With little fanfare, Jamie Dixon hit a pretty special number earlier this week when he won his 20th game. In case you've not been keeping count, Dixon has had at least 20 wins in every one of the ten seasons he's been the head coach at Pitt.
No one would argue that a 22-17 year that culminated in a CBI Tournament win last season was a successful one. But the point is that Dixon's been remarkably consistent and even though the postseason woes are evident, try finding many coaches that won at least 20 games in their first ten seasons as head coaches. Even the best coaches in college hoops have down seasons, but Dixon hasn't even suffered a losing one yet.
Some of the best coaches in the game have had down years even after building powerhouses. Coach K and Duke were only a .500 team from 1994-96. Last decade, Jim Boeheim and Rick Pitino took their teams to a total of five NIT appearances last decade. Roy Williams and the Tarheels went to an NIT a few years ago and could be headed there again this season. Fact is that everyone has down seasons and so far, in Dixon's worst year, he still won 22 games.
The encouraging thing in the shadow of last year's mess is the way Dixon's rebounded. He's not only gotten Pitt in position where they're virtually assured of reaching the NCAAs again, but the Panthers are also likely headed to a fairly high seed. All Dixon does is win and even if you're disappointed by the postseason results, it's impossible not to be impressed with that many 20-win seasons.