Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon, the 2009 Naismith National Coach of the Year, is back in Hawai‘i, visiting his in-laws (his wife Jackie was raised on O‘ahu) and playing golf with former UH head coach Riley Wallace. Dixon had two stints as an assistant under Wallace.
After a round of golf at Waikele yesterday, Dixon answered a few questions from the Warrior Beat.
On Riley Wallace: “He’s my mentor in a lot of ways. There’s a lot more than Xs and Os. He’s a great coach. His longevity, and what he did at UH, speaks more about the person than the coach. That was something I recognized when I was here, and I still recognize it.”
On UH’s influence: “We have some of the concepts of (the G-game offense). Any time you’ve been around somebody who has been successful, you incorporate (strategies). Maybe not identical, but some pieces of it.”
On Pittsburgh: “Pittsburgh is such a great sports town, and it’s a great city. It has everything. But it’s manageable. No traffic. Low crime. Good schools. And they’re all Steeler fans. I didn’t really have (an NFL) team when I moved there. Being an L.A. guy, you can’t keep a football team. It was easy for me to become a Steeler fan.”
On staying at Pitt: “There was a lot of talk, and different things happened. The last eight years, we’ve been as good as anybody. I didn’t really see a reason to leave. This is my 11th year there.”
On Pittsburgh’s weather: “Summers are perfect, and spring is nice. The winters are a little colder than I’m used to, but I’m in the gym in season. I wouldn’t know what it was like otherwise.”
On his annual visits to Hawai‘i: “We stay with my in-laws when we come here. My wife stays here five, six weeks. I stay a week. We come back every year. Her family is here. She grew up here. I’ve always loved Hawai‘i. What better place to visit your in-laws?”
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Here’s Dave Shoji with a camera-shy Bob Nash:
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Here’s Kid Duffer and Mack:
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Former Kahuku safety Aulola Tonga, who will be a UH freshman in the fall, is referred to as “that big guy” during unsupervised drills.
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Everybody keeps raving about Tank Hopkins, who will enter training camp as a No. 1 cornerback:
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And a very happy birthday to our brilliant copy editor, JuJu.