TCU Men’s Basketball Head Coach
Jamie Dixon joins the podcast today to talk to the guys about his basketball journey from playing for TCU to coming back to coach at TCU. Jamie was a great guest and you don’t want to miss his story.
Jamie is the head coach of the TCU Horned Frogs men’s basketball team, where he played college basketball. He previously served as the head coach of the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball team from 2003 through 2016.
Dixon was named Big East Coach of the Year in 2004, Naismith College Coach of the Year in 2009, Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year in 2010, and the Sporting News National Coach of the Year award in 2011. Dixon played college basketball at Texas Christian University, was selected by the Washington Bullets in the 1987 NBA draft, and played professionally with the Continental Basketball Association’s Lacrosse Catbirds and for Hawke’s Bay Hawks of the New Zealand National Basketball League.
Yeah, we put acid in all of the Waterloo. Waterloo.
Yeah. As part of this is Lance Armstrong. It’s good.
We’re gonna dope you before the show. Ready? I
Is that helping? That’s probably making Jelly
Bean was better. That’s great for you like that I am ready
loud welcome if you don’t we’d like to tell you how to find us fortitude, FW on social media. You can email Brinton for his camera and audio work at fortitude FW email@example.com. I am JW as you as you mentioned earlier, that’s Brinton to my right. We are in the midst of a Gary Patterson early season dismissal. We’ve noticed razor sharp uptick in social media posts in this regard. Have you seen any of this stuff
now? All the way to ECR like audio from when we had him on here? A long time ago, if one of our first interviews you ready for
my bit? Yeah, there seems to be a plethora of rumors on the next head coach. Have you seen these? I have Brinton. Do you know what it means to have a plethora?
I have no idea.
Well, you do know. Could it be once again? You’re upset about something yet? You’re taking it out on me. That’s our big coach.
You know what movie that’s from a Screen Actors Guild.
Is that Dumb and Dumber?
No, it’s before then.
Chevy Chase. Chevy Chase Martin Short. Steve Martin.
Three Three Amigos. That’s it. You
remember the scene? Like he swore that? I
don’t remember that scene.
Okay. I didn’t either.
I’ll give you our connection that the our our nickname of our three guards because the movie came out about the same time. That’s how old this movie is. But yeah, that you’re talking about was the Three Amigos they call this that at TCU. We’re chatting You know, we had three guards and we’re pretty good and the movie come out just at that time. Oh, yeah. We’re the two guys Carl a lot and Carmen Holcomb. Oh, cool. Very cool. Yeah. Didn’t really catch on. didn’t really catch on.
But that was when you were playing. Yeah. Oh, nice. So
that’s all that movie was.
The voice you’re hearing is the greatness of head coach of TCU. Basketball Jamie Dixon Britt I talked to early. No, you didn’t
jump in. Comfortable after eating the jelly beans.
One thing I think it’s worth noting because it’s really interesting and weird, but we apparently have 100 listeners or listens in Budapest Hungary. Have you seen our that now?
It is amazing how much Hungary likes our work. People enjoy listening to things when they can’t understand the language and dialect with which it’s delivered.
So that’s our intro coach.
All I hear about other player is if there’s a player in Hungary let me know Okay, have taught don’t they have some? I’ve never heard of a guy from Hungary being a player. Oh, really?
If we’re Eastern Europe, though, there’s a lot of
Slovenia and Latvia. Lithuania. Loaded loaded with
best email. I
can’t think of anybody from Budapest,
a player for Coach over over. Why do you want seven foot tall? What’s about the what’s the like, what’s the
shooting? Shooting would be good. Okay. Yeah, shooting would be good.
If you’re there. We’re here for you let us know. Well, welcome the show. Coach Dixon. We’re honored to have you your presence in the studio with us. We’re big fans for a long time. Some of us know you for a long time. Some of us are getting to know you. More recent. So thank you for being here. How’s
that going? It’s going well.
Jelly Bean eat.
So let’s get right into you coach because we only have three hours for the show. You are originally from a little town in Hollywood outside of Hollywood, or actually Hollywood,
Hollywood. I grew up in my parents from the Bronx. So when I was I was born as they were moving, leaving the city and going to Los Angeles. And so Burbank is what it says that’s the hospital that I was born in St. Joseph so that’s a joke but I grew up in Hollywood la North Hollywood was what it was called when I when I grew up. So I like to say that I was grew up in North Hollywood but I summered in the Bronx every summer we would get in the station wagon and drive across control serious and and go stay at our grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and cousins. So
parents did they act. Exactly. Yeah.
My dad went out there to be getting the movie business and I just been born and and really it was I don’t know that it was generally we were definitely going out there it was kind of try it out. See? And that’s kind of why the back and forth all that time I think we were kind of they just got married. It was you know,
it wasn’t like we knew some people got a roll. Yes like Let’s go. Yes, it was coming off your boss and welcome to the jungle video. Yeah,
it was it was a we went out there and and made a living and raised three kids and and same house bought it for 30,000 and it’s a two bedroom house that’s worth you know and learning that. Oh yeah, right. Yeah. Yeah, that’s that’s how I got I mean, yeah, I knows everybody. When I played little league or basketball grew up playing was in the dad, you’d see the dad he was in the movie business. So you knew him from commercials or you saw him or the kids that I played with, often did commercials and, and so like, I just it was a normal course of life to me. Everybody was kind of in the business as your first question to me when I walked in. Yeah, yeah, it was. My dad was went there. As an actor. That was his first thing he did. He also had another job like everybody does. I don’t think it was ever a waiter or bartender, but at that time he was he worked in the insurance business. He was a claims adjuster is what he’s always told me. And so he’s a writer. He did that that’s what he really wanted to do. I think he and he did he made a career of writing movies and, and screenplays and you make you write a bunch of them and you hope one or two get made and yes, it really it’s the one profession that’s probably harder than coaching, I would say is the movie business. So if you
catch one of his first movies or any of his movie, no, he
the how I got into the commercials was that he was doing a commercial for Volvo. And he they asked him Hey, does anybody have a kid? They might know a kid that you bring for this commercial? That’s kind of how it was back then. I mean, it wasn’t like Yeah, I know what it is now where every kid in America or parent wants their kid in the in the in the movies or some some type of social media but so they just brought me along and that’s how I was I was the guy in the kid in the backseat looking through the back window in the Volvo commercials.
He did Volvo Mattel Rice Krispies, and in Bud Light, kind of that was later in life.
Yeah, I was a little young to be doing Bud Light at five but yeah, that was just started early. So that you kind of skip it a few years there decades, but that’s what we’re doing here. Coach. Yeah. Mikey. He likes it. And I was about that time. I kind of looked like that kid. Yeah, I was probably better looking. But yeah, the bowl work. It was so so that’s kind of I did a lot of those. You’d go on the interviews. You’d go three interviews a day, you know, and you’d go my mom would take me down you go the interviews and and you go in there I didn’t never did any like acting per se just went in there and smiled. I never had like lines. It was always just commercials. I never did a movie. or anything. I never spoke when I was
kidding for money from all those shows.
I I mean, millions and millions. I mean, yes. Basketball, right? Yeah, I got in the oil business and I lost it all. So that’s what happened. Yeah.
Okay, what you’re obviously you get a little older you start playing basketball. You didn’t discover you’re pretty decent at it. Right?
I struggled. I mean, actually, I was more Baseball, baseball. I played baseball, football. I love sports. I do there were times where my my mom would say, Hey, we gotta go do these go in these interviews these commercials. And, and, and I was like, No, I don’t want to go I want to go play Little League or I want to go play basketball. And that was what I wanted to do. But eventually I get about 1112 The braces came in. And the decision was kind of I wanted to play sports anyways. And that’s kind of how I
went to they revoke the Screen Actors Guild.
The uglier you get Yeah, just kind of happen. So yeah, nice.
Know your medic at all. Yeah, they
don’t. They don’t. They don’t take kindly to kids lives in there. I had a nice little smile when I was young. And yeah, kind of went downhill after that.
You were five three. So the story that everybody knows knows you. You’re five three as a freshman you grew 11 inches in four years like you’re the shortest on the team and you’re the tallest now. You’re obviously a good player heavily recruited?
No, no, I wasn’t. I’m hardly played my junior year. I was on the freshman team JV team as a sophomore, like you said it was five three I mean, and by I mean I probably 80 pounds as a freshman. I mean, I was skinny. Young. That was one of the things that I had against me. I was young for my Class I should have been, you know, in Texas, they would have held me back three years and you know, put me on the football team. Yeah, yeah. But I just I don’t think my parents knew and, and so yeah, and I was I was young and it grew late, combine the two. And I was 511 hardly played as a junior on the team and we weren’t very good. So that gives you an idea. And then I just started the summer grew a couple inches, I just got better got confidence. And then we were in a pretty good League. So I played against some pretty good players and I put up pretty good numbers my senior year, real good numbers and and then but I still look like I was 12 years old. I mean, I was like, six months socially, I was about an eight year old. So there’s we struggle with that. And so it just was not heavily recruited. There were some schools I wanted to go to like Loyola, San Diego, they I visited there. And it just it was it was a strange thing. It was the first year of the early signing period. So everybody had signed that was kind of the first year they’d signed people early. One lot of schools out in California. I mean, if I’d had to do and I grew up, you know, in the east or new a prep school would have been a perfect situation for me. I was planning on going to a junior college. Just because union colleges in California were pretty good basketball back then. So you could go and you know, you you’d be seen and, and so that was my plan. And then TCU came in and they came out of nowhere. And I was probably gonna go Irvine, Loyola. They were they’re kind of talking and and then loyals, the school I wanted to go to I was told the story. I mean, Loyola school I wanted to go to I had some friends going there. I went to Catholic High School, Notre Dame and, and so that was where I was begging, like for a scholarship. And they were horrible. I mean, they were horrible, like the worst team in Division one. And so eventually, I go work out there illegally. And, and they say, Well, you know, we’re just not sure about, you know, you gotta get me here. And and so I said, Well, I’m gonna go to TCU. And then they want to offer me a scholarship after that. And I was like, so at TCU was pretty good at the time where Southwest Conference, they had had a decent year, they were in the NIT, the year before kind of had under achieved a little bit. They saw it and and but phi Slama, JAMA, Euston, Texas. Yeah, all the teams. baseball, football was it was probably the best conference at the time, you know, yeah. Being. And so going into the Southwest Conference was it was like, kind of as our,
as a senior, he led the team to the divots in the NCAA berth. 97. I mean, that’s getting nice 87 To me, you are all selfless conference player that year to, you know, our crack research team. Found this little gym, which, you know, will play the whole thing. This is an extended version, but it’s an interview of you after a very famous shot in history of TCU. That young fella never 2030
you can say I really had developed after those four years, I was still 165 170 Fresh off an acting gig. This is my junior year, actually. So it’s my junior because we won the conference, my junior year trying to senior year. So we want to two years. And you can see the interview I got I took a lot of heat for this interview afterwards. Well, I don’t know you didn’t. Here’s
the shot. Playing Texas with four seconds to go right here
and see your eyes closed. I don’t know if you can see that there. But that was key key part of it. It was the interesting thing about it as a coach now you think you watch it. Texas had a foul to give. Yeah, so they were trying to foul. So you’d have to take it out of bounds again, you wouldn’t be able to shoot the free throws, but the refs didn’t call the fouls and so that’s why got knocked loose. They kind of on the side right and that’s how we get that young
fellas so much life ahead.
All downhill left in the same basket sir. I think it was really another
TCO cord Yeah. That’s the Marshall Harris work is closed
right here. Yeah.
In that guy’s face to beautiful and well done. Yeah.
And a great story about that because I was just talking to his son in law was a Franklin digger was athletic director and for people that they’ll tie in and and that was the very story there was a clip or an angle where he chose for Franklin digger, the athletic director at the time, just as everybody around on the floor as you can see the Frank in a PERT bright purple coat, did the same thing ran and he ran on the pile and then fell off of the pile and it was part of it. And he called he said he was doing crowd control at the time and but it was just said it was an emotional. I mean, we hadn’t been very good. And Texas was Texas. And, you know, we we had had the lead, and then we kind of lost the lead and it looked like it was over. And that’s that’s how it went. So, you know, I’ve been milking this thing for a long time now.
What How did you celebrate that that night? By the way?
Yeah, well keep that. I mean, I actually went out I do remember that I went out my friends. And I will say this is just talking about my dad and how I bows. After the game, I first thing I did is I always did because I talked to my again, I was the oldest 17 When I came out to TCU. I mean, went to an all boys High School, Catholic high school, I called I called my dad afterwards. And he was the first person I called and told them, you know, and he’d watched the game they’d watch on satellite back home. Yeah, it was back in the day where, you know, different different times, but but the first thing he said to me is just, I said, What are you doing? I’m going out. And he said, just make sure you go out with the same people you always going out with? So don’t don’t change that. So I remember that. 35 Remember that better than I remember that shot?
That’s it. Sorry. To say to yeah, don’t get caught. So caught up. And yes, thing. Yeah. And then
and, and funny that you asked that. But there was, you know, different different things came up that normally would come up. So that
was cool. And then go ahead, good decisions, yeah, then then TCU, your time at TCU ones down, then your life speeds up in the hyperdrive. You are the seventh round pick of the Washington Bullets. Now the Washington Wizards, you didn’t make the team, but then you play for the CBA a cumulate, called across Catbirds are paying you 400 bucks a week to play your vital stuff. Now, you have a really good team that goes on Google Wikipedia sometimes, then you move at night to move to New Zealand to play some ball. That’s to two seasons there, you’re an all star at 990 What’s New Zealand like for you?
New Zealand was great. I again, I was very young, I graduated a young 21. I mean, you can see say right there. And, you know, I was I joke about that I played in pretty much every league or cut by pretty much every league in in the in the western hemisphere. And then I tried other other places in Europe as well. And then New Zealand. So I just want to play and I was getting better. You know, I was a late bloomer. And so I just kept getting one to keep playing and New Zealand was an opportunity to go play I think I just played the six, four and under league I don’t think that’s in there. I would go anywhere to play and, and my dad was great about that, too. He’s like, You got plenty of time to work, you know, plenty of opportunity. And and so I did that and I went to New Zealand and it was really the I think probably there I grew more than any, any anything as far as a person, I think because I just, you know, you grew up in the States and you know, and you’re so focused and then you go to a place like New Zealand you realize there’s a lot of other world out there and they don’t care about like, you know, bass college basketball or don’t even know anything about it. And it was just people were unbelievable, most beautiful country in the world and whoever has been down there I think would tend to agree. And I was in this small little town which I’d never done in my life. Yeah, in North Hollywood and Bronx and then Fort Worth was kind of a culture shock as as when I come in here, but then I was in a small town in New Zealand and just still have friends there today that I
ever stopped when like I’ll go back to the California drives to the you know, to the east coast. Have you ever stopped in Texas before? TCU Yeah, we
I stopped that. We stopped at the Big Texas Steakhouse in Amarillo. Oh, yeah.
I’m talking about Yeah. Yeah, well, I was before I was vegan. Yes. I
don’t go there anymore.
So yes, another
athlete. Vegan with it today. Hi, Troy.
What was the night in New Zealand like because presumably you went by yourself like nobody goes with you. Right? Yes. So do you remember that first night of like,
I remember my first time when I we got to TCU and a lot of people bring this up carbon Holcomb brings out one of my teammates and he they picked me up and Alan M Holtz, who’s the manager who I still see is a friend. He they picked me up and they picked me up in a in a from the airport because I don’t know anybody and you can’t and they put me up in the he picks me up in a pickup truck and they throw me in the back of the pickup truck with my with my trunk that I have with me so I wasn’t I wasn’t exactly a high high recruit their minds I wasn’t a real priority. So
I didn’t get to see a stretch limo.
No. And then when I got here, Carmen Holcomb said came up to me and said Are you the manager? And so that was my welcome to TCU so it’s
too bad yeah, well so your your playing career? Indeed kind of in a weird way you see what’s I gotta be careful I say this because I think there’s a story here that I don’t want to step over you or need in the midsection while dying for a loose ball rupturing your pancreas. I think midsection one can only think of well you know where the pancreas is but the midsection they wouldn’t they just say like in the stomach. Okay. Yeah. I thought they were trying to be gentle when they said midsection. You spent 90 days in the hospital. This is in New Zealand right? Now he’s in hospital, you couldn’t eat for a long time you went from 200 pounds to 150 pounds and illustrated that because you couldn’t eat? Like I’m thinking like, oh my gosh, he’s gonna get back into acting because he’s obviously looking looking pretty, pretty thin right there. He’s ready to go. But that’s pretty. That was a pretty crazy time. Yeah.
Yeah. No, it was I mean, it’s a ruptured pancreas. That’s, you need your I didn’t know at the time, but they informed me you need your pancreas to live. And so it was actually I don’t know, I’m a diabetic. So you don’t really don’t Yeah, it is helpful that it is helpful. And yeah, it’s that was one of the concerns. At minimum, they told me probably I was going to be a diabetic because of the the pancreas and the tear, but it healed. They did the surgery, eventually, I should say they let it heal for a while, which was, you know, interesting in that news in Holland, where it happened. The medicine social, how the medicine was set up, they said, if I’d been in the States, they would have gone and done the surgery right away. But in Holland, they tried to see if it would heal on its own, which was always a better way to do it, if it could. And so that’s why it was so long that I was 90 days. So that wouldn’t Yeah, so it was it was 50 days, I think about six days. And when they finally did the hours ed I couldn’t eat literally couldn’t eat and all like, for a lot of time, I couldn’t drink excruciating pain. Yeah, yeah, unbelievable pain and different things were happening, infections and different things that were occurring. And but again, you know, I didn’t know anybody, I just got in there. Team I wanted to play and and this is where I ended up. And then obviously, I was gonna say my dad was was there for me, he came out and dropped everything and spent the time with me there. And you know, it’s tough, you know, language and not knowing anybody and, and, but my goal is I said was, you know, I realized that they said, you probably not complain anymore. And I was losing all this weight. Yeah, and wasn’t eating. And then my goal was to get out of there by by the final four. So it happened about New Year’s, New Year’s Day, I think it was New Year’s Eve, actually, that happened. We’re playing in a game. And my goal is to get back to the to the to the states and get a coaching job. So my goal is to get to the Final Four, bring my resume and just start handing it out. Oh, yeah. And doing there. So I show up at the resume at the final 450 pounds lighter than what I when people would last see me and so you can imagine what some of the people were saying when I when I showed up so good. Yeah, show them. Yeah. So I ended up you know, working in trying to find job and eventually I found that job. I think you’re gonna say always
gonna, you had a lot of coaching stops along the way. I was gonna fast forward. You could go to you to Hawaii spend little time in Hawaii coaching.
He served he been like surfing.
I mean, I’ve done it, but I’m not. I’m not good.
You recognize that?
He’s in the downer. They’re better. That’s a surfboard. surfboard. Yes. Yes. Excellent answer. COVID Grove in the valley. But once in a while. I did love the ocean. So yeah, I mean, think about the places I’ve lived. I mean, New Zealand. Santa Barbara. I went there for my graduate assistant, New Zealand, Hawaii. I mean, some pretty good spots. to Honolulu. Yeah, yeah.
So there you go to Northern Arizona University under a guy named Ben Howland, who’s influential in your life for a long time that you guys were close the whole time. And he right he
was he had recruited me at Santa Barbara right. So he was again another school that recruited me I would have I had applied to go to Santa Barbara just to go as a student in the you know, and know that whatever you January to go there as a student I got and got accepted to go there. And, and, and so I once I started doing having a pretty good senior year we sent some stuff up to him. My mom and dad sent the information you know, like the letters I get all the time and sent information, hey, this year this kid’s averaging this would love to go to Santa Barbara already admitted, you know, to school, which is rare and even have that. And we still have the letter from Ben where it says, Sorry, but we don’t have any scholarships available. And so that’s that’s how so he knew who I was. And that’s how the relationship kind of started. He was an assistant coach there at the time. And they were probably the second worst or worst team in college basketball. Oh, Santa Barbara. They’re horrible. So she
would come in your life and not too much longer after that. In 99. You, you were reunited with him at Pitt and as an assistant. So you’re back coach, and you’re working for him? And then he steps down in 2000? Or two or three, right? Yeah. For years or years. And then that’s where it gets going. In a big way for you. You’re the head coach of Pitt for 13 seasons. You do things like you tie for the most wins in the first seven seasons of any head coach career 108 wins. Naismith Coach of the Year in 2008, does nine base coach of the year sweet 16 With Pitt? 2004 2007 You’re the AP in coaches poll number one ranking for those two years? Huge, right? Is it? Oh, 407. Yeah, two different teams within teams. In 2006, prior to that, really cool thing happened Brinton. Are you asleep over there? I’m reading all of this in 2006. You and your brother and your sister Maggie were the first pair to take their team. She was at army. Maggie and you both took your teams to the NCAA tournament the same year, which is the first time that’s ever happened brother and sister. You lost Maggie fears a year later. And I don’t know if you want to speak to that. But that’s a really emotional and story that inspires a lot of people because there’s a big basketball tournament her honor. I know you guys were close and she was a she was a dynamite coach. And when she she was suddenly taken from the world and you guys you’ve helped facilitate this this foundation for really a great deal. And I know that there’s much more there. Can you speak to your sister Maggie? If you can
see I mean, she a little unique because she was 12 years younger and I was she was kind of a surprise and and she’s she grew up watching my games. She was 567 years old. And we would we had the TCU games run satellite it was you know, not before every game was on TV. So it was on satellite. So they used to go to this pizza place to watch my games.
If your dad had like a satellite, yeah, we
were Yeah, we could probably couldn’t afford him didn’t have room to put it but we had some friends that had one. Yeah, it was it was that those times and but she eventually decided she wanted to play basketball. She end up going to the school that I went to that became co Ed after I left and and she ended up going to University of San Diego and playing and then she wanted to get into coaching and it’s funny you bring up West Point in the connection there. I was just at coach a West Point is playing air force in the commander’s cup and they’re practicing at TCU. And the coach called me and we got together today at West Point. So West Point is near and dear to our heart. The Dixon family I mean it’s it’s special. She was only there six months, she changed how. And I just had a number of people just tell me this it was I was at practice at West Point was just just a half an hour ago was how she changed how women are looked at at West Point because she was only at the time there’s probably 5% of the students were the cadets were women female, it’s it’s a higher number now. And so she kind of took in that that when she got there, there was nobody there. She had been there for got there in October. Nobody came to the games, they never had any success never gotten the NCAA tournament. And so go ahead three, four months later, they get hot, they start winning games and win the league. They host the tournament, and they win the tournament for the first time ever at West Point. And I always say that there’s only been the first person Bobby Knight coached at West Point, Mike Sheffy. Coach at West Point, but Maggie Dixon was the first one to take any men’s or women’s team to the NCAA turn. Wow. So that was point so and then there’s obviously if there’s pictures or some I just saw that with the event where they literally had a packed house 6000 people and all the cadets, all the football players were dressed up in their fatigues, and when they won the game last second. They stormed the court and carried a bag off the field. So it’s a it’s an unbelievable sight of vision if you Google that if you want to see something that might bring a little brings a tear to my eye. Each time I say sir, she she was she would had all kinds of a lot more personality to me. And she was the he was the people person, she was the one with all the energy. And she could, that when she passed, I was she went to the women’s Final Four. And then she went to the men’s final four, she would go to both because she had friends and both, and I was with her that morning. That night, we went to her house in New York and recruiting. And then that morning, I left to go on the road, and I left. And when I got to Virginia, I got a call that she had the she was in hospital and she was in serious, serious conditions and cardiac arrest. So shocking. 28 not well, not not a issue health wise and just out of nowhere. So that’s why we do the foundation and why we talked about the sudden cardiac arrest and what it can do, and it’s ready to do And now and now Regan has taken on the event. And she just wanted to choose friends with Maggie like everybody was and she wanted to move the event to here we had done at the garden for about 10 years. It was the biggest event women’s basketball it still is I mean that they got a great field this year with Carolina Duke they’re not planning to but TCU and Texas and so it’s it’s a it’s unbelievable what they’ve done. And so we’re just continue it and it’s it’s, it’s the premier women’s event and women’s basketball.
It’s an amazing part of your amazing life story. So thank you for sharing. I know it’s you speak to him a lot. And I love that you’d still do that because it’s it is a meaningful thing. It’s really cool. So
and so he shared that I saw you speak at the Fort Worth club couple years. And I remember as JW will always remind us that I’m not the biggest sports guy that I remember watching you. And I was like, Yeah, this guy’s pretty cool. You know, he’s talking about basketball. I’m not really into it and stuff. But then you brought up that story. And I remember it really stuck out I mean, stuck with me because you the way you articulated and I think a lot of people appreciate that. You know, isn’t I mean, so good on you for keeping that memory alive. Yeah, sure.
That’s, that’s what we that’s what I that’s all I could do. I mean, I don’t know what else to do. And it hurts and it’s still been a while. I mean, it’s it’s it’s 16 years now. 15 I guess and but one thing I found is, you know, I’m amazed. I didn’t know every person that called me wrote me email they got letters from all over the world and everyone touched me so something another lesson I got that yeah, just reaching out and saying somebody when they lose somebody just just the littlest thing mean some because it meant something to me. Well, it
means a lot that you speak to it now. So further back to you again. So you’re still at Pitt, you 2010 you do something really cool. You you become the fast you tied to other guys but you tie for the fastest coach earn tuner wins in their career. In only eight seasons, you tie two guys named Mark for you and Roy Williams. That’s pretty that’s pretty badass right there. So let’s, uh, let’s finish up this this picture up here. You see, I’m not sure who this guy is. But things like the model center that tells us this is you. So I’m not quite sure if that’s accurate. But
no, right here. Yeah.
What were you doing here? This seems more like a trainer function with the balls. You know, like as you’re feeding it to the practice or something. I
might have still been the manager, but I acted as if I was the question. Oh, I will say it must be an NCAA tournament because that little pain right there. Okay, you see that pin on the thing? Picture the NCAA tournament, and there probably was that you can’t use the balls until the clock gets to zero. And so I’m waiting for the clock to get to zero so the balls Oh, seriously? Yeah. When you’re
warm up kind of thing. Yeah. Oh, it’s strict rules around that. So you do have kind of there’s a purpose there. You have kind of a uniform on we talked about this with Coach Carlos about how some sports you were Would you ever wear the tank top in a game type of scenario? Why is that some sports that we have that we don’t and others
Yeah, well there’s talk about the wearing the sweats going again this year with the sweats because it was done last year during COVID. And, and I’ve always done the suits and most people have and I don’t know what we’re gonna do here coming forward, whichever you prefer. Would you prefer suavo has done this suit. So I think I’d prefer to do the suits. I
I’m the CTO and coach. I don’t know what more than more than 10 What a lot of suits.
Wardrobe important to this one to the left.
Just curious. And some people have a plethora
plethora again hmm, yeah. Yeah, that’s a that’s someone’s gonna have to figure out. I’ve always done that way. So I’d like to get back to that way but I may be the only one that’s doing it.
So on the as a basketball coach and this is it more important to get to that tournament or Have a winning like, where’s the moat? The biggest pressure point on you?
Yeah, I mean, getting to the tournament. So it’s kind of been that that place that is kind of a defining, you know, I think that number stayed the same. I was talking about that, yes, everything the number has been the same for a long time, you know, where’s bowls have grown from, you know, the blue bond bowl was a real getting the blue bond bowl was a big deal, man back in the day, and now there’s, you know, 41 bowls, I think 43. But that hasn’t happened in basketball, it’s been the same. It was 64 to 68, you know, made it out of 353. So that’s generally the thing that, that what you look at, and then once you get there, anything can happen. I mean, that’s that’s the mentality. I mean, you can see I mean, you get, you know, teams have gotten to the final four that were last teams in and you just got to get there and get some breaks, because anybody that’s in that tournament at that point is good enough to win games, right? So it’s a one game event basketball with the three point shot now is, is, you know, anybody that gets hot can can can be, you know, can not, not, you know, not a best seven but right can beat you in one game.
I watched Who’s yours to brush up and do a search on this? Is it? Do you have some kids where it feels like that? They get I mean, they walk they get to the tournament for the first time? Yeah. And it’s like, who Oh, my goodness, like you got to overcome some of that stuff, just emotionally with them, get them get them to that level in a real short amount of time.
I think. Now, it’s gonna be completely different. I think before you had same players, and you know, you had guys for four or five years. And so you’re built them. They’ve gone to tournament after tournament now and college athletics and basketball, especially, you’re going to have new guys new teams every year. So yeah, you got it, you almost got to kind of, I think, re re teach them or if really, for the first time you got you got really talked to what your goals are established those as you’re going to generally have guys, new guys in a program almost significant, almost your entire team if half immediately. So, again, the game the game has completely changed. And that’s another aspect of it.
We’re gonna get into that a little bit in a second. But 2010 To finish up your time with Pitt. It wasn’t a 2010 But you had a busy year, you save some people from a car accident. You You came to Fort Worth for a TCU Baylor football game. You had a conversation with crystal Conti, our former athletic director about tissue joining the Big East and then teach you decide ultimately go to big 12 We’re obviously where they sit now. You recall this moment? What Yeah, what was going on there?
Tell him what I when I thought about it was, you know, I was Chris Chris. And you know, again, I finished in 87 I was traveling all over the place trying to get jobs, you know, and so I wasn’t back at TCU a lot, you know, occasion and our group, my friends, we generally would get together for like reunions in different places and Antonio Vegas, you know, Austin, we know we wouldn’t come down. And for some reason, we didn’t come back to Fort Worth for football game or whatever. And so and I was a little busy during basketball season, obviously. And so. But when Chris got here, I knew Chris from Santa Barbara, we’re at Santa Barbara together and I and I just kind of you know, it was more I became more aware of TCU more connected came somehow got here a few more times. And so that was that was how it came about. And and then what happened was and I remembered exactly where it was I was in Hawaii because my wife’s from Hawaii. I met her when I was there and we’d go to Hawaii. That’s that’s a nice line. No, no, she’s she’s from LA. But she grew up there. Yeah. And I remember being out in the ocean. And I was just thinking about TC and I was sitting out there and swim in body surfing what I was doing, I just remember thinking I was thinking about TCU and realignment, because in the Big East thought we dealt with was realignment realignment I was gonna teach you and their situation and where it was at. And it came to me and I was thinking about Hawaii too at the same time. How you know how to and I’ve always been intrigued and immersed in in realignment and what’s having because it’s all I’ve ever been big West whack you know, Southwest Conference. I mean, I’ve experienced every in every aspect of playing coaching. And so it just saw something came to me how can we do this and I knew the Big East was looking to we were in trouble. We were the six best BCS conference our football had struggled and then TCU had the great year were you on that team right 2010 Was was as way after me he was after Okay, that’s that’s nice. So I they had the great year. I some reason I knew that we are the RBCs bid RBCs our spot the biggies was up for evaluation wherever you want to say and and and we were right on the league had not done well. By if we can add a team with the with the last record and just record didn’t matter who you beat or what it was just winning percentage at the time and so I just I just came out and it’s like I think this could work you get to help us and it could get TCU into a BCS with and so I throw it out the Chris when I came to that Baylor game and and with all intention of get to the Big East and then then you got in your then you got your best chance to get in the big 12 I mean, that was Scott’s never thought it was going to happen as quick as it happened. Right and and but it was obviously the the route to do it and give Chris credit for jumping on it. And and chancer most Genie because you know it took you know, okay the biggies where’s the fit, but it’ll if you looked at it all kind of made sense. And I was you know, I was that was some that was you know, it was look looking out for my my school and and I so I brokered I got our our and the other thing that we had going for us was our Chancellor Pitt was the head of the expansion committee. So I knew him well yeah, so I could facilitate that I called the Big East I called the The leaders have that we met at a football game there and I told them what I thought could happen and Chris at first looked at me like I was crazy, the big ace and then and then we thought it could work and certainly like I said we never thought it was gonna happen like well what
beach were you at Waikiki when let’s which beach were yet
Yeah, our club our club. That’s where I was a swim in the morning and work out so outrigger club I used
to go on body surf I did this thing hand planes it’s like a surfboard distributor him but I’d let somebody use a couple. It was that word. And they never returned with them. Imagine that. It was
time on a beach, which is the name of my dog. So
I think it’s amazing, though, that she came up with a structured environment in what might the ocean that might someone you know,
well, that connection to Chris and TCU would obviously pay dividends a few years later in 2016 you become the TCU head basketball coach. We all have heard rumors how that happened. And there’s some funny ones out there. But what really what how did how did this happen? Because people came to see you. What can you tell us people came to obviously court you it was it an easy call? Hey, we want you to know Nolan
quarterman. I mean, at the very end of the year, Chris reached out to me and there was no we weren’t done but there it was like the last game of the year. And it was it was at the very end and and he called me in there was you know, I told them my contract situation and with buyouts and different things, and I didn’t think was gonna happen. Be honest, there were there was this time where we were excited about it. My wife was excited. And we actually thought it wasn’t I mean, it all happens. Everybody thinks like it’s been in the works for these things are in the works. And and the media writes things, and none of its ever true. I shouldn’t say none. I mean, sometimes it is, but it’s never what what, what is written, and it really wasn’t. And you it’s the problem with our business, is you have about a 24 hour window to make a decision. Yeah, a life changing decision. I don’t know any other businesses like that. And you have to keep it you know, quiet. Right? Figure it out. And that’s it, you can’t talk to anybody and you got to you got to figure out you can’t in my situation, you generally can’t have you don’t have an opportunity to go see the school would be obviously teach you. And I knew Chris and I knew chances. So there was no meeting, there wasn’t a thing it was it was done in 24 hours make 48 And it was 24 hours I thought was gonna happen. And there’s like 12 hours, where was it was done couldn’t do it wasn’t gonna happen. And then it turned the other way. It went the other way. But there was there was a real chance with time where my wife and I were kind of in tears that we thought we thought we’re all set to go and then it wasn’t gonna happen. And then that changed. I was I was driving, I do remember this. I was driving to school, thinking I wasn’t, I was meeting with the team thinking I wasn’t gonna be able to go. And then Chris called me and said, Well, we we got it done. And it was it was done like that.
Well, we’re happy that it worked out that way. So
yeah, I mean, you know, I, I’m, we’re not where we need to be right now. We’re going to be better. And we’ve done some great things and we’ve improved it, there’s no question. I mean, I know what it was coming into it. So some people question why we do it, but, but I believe it can be done and Gary’s, you know, a big part of that. I mean, I saw what Gary had done, and I believe that you know, that you know, the possibility exists. I mean, we know who I’ve heard, you know, when I came here and the articles of worse Power Five and team and all different Some things but you know we’ve improved it it’s still not where it needs to be but we’re working and we’re way better this year so before
you get to that you get to TCU RAF the out of the gate your things go get start getting better real fast go to nit we win a championship I mean, actually got to go the massive Square Garden game that that was one of the most incredible sports moments I’ve ever had you beat number one Kansas at home another huge moment. I mean, your youth Kansas in Kansas City. Yes, correct. Do that three straight 21 seasons which doesn’t happen hadn’t happened in ever I don’t believe so. You go on and coach the some of the USA team in the in the FIBA under 19 World Championship in New Zealand a place you are happy to go back to you when I told you that your bio like, let’s go. You win a gold medal there. And you’re later named the USA Basketball Coach of the Year but all good stuff. The program though is taking this tremendous leap forward with you had at home. So now we want to get to this year. So you already touched on it. But you got some you got some real big depth this year. You lost obviously Dez Bain and Kevin Samuels Samuel but but the depth here is something you never had before. Correct.
I feel good about I really do. And you know, I’ve had to you know, I say readjust or reinvent myself really, as far as a coach and everybody really doesn’t college basketball. But I we had one transfer in 17 years, I was at Pitt and now we have eight coming in this year. And it’s our league has had success with transfers. And I never thought you know, coming to Pitt and getting transfers and would be the didn’t fit pit. I mean, it just I mean, didn’t fit TCU pit we didn’t do it either. And here at TCU just you know who kids four year five year guys and develop them as an veins, you know, Hendrix Williams, RJ nem heart? Well, it’s changed right before our eyes and I ELLs come into play. And so I had to reinvent ourselves in his own way because of it. And we had some APR issues when I got here and just continued battle. And so we’ve adjusted and I think we’re going to be fine. Now some NCAA rules change to that, I think benefited us, as well. And so that allow us to really play on a level playing field to be honest, going forward here. So I think, you know, it’s, it’s, I’ve adjusted, we’re gonna have a new team. Every year, I go back to my junior college days where I coach that was my first coaching job, Junior College. And so I’ve embraced it, and we’ve got a great group. They’re working hard, and we’ve played good in our first two scrimmages and, and I’m excited about it. Like you said, the depth is there. We’re athletic, we’re big. We’ve got Mike miles as a returning guy, the show he’s here to go.
And we did talk about the NFL stuff. So how much is that changed? Coaching?
I think we’re Yeah, we’re still figuring it out. I think. I think it’s all talked about now. And certainly players can go do their own thing. But I think as I don’t think it’s affected recruiting and team building yet yet, and it will in the next two months. It’s really that’s Oh, that’s quick. Yeah, yeah. Oh, really? In the incoming class. Yeah. It will be Yeah. So. But it’s, you know, again, it’s, it’s effective. But as we’ve seen, the teams with the best transfers in college basketball have been the most successful teams. I mean, that’s just how the sport is built. The game is built, and how the players think so yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s a it’s a new world and it’s fine. I mean, people you were really trading guys. I mean, you guys spoke to a group. And there’s like, well, you lost us guys. Yeah, we know we’re really you only get 13 Scouts really, we traded we we think we improved ourselves and that’s how you have to look at Yeah, it’s it’s not it’s different. Yeah, it’s and it’s, you know, it’s not it’s, I guess looking at you have to adjust and you just got to understand and I hate to speak in those terms like trading and improving yourself, but it’s the reality of what it is and how to do it
that way. Like 100% You get to pick in there How much is that is raw talent when you got a kid? And how much is it percentage wise how much he can work with the other kids that you got knowing that chemistry stuff?
I chemistry I think it’s we live in such a different way than basketball is and I say this and I you know, baseball, basketball, college basketball is so different than than football, football. They got to go to college for three years. Yeah, I mean that that’s just a whole different deal. They’re red shirting kids it’s just a whole different world our mentality in basketball it’s just completely different. They want to be in the NBA they think they should be in there in the first year across the board they get you get go do a survey every kid will. He’s an NBA player and yeah, the numbers don’t only 40 People knew a year make the NBA really only the 31st round picks are you know, gonna have how many players 40 is that of how many will the world think about that? How many is that? Is it?
Is it 5000
I’m in college. It’s 5000 But the difference is our sport is that the entire world plays basketball, football. Yeah, like, the whole world plays basketball. 33rd of the NBA is foreign players and growing. I mean, it’s gonna be it spreads higher than any degree yet, or the one place that hasn’t been feelers out. There, they’ve been helped with that maybe.
So what you’re saying is some of these kids might want to consider a Plan B, Plan B, like maybe start a podcast or you know, something to really pay the bills,
and I yell is the plan B? Don’t you see that? That’s right, it is very good.
And that’s the real, you know, the I find the and we talked about in meetings with that I’m on with the NBC the Coaches Association, and we just wonder where it’s going with these kids that transfer transfer transfer. You know,
you have some that multiple transfer, like oh, yeah, cool.
Yeah, we’re just talking about that today. I was starting our OB three schools in three years this year, and that’s wasn’t supposed to be part of the
to complete a season in one school. Like you can’t go midseason. Can you or it doesn’t matter. We’re fine.
That’s That’s what they said it was only gonna be one time immediate eligibility. Well, that’s already been that’s already been. That’s already been. They busted that door down. So who makes those rules? The NCAA, but, and we say the NCAA, the NCAA is the universities that were that were the people where we make the rules? Yeah. Um, so you know, they’re an easy target and everybody just likes to pile on but you know, it’s other stuff is is caused by ourselves
who watches the portal for you guys reason I’m asking because I have your have your roster here. So Damien balls Memphis. Let’s see. Xavier cork, West Carolina. Manual Miller’s a&m, Shadow wells, Uta. Micah’s PVS, Texas Tech, dubious from JUCO. Somebody’s like actively watching the portal? Is that a?
It’s the portal generally it’s out on social media before it even gets to the portal. I mean, yeah, we’re we’re monitoring every coaches monitoring it. And so everybody has a role in that even? Yeah, oh, yeah. It’s constantly you you’re hearing, I mean, you can pretty much anticipate who’s going to transfer you can just see just sit. And then nowadays, I think you almost have to assume that they are going to transfer they’re either going to go to the NBA and our level. Now our level, big 12. There, they’re generally going to put their name and they go professionally, or they’re probably going to transfer.
Oh, they don’t go to the NBA the transfer
portal look like Coach is I mean, is it a website? I mean, seriously, or someone who doesn’t know? Is it up? Is it a website? Yeah. So it’s a website name just pops on there. And you’ve coaches just flocked to this person and hit him up on social media, you have to engage them through the website. That’s
something about sports, you don’t know. Oh, yeah. We got I
know, it’s only been a couple of years. But I mean, it’s really everybody talks about the portal. It’s got a nice name to it, but it’s been going on for years. Yeah. And now, what the portal of biggest difference is, is that you don’t have to get us from the school you’re leaving, you don’t have to get a release, I turned that Mike just earned the release, you don’t have to get a release. So that was always the thing. It was kind of ridiculous, that they this kid had to get a release from the school he was leaving. So sometimes they deny it, which turned into problems both ways. And then sometimes it would take a couple days or whatever. So now there’s generally a rule of when this kid comes in and puts them in a portal, it’s really a 24 hour. There’s like a 24 hour period where Yeah, kind of like a cooling off period of you saying but then the name goes into in the portal and then what it what it also entails is that you can’t talk to that kid until his name’s in the portal. And that’s the best thing that it’s done. But we know who the kids are. Yeah, you’re hearing all the rumors and different things and everybody’s my big question is and I guess I’ll say this here now is like and I’ve said it in the meetings, they’ve laughed at me, but like tampering How are you going to manage tampering? I mean, little alumni being involved. No, no, no, no, just a you guys, their coaches, their parents, their high school coach, you have relationships with them, you recruited them the year before or two years before whatever it may be. And they’re always constantly reaching out and yeah, I have one bad game, they’re gonna transfer or if they have one good game, they’re looking to transfer up.
So that goes to this decision you talk about with the conference stuff, making these split decisions in really short amount of time. Now you got people who are making decisions, you always should you think about kind of the way it’s been to this point. The coach makes the decision to coach knows best he you know, for the most part, you’ve got experience you came from this. You’ve got some years on this, but now you got the ni l and now the decision the influence on the decisions is not just about The player and the playing. But it’s a whole lot of other things. Yes. Like he’s just like decision city going on here.
Well, I mean, the only reason that kids in transfer before is because they had to sit out a year. I mean, they’re always there. I mean, you know, it’s always the grass is always greener. Yeah, until a 17 year old 18. So they’re gonna and then the coaches are going to tell them whatever they want to hear. And, and they want I use the phrase generally, kids want to be lied to, I mean, like, they want to believe what whatever is they’re selling. And that’s, that’s the end and stop every kid and generally speak Yeah, but it’s just the world that we’re going to live in. But sitting out was was the deterrent, sitting out there. And I think it’s gonna hit football worse going forward here because all kids had 90% of football players are generally redshirted scholarship guys, so they really couldn’t transfer because it would really mess up their career, they lose a year, they lose in a year. And if you transfer it semester could really mess up your situation. Now, I think with football, even if you redshirt them, they’re going to transfer and still be on that they can play right away. So they won’t have to sit another year, I think it’s gonna be and I’ve said this, like basketballs, we’ve been worlds kind of ahead of football in a lot of these things as far as what happens and like, you know, analysts and, you know, different things, all those things. That stuff’s been done for years. Basma had to shut it down, because it was just hire an analyst, get a player, hire this guy, get a player, you know, I mean, that’s but and go down the list of things, but I think football is gonna get hit, like ridiculous amount with with the kids transfer, because they can play right away at the next place. And they’re even if you redshirt them, because you can’t play 90 Guys. With football, they’re going to go, they’re going to they’re going to be eligible to play right away, and they don’t lose any any time. So
it’s like, it’s going to be chaos. I mean, because think about it, you can’t, I mean, you could speak to this JW part of your playing probably well or not well, was the people, you’re next to the chemistry going on with it. But if you have new people coming in and out all the time, and then you got coaches who are some are going to go, I’m going to make the decision to only get the best players and I’ll switch them out as much as I can. And then others are going to make the decision, I’m going to make the decision stick with chemistry, you know that these kids work well together, I’m gonna have
a choice. I mean, generally, like we said, they’re, they’re generally going to transfer at our level, they have options to know the lower level, they may not have options, and Arlette were the best league in the conference in the country, by far, it’s not even close. So when you come out of this league, you’re going to have options, other schools, there’s 335 353, I should say, to footballs limit, that’s what football found, like guys found is that there’s only there’s only 110 Division one. So when you run out of places real quick, and you look at Regions, there’s a little little more that even though they have the 85 scholarships, there’s still only so many places you can go. And that’s that’s where we’re that’s going to be introduced. So where do they end up now they could go in AI and, you know, Division Two or FCS or those type things, but that’s looked at as what they I don’t think that’s what they intended when they initially went. But generally kids that put their name in the portal where it says they generally know where they’re going, and generally know where they’re going.
Alright, Coach, we’re getting close to the end here. When you’re coaching and you’re coaching at home, and you’re looking down the court at a offensive play or whatever, you throw and you see this in the Christine’s what what’s going through your mind because it’s it’s hilarious. Well,
yeah, it is and there’s a little backstory to this so I was like it was a war Whose idea was this we actually had one of these inpit and they had it they had done one of these it put it in the student section they put it up there that however was it was it was not the same size. So of course when you get to Texas, the same thing, it’s got to be 12 times the size. everything’s bigger in Texas. So yeah, so this is a great example of that, that that theory so that’s where it came from. So they copied it from Pitt somebody had done in a pit I don’t know how they’re done. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t I will I will I will honestly share your child. You don’t see the Oh, I didn’t I didn’t do that. And and now that’s what it is. It is kind of fun and they have placed it right behind that basket. So you pretty much can’t miss it.
So here a passion for the game still there anything still you still love what you do. Oh,
I love it. I really do a man and like I said, We reinvented we you’re doing a little different now with bringing guys in. But you know you work them from June. It’s different. You know, it’s like, well, how you build this chemistry? Well, yeah, we didn’t start practicing till October 15 When I you know, just 10 years ago, you know, now we have I wouldn’t say unlimited time but we have a right amount of time on June 1 When they trance when they come here. So we’re practicing pretty much five on five Putting in all our stuff from June 1 Yeah on so on June July August, we have all of our stuff in already I said last summer in June July we had all more stuff in in June and July that we had in all last year. Now of course we didn’t have a practice as a COVID and we missed 100 practices because our situation but that that’s really the thing, reinvent yourself like I’ve got we’re putting everything in early we’re doing five on five stuff play sets, defenses, everything’s in early so yeah, we’re got new teams but we’re practices and a lot more and earlier in the year and jumping into it so we’re gonna be ready where I’m we’re we’re gonna be fine.
Coach, we love watching you. We love your story. loved you for a long time. You’ve been awesome here. Awesome. Truly. I promise I’ll get Britain to a game this year. I’ll show him how it works and where the ball gets to see the sign
I’ll be watching
It’s tip off not kicked off. Okay.
Best of luck this year. The team looks great. We’re super excited to see what happens. Let us know how we can help and before we go we got a little
one last thing family aside all the you know good and bad a family all that stuff. Best day of your life
guys, I got two kids. So that one’s that one’s a yeah, get you two children the nothing family really? Oh nothing fam. So I was a listen. I’m like
some people have said, you know being on this podcast and be able to set you know,
maybe the jelly
last second. Texas is probably a top five. Saving people from the car wreck. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff in there.
Good phrase again, I
guess iPhone familial affairs. What’s the best day of your whole life?
Today, God, I
love it. You’re actually you’re actually the first person that ever say that. He will be better. No, this
isn’t about this show. It’s about what he talked about having 30 minutes before the show.
Thank you. Coach Dixon FAQ.
How do you take your family family’s everything? What’s left?
I know that’s why it’s a hard good card question. And what do you want us to cut it off? Wake over there.
On your own business,
run it it’s on you