Dec 14, 2010
Maggie Dixon Classic Features UConn Going For 88

Almost five years since her death, it is clear Jamie Dixon, men’s basketball coach at Pittsburgh, still grieves for his little sister, Maggie, who died suddenly from heart complications on April 6, 2006. She was 28.

The death of Maggie Dixon stunned college basketball, not only because of her age, but because it took one of the brightest young coaches in the women’s game.

Maggie Dixon had led Army to its first NCAA Tournament just weeks earlier. She and her brother became the first siblings to simultaneously coach teams in the NCAA Tournament.

That the Cadets lost to Tennessee in the first round did nothing to diminish her promise. And her death brought many coaches, including UConn’s Geno Auriemma, to her funeral in California.

It is Jamie Dixon’s quest to keep his sister’s name alive, as well as the fight to combat the heart disease that took his sister’s life.

On Sunday, college basketball unites to focus on her at Madison Square Garden for the annual Maggie Dixon Classic.

“I just didn’t know how we were going to do it. The crowds have been improving each year, but we needed something like this to hope to accomplish it, Dixon said. You need a little luck sometimes. Maggie is looking down on us.”

Following Rutgers-Texas A&M at noon, No. 1 UConn attempts to win its 88th consecutive game against Ohio State on ESPNU.

Should the Huskies win, they will tie the UCLA men of John Wooden (1971-74) for the most consecutive victories in NCAA Division I basketball history.

“Coaches and programs are judged by our opponents and how we match up against our peers, our leagues and our divisions, Jamie Dixon said. You can only compare yourself against those you play and what UConn has done is unprecedented. It’s remarkable, really. There’s not many times a coach uses the word impossible, but something like [the winning streak] has only happened once before and this is as close as you can get to that.

“There are bound to be certain games when something like travel, injuries or fouls create an obstacle that gets in your way. But it’s a credit to Coach Auriemma that it hasn’t happened.”

Jamie Dixon and Auriemma have known each other for many years. Dixon is a friend of St. Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli, one of Auriemma’s closest friends. And Dixon has known DePaul coach Doug Bruno since before Maggie was a Blue Demons assistant. Bruno was one of Auriemma’s assistants on his World Champion USA Basketball team.

Maggie Dixon Classic Features UConn Going For 88

Hartford Courant (Conn.)

Almost five years since her death, it is clear Jamie Dixon, men’s basketball coach at Pittsburgh, still grieves for his little sister, Maggie, who died suddenly from heart complications on April 6, 2006. She was 28.

The death of Maggie Dixon stunned college basketball, not only because of her age, but because it took one of the brightest young coaches in the women’s game.

Maggie Dixon had led Army to its first NCAA Tournament just weeks earlier. She and her brother became the first siblings to simultaneously coach teams in the NCAA Tournament.

That the Cadets lost to Tennessee in the first round did nothing to diminish her promise. And her death brought many coaches, including UConn’s Geno Auriemma, to her funeral in California.

It is Jamie Dixon’s quest to keep his sister’s name alive, as well as the fight to combat the heart disease that took his sister’s life.

On Sunday, college basketball unites to focus on her at Madison Square Garden for the annual Maggie Dixon Classic.

“I just didn’t know how we were going to do it. The crowds have been improving each year, but we needed something like this to hope to accomplish it, Dixon said. You need a little luck sometimes. Maggie is looking down on us.”

Following Rutgers-Texas A&M at noon, No. 1 UConn attempts to win its 88th consecutive game against Ohio State on ESPNU.

Should the Huskies win, they will tie the UCLA men of John Wooden (1971-74) for the most consecutive victories in NCAA Division I basketball history.

“Coaches and programs are judged by our opponents and how we match up against our peers, our leagues and our divisions, Jamie Dixon said. You can only compare yourself against those you play and what UConn has done is unprecedented. It’s remarkable, really. There’s not many times a coach uses the word impossible, but something like [the winning streak] has only happened once before and this is as close as you can get to that.

“There are bound to be certain games when something like travel, injuries or fouls create an obstacle that gets in your way. But it’s a credit to Coach Auriemma that it hasn’t happened.”

Jamie Dixon and Auriemma have known each other for many years. Dixon is a friend of St. Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli, one of Auriemma’s closest friends. And Dixon has known DePaul coach Doug Bruno since before Maggie was a Blue Demons assistant. Bruno was one of Auriemma’s assistants on his World Champion USA Basketball team.






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