Is Jamie Dixon headed to UCLA?
The chatter surrounding Jamie Dixon and UCLA seems to be heating up.
Dixon was mentioned by the Los Angeles Times Monday as one of the top two candidates for the Bruins head coaching job, along with Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin. Cronin could be a candidate for Virginia Tech, while Cincinnati reportedly will make an effort to keep him. As for Dixon, he didn’t issue a denial when he addressed the reports on Monday, and he’s free now that TCU lost in the NIT semifinals on Tuesday night.
That led Go Joe Bruin to report that Dixon is nearing a deal with UCLA.
Sources tell @MichaelMHanna and Go Joe Bruin that UCLA is nearing a deal with Jamie Dixon, pending finalization of his buyout with TCU.
— Go Joe Bruin (@GoJoeBruinUCLA) April 3, 2019
Similarly, Bay Area News’ Jon Wilner predicted Dixon would be named the Bruins’ head coach by Friday.
Hotline prediction: Jamie Dixon will be named UCLA's head coach by Friday.
— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) April 3, 2019
If this is indeed the direction they are going, I would hope it comes only after they were outright turned down by Tony Bennett and Chris Beard, whose teams are in the Final Four.
Dixon is not an exciting name, and some may bristle over his connections to previous Bruins coach Ben Howland, under whom he coached at Pitt and Northern Arizona. However, he won at Pitt and has done a pretty nice job of improving things at TCU. Though he’s unlikely to have the kind of success at UCLA that Howland did, he should be able to improve and stabilize the program if hired, which is necessary.