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Thread: DePaul targets Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon

      
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    Default DePaul targets Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon

    DePaul targets Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon
    March 17, 2010
    BY TONI GINNETTI tginnetti@suntimes.com

    Might Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon be DePaul's next basketball coach?

    What would seem to be a far-fetched possibility might be exactly what university officials and athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto have on their radar as they begin their search for a new coach.

    With the Blue Demons finishing at the bottom of the Big East the last two seasons, university officials have decided to make a major investment to make sure the program becomes a significant player in the fiercely competitive but extremely lucrative conference.

    That commitment includes a major boost in salary from the estimated $700,000 fired coach Jerry Wainwright was making. Ponsetto said Tuesday the projected salary likely will be ''in the top half -- and close to the top'' in the 16-team conference, meaning at least $1 million.

    The university will have to commit at least that much to attract the kind of coach Ponsetto is seeking -- namely, someone with a proven track record in a major conference who can recruit top players and teach with the top-caliber coaches in the Big East.

    Rumors stirred last weekend that Dixon, whose Panthers are a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, might be at the top of Ponsetto's list. He already is close to many at DePaul because of a relationship that grew when his late sister, Maggie, worked as an assistant to women's coach Doug Bruno.

    Ponsetto said she has a ''realistic list'' of candidates, most of whom apparently will be coaching in the NCAA tournament, which will delay the interview process.

    ''Some [candidates] could make it to that [final] weekend,'' she said.

    When asked if she would be willing to wait that long, Ponsetto said she would.

    Ponsetto said the search might become more difficult as other schools dismiss coaches and begin their own searches, but she added: ''Our ability to pay people will separate those who will be attracted to the DePaul job.''

    Dixon, 44, has been at Pittsburgh since 2003 and has been one of the most successful coaches in the country since then. He was the national coach of the year last season, guiding the Panthers to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament before they eventually fell to Big East rival Villanova in the regional final. He received a contract extension in 2008 -- estimated to be worth more than $1.5 million annually -- that runs through the 2015-16 season.

    As unlikely as it would seem that Dixon would leave Pittsburgh, his opposition to recent speculation the Panthers might leave the Big East to become the 12th team in the Big Ten and his relationship with Ponsetto and others at DePaul would be behind him considering an offer.

    Maggie Dixon got her coaching start from Bruno, walking into his office seeking a job in 2001. She became his top assistant in 2004 and was a beloved member of the Demons' athletic department. She left DePaul to become the head coach at Army in 2005 and in one season took the program to the NCAA tournament.

    About a month after the tournament, she died suddenly at the age of 28, apparently of a heart disorder. Jamie Dixon grew close to DePaul officials during his sister's time at the university and during the time of her death.

    The Dixon connection aside, Ponsetto reiterated she was confident the coaching job will be appealing despite critics who have said the Demons can't compete in the Big East.

    ''We look at ourselves as Chicago's basketball program,'' she said. ''This is not a hard sell. People understand the value of DePaul, the city of Chicago and the Big East. We have a tremendous history of success. It's not like someone has to come here and reinvent the wheel.''

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/colle...emon17.article
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    Default Re: DePaul targets Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon

    He'd be the laughingstock of college basketball. Illinois, Notre Dame, and even Northwestern are bigger in Chicago than DePaul.
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    Default Re: DePaul targets Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon

    I don't think he'd be an embarrassment wherever he goes. He's such a student of the game and an efficient teacher that any school would benefit from his endeavors. IMO, taking this kind of position would only boost his already competitive resume. Familial ties will also be a big factor in his decision.

    If he is a candidate, and I don't doubt he is, Nordenberg better be prepared to sweeten an already sweet deal.

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    Default Re: DePaul targets Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon

    Quote Originally Posted by ihateusernames View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I don't think he'd be an embarrassment wherever he goes. He's such a student of the game and an efficient teacher that any school would benefit from his endeavors. IMO, taking this kind of position would only boost his already competitive resume. Familial ties will also be a big factor in his decision.

    If he is a candidate, and I don't doubt he is, Nordenberg better be prepared to sweeten an already sweet deal.
    Personally, I doubt he leaves... Not big enough of a "step up".

    ... Was just posting the new "news" as I found it.....
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    Default Re: DePaul targets Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon

    Quote Originally Posted by ihateusernames View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I don't think he'd be an embarrassment wherever he goes. He's such a student of the game and an efficient teacher that any school would benefit from his endeavors. IMO, taking this kind of position would only boost his already competitive resume. Familial ties will also be a big factor in his decision.

    If he is a candidate, and I don't doubt he is, Nordenberg better be prepared to sweeten an already sweet deal.
    I didn't say he'd be an embrassment, but you're kidding yourself if you don't think most of his peers would be snickering behind closed doors at his decision.
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    Default Re: DePaul targets Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
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    I didn't say he'd be an embrassment, but you're kidding yourself if you don't think most of his peers would be snickering behind closed doors at his decision.
    I don't think anyone would snicker. I can't fathom why this line of reasoning enters into the discussion.

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    Default Re: DePaul targets Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Personally, I doubt he leaves... Not big enough of a "step up".

    ... Was just posting the new "news" as I found it.....
    While I agree it's not a step up, some people look at other considerations. I don't know enough about the guy to say one way or another, but considering how close he was to his sister perhaps this is something he'll consider.

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    Default Re: DePaul targets Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon

    DePaul's biggest ****up was joining the Big East. They HAVE to get someone in there to wipe the egg off the school's face.
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