Sam Dixon, who was a head coach at Denison for four seasons and Division I Furman for eight, will be Nebraska Wesleyan's new head women's basketball coach. He replaces Britni Mueller who stepped down from the position in March.
Dixon comes to Nebraska Wesleyan with over 30 years of experience as a head coach and assistant coach at the college level. For the past four seasons, Dixon was the top women's assistant coach at Division I Northwestern University in the Big 10 conference. He helped the Wildcats to three postseason appearances, including the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Prior to his time at Northwestern, he was an assistant coach for two seasons at the University of Akron.
"I am thrilled that Sam Dixon will be the next head women's basketball coach of the Prairei Wolves," NWU Athletic Director Ira Zeff said. "The breadth and depth of his coaching experiences are outstanding. He will be a great addition to our coaching staff and continue to lead the NWU women's basketball program in the right direction."
Dixon was the head women's basketball coach at Furman University for eight seasons from 2001-08 where he went 102-136 with the Paladins. His tenure was the second longest in the history of the school's women's basketball program. At Furman, he had one player earn SoCon Player of the Year, recruited five players that scored over 1,000 points and had five players that played professionally overseas. During his time at Furman, he also served as an assistant coach for USA Basketball U20 and U21 World Championship teams.
Before landing at Furman, Dixon served as Associate Head Coach at Clemson University and was an assistant coach at the University of Arizona. In the four years as a women's assistant at the two schools, all four teams earned berths in the NCAA Tournament.
He has head coaching experience at the NCAA Division III level, serving as the head men's basketball coach at Denison University from 1987-91. The Big Red went 39-66 in those four seasons. He also worked as an assistant men's coach at Northern Illinois University, Kent State University, University of New Mexico, Davidson College and Northern Kentucky.
A physical education graduate of the College of Wooster, Dixon played four year for the Fighting Scots and in 197 helped the team reach the NCAA South Regional Finals. As a student-athlete he earned First-Team All-Ohio Athletic Conference accolades in 1979 and was the team's most valuable player. A 1989 inductee into the Wooster College Hall of Fame, Dixon was also named All-Great Lakes Region and earned third-team All-America status.
Dixon went on to earn a master's degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1980 and a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 1987.
He takes over a Prairie Wolves program that is coming off their best season in 16 years. NWU finished the 2016-17 season with a 13-13 record under previous coach Britni Mueller who resigned at the end of the year after four years with the program. The 13 wins were the most since the 2000-01 season and the first time NWU finished .500 or better since that same year.
The Prairie Wolves finished 6th in the conference standings in their first season competing in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and earned the program's first ever conference postseason tournament appearance. Coach Dixon is inheriting a squad that is expected to return all five starters from last season.