Jamie Dixon and Pitt Panthers Agree to 10-Year Contract

Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 23, 2013

Despite a disappointing second-round loss to Wichita State just a few days ago, Jamie Dixon will remain the head coach of the Pittsburgh Panthers.

For a very long time.

According to an official press release from the University of Pittsburgh, the polarizing head coach signed a 10-year contract extension on Saturday afternoon:

Stating that he intends to “finish his career at the University of Pittsburgh,” Pitt men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon reinforced that commitment today when he signed a 10-year contractual agreement that runs through the 2022-23 season.

This news will undoubtedly be met with a mixture of both applause and criticism. 

On one hand, Dixon, according to the press release, owns the highest winning percentage in school history (.753), as well as the best conference winning percentage (.658) in Big East history, ahead of stalwarts such as Jim Boeheim and Rick Pitino

Dixon's continued success over the last 10 seasons—since he took over from Ben Howland in 2003—has been downright remarkable.

The Panthers have been ranked in the top 10 in all but one of Dixon's 10 coaching seasons. The only time they didn't reach that milestone was this year, when the highest they climbed was No. 16. Moreover, they have reached the NCAA tournament nine out of 10 times, establishing themselves as a national mainstay for a decade.

However, once in the tourney, Dixon's teams have mostly struggled. With an 11-9 overall record in the Big Dance, his Panthers have never reached the Final Four and have been ousted by a worse-seeded team six times, including twice as a No. 1. 

Therein lies the question about Dixon's ability as a head coach.

He has been a fine recruiter and has been able to sustain amazing regular-season success with the Panthers, but his results during the most important time of the year have been shaky at best. 

Nevertheless, he now has at least 10 years to prove himself both in a new conference (the ACC) and in the Big Dance.