FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Jamie Dixon is back at TCU, and the Horned Frogs are hoping for an even bigger miracle from their former player.
Dixon was introduced Tuesday as the new coach at his alma mater with a six-year contract. The festive event came under the same roof where he hit a buzzer-beating 30-footer for a win over rival Texas in a 1986 game.
Even before Dixon came into the completely redone arena, the video of that shot was shown on the huge board.
Dixon left Pittsburgh after leading the Panthers to 11 NCAA Tournaments in 13 seasons.
The Horned Frogs have won only eight Big 12 games since joining the power league four years ago. Their last NCAA Tournament win came in the first round in 1987 when Dixon was a senior guard.
After being presented a No. 23 jersey, what he wore as a player at TCU, Dixon said the opportunity to coach the Frogs had been a dream of his. He said it just “felt right” to make the move at this time.
The 50-year-old Dixon said he is at TCU to win right away, can sell the program and expressed gratitude for his time here as a student-athlete.
Pittsburgh was 21-12 this season, losing to Wisconsin on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Dixon was 328-123 at Pitt, where he led the Panthers to Big East Conference regular season titles in 2004 and 2011 before they moved to the Athletic Coast Conference three years ago. That included 216 wins his first eight seasons, a record for a Division I coach.
TCU has won only 181 games over its past 14 seasons under three head coaches.
Trent Johnson had two years left on his contract after going 50-79 overall in four seasons. The Frogs are 8-64 in Big 12 games since moving to that league in Johnson’s first season, with the losses coming by an average of 15 points. TCU was 12-21 this season, 2-16 in conference games.
Dixon was a four-year letterman for the Horned Frogs and as a senior was a starting guard for their last NCAA tourney victory. They beat Marshall in the first round in 1987 before losing to Notre Dame.
He was inducted into the TCU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. He was a .451 career shooter on 3-pointers, which was the school record when he finished playing, but is tied for second-best for the Frogs.
The Frogs played in their new campus arena this season. The $72 million project was a complete renovation of the coliseum that was their home when Dixon played for TCU.