Jamie Dixon (and all of his many facial expressions) heading to TCU? Not a chance. (Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE)
Is it the offseason? Looks like we can again cue the rumors of Jamie Dixon leaving. But first, it's time for a recap of the Many Loves of
Dobie Gillis Jamie Dixon.
There was the uncomfortable dancing around questions when the Arizona job came up. There were more uncomfortable moments when Dixon was asked about his potential pursuit of the Oregon job. Oh yeah, Maryland, too. Of course, there was USC - considered a threat because they were also out west. And to a lesser degree, there was Arizona State and Missouri right before his 2006 extension.
Did I miss any others?
The point is, of course, that this happens every year. And yet, October comes around, and Jamie Dixon is still in Pittsburgh. He's spoken numerous times about his family loving Pittsburgh and how he can only see Pitt in his future. But if you read the reports sometimes, they make it seem as if Dixon clearly is on the verge of leaving Pitt
This year, it's one that hits close to home for Coach Dixon in his alma mater, Texas Christian (aka TCU). TCU just lost their head coach, Jim Christian, to the Ohio Bobcats. So wait - a future Big 12 school lost their coach to the MAC? Yikes.
Christian, who was making around $600,000 at TCU, left to be closer to his Midwest roots and probably also saw the writing on the wall. TCU, who had trouble competing in the Mountain West, is now heading to the Big 12, where they will face schools like Kansas, Kansas State, Texas, Baylor, and West Virginia. It's likely that the Horned Frogs wouldn't be escaping the bottom of the Big 12 for a while. Cue the exit to the MAC.
Back to Jamie Dixon though.
All the Dallas/Fort Worth media was hyping up the possibility that Dixon would and should return to TCU. Pitt had a down season, TCU is heading to the Big 12 and with significantly more revenue coming their way, they're willing to commit even more to the basketball program. But it's so much more than that. Even TCU AD Chris Del Conte realizes and acknowledges how unlikely a move this would be.
If their last coach was making only $600,000, they would probably have to offer something in the range of $2 million for Dixon to even consider leaving, which they just don't have right now. And even if they did, that likely isn't even the biggest factor. Dixon would be leaving a very good Pitt job on the table. Pitt has consistently been near the top of the Big East, made the NCAA Tournament on an annual basis (well, most of the time), and the program also a good fan base. Dixon's salary has also been very competitive and he's been given a few extensions with salary bumps over the years as well. Would you really leave all that to head to TCU? Sure, it's his alma mater, but it would be a major rebuilding effort as the program has a long way to go to be able to compete in the Big 12. The fan base isn't nearly that of what Pitt has built up over time, either.
I'm not trying to be hard on TCU's program, but there's such an imbalance here when comparing the two programs and it's hard to see Dixon even considering TCU at this point. It was obviously expected the moment that TCU's coach left, but I just don't see any possible way at this time that he's leaving Pitt to head down south to coach the Horned Frogs.