The man who scored the most points in Maryland basketball history and led the Terps to the 2002 National Championship will be back on the sidelines. Juan Dixon has been hired as a special assistant on Mark Turgeon‘s staff.
It is odd to be adding an assistant coach in the middle of the season, but in lieu of former assistant Dalonte Hill‘s third DUI arrest in the last five years in October, there needed to be some changes.
It was officially announced today that Dalonte Hill has resigned as an assistant coach. Hill, who is nationally known as an exceptional recruiter, especially in the DMV area, will be missed, but the personal issues were a bigger concern at this time. Former director of basketball operations, Dustin Clark, who came to Maryland from Texas A&M with Mark Turgeon, was promoted to fill Hill’s position.
The big news, however, is about Dixon. He is as beloved as any athlete that has ever stepped foot in College Park, but this is by no means a PR move by the Terps. As a special assistant Dixon’s main job will be to “oversee academics, scout future opponents, and mentor players,” according to the Washington Post.
Dixon will bring a great deal of experience and knowledge of the college game to a team that is struggling to find their identity. His nine years of NBA experience will allow Terp players to see how hard you have to work to be great. Having a guy like Dixon around the program can only be a positive because of how much he has meant to this university over the years and the players know that.
For Dixon personally, this will be a big step in allowing him to become a college head coach like he has said he wants to be at some point in the future. Most coaches start off with opportunities like this, and it will allow Dixon to work from the ground up and really get a feel for everything that goes into being a college coach.
Dixon will not be out on the road recruiting, but I have a feeling having him on the staff can only help recruiting, especially recruiting Dixon’s hometown of Baltimore, which is loaded with big-time basketball talent year after year. He has deep connections in the Baltimore area, and that will help Turgeon as he continues to lock down the local area.
A lot of the stuff Dixon will be doing as a special assistant will probably go unnoticed by people outside the program, but it will be awesome to have the greatest player in Terps history back on the sidelines.