pederson said the 10-year extension was symbolic as well. Dixon just completed his 10th season as head coach. He left the Big East Conference with the highest winning percentage in the league's history.

"We felt that we just had this great decade and now we're going into the [Atlantic Coast Conference] and we're focusing on the next decade," Pederson said. "Doing 10 years seemed logical. We hope he coaches here longer than that."

Dixon admitted he didn't always handle the speculation well in previous years. When asked if this extension would finally put his long-term commitment to Pitt to rest, he said: "I would have thought signing an eight-year extension would have done that. …

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