Pitt extends Dixon’s contract
AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon signed a two-year contract extension Wednesday, ending any speculation he might leave the Panthers for a higher-paying job.
Dixon was already signed through the 2015-16 season, at a salary of about $1.6 million per season. The new deal runs through 2017-18, meaning Dixon is under contract for the next eight seasons.
“I know how good I’ve got it at Pitt,” Dixon said. “I’m not going anywhere. This is where I want to be, and this is where I always hoped to be. I’m happy to be at Pitt. I’m the luckiest guy in the world, and I recognize it every day.”
Athletic director Steve Pederson wouldn’t say if Dixon got a raise. However, Pederson said Tuesday – upon announcing a two-year extension for football coach Dave Wannstedt – that the Panthers are competitive in paying their coaches.
“We never talk about the pay of our coaches, but we’ve always tried to compensate our coaches fairly and make sure their (salaries) are competitive,” Pederson said. “So, that’s something, with all of our coaches, that we’ve tried to make certain of at all times.”
Dixon’s record of 188-54 in seven seasons – an average of nearly 27 victories per season – is one of the best in NCA history for any coach at that stage of his career. The Panthers have made the NCAA tournament every season under Dixon, making the round of eight in 2009 and the second round this season.
The Panthers have won two Big East championships, one in the regular season and the other in the tournament, and were ranked No. 1 for the first time in school history during the 2008-09 season.
Dixon has had records of 31-5, 20-9, 25-8, 29-8, 27-10, 31-5 and 25-9.
“Jamie Dixon has built something very special at the University of Pittsburgh,” Pederson said.
Dixon’s .694 winning percentage in Big East games (94-41) is the best in conference history. He was a Pitt assistant under Ben Howland for four seasons before Howland was hired by UCLA.
Dixon signed the latest extension after the school came to him, asking if he wanted more years. The deal was being worked on even as Dixon was being linked to openings at Oregon and DePaul.
“Jamie has never come to us,” Pederson said. “He has never asked for anything. We went to him and told him that we’d like him to be the coach here for a long time and continue to work with him to build what’s become one of the elite programs in college basketball.”
Twenty-two Pitt players have received degrees in the seven seasons since Dixon was hired.