Since taking the Towson job, Pat Skerry has actually gotten Towson more attention than it has in prior years. He’s grabbed some decent recruits for the CAA, and they have this new funky court action shamelessly ripped from what Oregon did.
In interviews has praised his single year working under Coach Dixon. The track record for coaches who have been assistants under Coach Dixon finding success in their own coaching gigs has been mostly successful. Only Barry Rohrssen has not been able to sustain any success.
The one thing that hasn’t been answered is what it is about coaches hired under Dixon finding success once they get their own program.
NHR: There have been a lot of coaches that have worked for Jamie Dixon that have moved onto head coaching positions after being an assistant for him. What is it about him that allows for that kind of career change for assistant coaches?
PS: “Obviously his track record speaks for itself. He’s incredibly driven. His focus for his system works. He’s had more success than anyone in terms of record in the Big East over the last decade. I think there’s a lot that you can take from him to give yourself a chance to win night in and night out. I kind of feel like I’ve been fortunate to work for him, who’s been the National Coach of the Year.”
I think it goes without saying that Dixon has hired ambitious, good coaches in their own right. Rice, Herrion, Skerry and now Barton. All of them were good/great recruiters who were climbing the coaching ladder (or in the case of Herrion, re-establishing his name).
Obviously, Coach Dixon helps them. Every one of his former assistants of the last 5 or 6 years cite the way he organizes practices and prepares the team as the biggest things things they picked up from Coach Dixon that helped prepare them to run their own program.
Coach Dixon is also not shy about making sure that the assistant coaches get credit. Everyone knows which assistant was leading the charge to get a recruit. That credit goes a long way towards putting Pitt assistants names out there for coaching vacancies.
Hire the right people, and they help Pitt’s program get better. That success at Pitt makes the assistants attractive to other programs. The success of assistants once they move on to their own program, makes Pitt assistants even more sought by other programs who need a coach. That, of course, makes being a Pitt assistant under Jamie Dixon that much more attractive — and thus draws more and better applicants who have the ambition.