Maggie Dixon

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Maggie Dixon
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born (1977-05-09)May 9, 1977
North Hollywood, California
Died April 6, 2006(2006-04-06) (aged 28)
Valhalla, New York
Playing career
1995–1999 San Diego
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2001–2005
2005–2006
DePaul (asst.)
Army
Head coaching record
Overall 20-11 (.645)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
Patriot League Tournament Championship (2006)

Margaret Mary "Maggie" Dixon (May 9, 1977 – April 6, 2006) was an American collegiate women's basketball coach.

Life[edit]

Dixon was born in North Hollywood, California, and played basketball at Notre Dame High School. Dixon graduated in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history from the University of San Diego, where she played for the women's basketball team.[1] She served as team captain her senior year, and was voted as the "Most Improved Player".[2] After an unsuccessful tryout for the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks, she took up coaching, at the urging of her older brother.[1] She became an assistant coach at DePaul University from 2001 to 2005.

In 2005, just 11 days before the 2005–2006 season, Dixon was hired as the women's basketball coach of the United States Military Academy. In her first year, they surprised the college basketball world by going 20–11 and winning the Patriot League conference tournament; she took them to 2006 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament as a 15 seed, where they lost to the University of Tennessee, 102–54. It was the first NCAA tournament appearance for any Army basketball team.

Her brother is Jamie Dixon, the head men's basketball coach of the University of Pittsburgh. In 2006, the Dixons became the first brother-sister pair to take teams to the NCAA basketball tournaments the same year, as Jamie's Pittsburgh Panthers also made the 2006 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. Her brother lost in the second round to Bradley.

Death[edit]

After her team lost their first round game, Maggie attended the men's Final Four in Indianapolis, then flew to the women's Final Four in Boston. She attended a Nike party in Boston on Monday, April 3 with a number of other coaches, including Geno Auriemma, and WBCA president Doug Bruno. The following day, Maggie returned to West Point, where she watched the women's final game with her brother. The following day, she collapsed and was rushed to the base hospital. She was next airlifted to Westchester Medical Center in nearby Valhalla, New York.[3]

Doug Bruno changed his flight plans to fly to New York to see his former assistant. She was still alive when Bruno arrived, but she died the following day from what her brother described as an "arrhythmic episode to her heart."[3] Dixon died a little over a month shy of her 29th birthday. An autopsy revealed that Dixon had an enlarged heart and had a problem with a heart valve.

Tributes[edit]

Dixon was buried at the West Point Cemetery, an honor usually reserved only for high-ranking officials.

On November 12, 2006, West Point held the 1st Annual Maggie Dixon Classic, a basketball mini-tournament in Dixon's honor. It featured two games, a men's and women's game. In the men's game Jamie Dixon's Pitt Panthers defeated Western Michigan and in the women's game the Army women's team lost to Ohio State. The games were televised by ESPNU.[4] The Maggie Dixon Classic also incorporates fundraising for heart arrythmia research and a Health Fair featuring information booths and free screenings.

In the 2007–2008 season the Classic moved to Madison Square Garden and featured the University of Pittsburgh women's team against Duke University and Army against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.[5]

The third Maggie Dixon Classic was again played at MSG and featured the UConn Huskies and Penn State Nittany Lions along with an RU/Army Rematch.[6] The presence of UConn helped draw upwards of 10,000 fans.

The 2009 Maggie Dixon Classic featured games between Baylor and Boston College and between perennial women's basketball powerhouses Rutgers and Tennessee.[7]

The 2010 Maggie Dixon Classic pitted the Rutgers Scarlet Knights against the Texas A&M Aggies, and the Connecticut Huskies against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Maggie Dixon Surf 'N Slam Classic is played at Dixon's alma mater, University of San Diego, and has featured such schools as Boston College, DePaul, University of Texas, and University of California in recent years. The University of San Diego Toreros won the tournament in 2008 and 2009.

Maggie Dixon Classic Results[edit]

Main article: Maggie Dixon Classic
Jamie Dixon, in Madison Square Garden, along with his sister Julie and their parents, accepting a check from the Garden donated to the Maggie Dixon Fund during the Maggie Dixon Classic.
Date Location Winning team Losing team Notes
November 12, 2006 Christl Arena
(West Point)
Pittsburgh men 86 Western Michigan men 67 PITT/WMU men's game; inaugural Maggie Dixon Classic
Ohio State 77 Army 41
December 8, 2007 Madison Square Garden
(New York City)
Duke 51 Pittsburgh 49 first Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden
Rutgers 75 Army 68
December 14, 2008 Rutgers 59 Army 38 UConn - won National Championship
Connecticut 77 Penn State 63
December 13, 2009 Baylor 68 Boston College 55
Tennessee 68 Rutgers 54
December 19, 2010* Texas A&M 79 Rutgers 50 A&M - won National Championship; UConn - 88th Consecutive victory of a record 90
Connecticut 81 Ohio State 50
December 11, 2011 Baylor 73 St. Johns 59 Baylor - won National Championship;
Tennessee 84 DePaul 61
December 9, 2012 Rutgers 73 Louisiana Tech 46 LA Tech - won inaugural NCAA Championship
Duke 60 St. Johns 42
December 22, 2013 St. Johns 72 Texas A&M 70
Connecticut 80 California 47
  • - 2010 Maggie Dixon Classic had an attendance of 15,232; a record for a women's college basketball game at Madison Square Garden.

Maggie Dixon Award[edit]

Main article: Maggie Dixon Award

In tribute to Maggie's amazing rookie turnaround at Army before her death the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced the creation of the Maggie Dixon Award for the 2006-2007 season. The award is a "rookie of the year" award for the best coach in their first year as a Division 1 head coach.

The inaugural award was given to Krista Kilburn-Steveskey of Hofstra University and the 2007–2008 award was given to Jeff Walz of the University of Louisville. The 2008-2009 recipient was Kelly Packard of Ball State University.

The 2009-2010 season clarified the award by excluding former professional coaches moving to D1 (two early candidates were Men's coaching great and WNBA champion Paul Westhead at Oregon and 2 time WNBA champion Michael Cooper at USC.) The award went to playing great Teresa Weatherspoon despite her coaching several games for Louisiana Tech in 2009 as an interim head coach. She won the Western Athletic Conference tournament returning the Lady Techsters to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five seasons.

See also[edit]

  • Jamie Dixon (born 1965), older brother and current coach of the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dixon mourned by 1,200 at funeral". ESPN. April 18, 2006. Retrieved 21 November 2009. 
  2. ^ "Maggie Dixon". CollegeInsider.com. Retrieved 22 November 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "The Maggie Dixon Story: An Inspiring Legacy". DePaul Blue Demons. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ Katz, Andy (December 12, 2007). "Maggie Dixon Classic a success". ESPN. Retrieved 22 November 2009. 
  5. ^ "Maggie Dixon Classic 2007". The Garden.com. Retrieved 22 November 2009. 
  6. ^ "Maggie Dixon Classic 2008". The Garden.com. Retrieved 22 November 2009. 
  7. ^ Heyman, Brian (2009-12-14). "Maggie Dixon Classic 2009". New York Times. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sherri Abbey-Nowatzki
Head Coach of the
Army Black Knights women's basketball team

2005
Succeeded by
Dave Magarity
2006-present