Bobcats return 103 receptions, 1,450 yards and 14 touchdowns from last year's unit
Dwayne Dixon begins his ninth season at Ohio this fall. He joined the Bobcats in June of 2007 after he spent two seasons as the wide receivers coach at NC State.
Since arriving in Athens, Dixon, an 18-year coaching veteran, has coached two wide receivers that have been selected in the NFL Draft over the last five years in Taylor Price (2010) and LaVon Brazill (2012). Price was selected in the third round by the New England Patriots, while Brazill was picked in the sixth round by the Indianapolis Colts.
In the 2014 season, four of Dixon’s wide receivers had more than 20 catches led by Sebastian Smith who hauled in 31 passes. The corps combined for eight touchdowns on the season including Chase Cochran’s 66-yard touchdown vs. Western Michigan and Ian Dixon’s 49-yard touchdown against Akron.
Cochran finished the season averaging 21.1 yards per catch ranking him fourth all-time in school history.
During the 2013 campaign, Dixon directed a wide receivers unit that accounted for 2,586 yards and 17 touchdowns. Bobcat receivers helped Ohio’s passing attack rank third in the Mid-American Conference. Among the 2,586 yards gained by Ohio wide receivers in 2013, 1,018 of those yards were courtesy of senior Donte’ Foster.
Foster’s 1,018 receiving yards marked just the second time in school history that an Ohio wide receiver had surpassed 1,000 yards receiving. He also surpassed 100 yards receiving in four games a year ago. In addition, Foster hauled in a team-best seven touchdown receptions en route to earning All-MAC Second Team honors.
Foster finished his career as the all-time leader in receiving touchdowns with 21. His 2,180 career receiving yards are ranked third all-time, while his 167 career receptions stand as the second-highest total in program. Following the year, Foster signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings.
In addition to Foster’s outstanding senior season, Dixon also mentored Chase Cochran to a career-best campaign in 2013 as he totaled 689 receiving yards. Seven of Cochran’s receptions in 2013 went for 40 yards-or-more.
In 2012, Ohio’s wide receivers hauled in 62 receptions for 2,397 yards and 17 touchdowns. In addition, Bobcat wideouts helped Ohio post the fourth-best scoring offense in the conference as it averaged 31.7 points per game. Ohio’s offensive unit also averaged 444.8 yards per game - a total that also ranked fourth in the league.
Ohio receivers had a significant impact in the 2012 Advocare V100 Independence Bowl as it combined for 325 yards and two touchdowns. The Independence Bowl also saw wide receivers Tyler Futrell and Cochran post single game career-best as they finished with 133 and 162 yards, respectively. Cochran’s 162-yard effort was the 10th-best single game receiving total in school history.
Under Dixon’s direction in 2012, Foster finished the year with of 659 yards and a single-season career-high eight touchdowns. Foster’s biggest game of the year came at home against Eastern Michigan as he registered seven catches for 164 yards, which tied former Bobcat Todd Snyder for the eight-best single game total of all-time.
During the 2011 campaign, Dixon played an integral role in the Bobcats’ record-setting offensive output as the Bobcats set eight offensive records, including scoring 427 points and gaining over 6,000 yards.
Five receivers hauled in 20-or-more passes and set the school record for most yards by the receiving corps, totaling 3,482. Bobcat receivers also hauled in a program-best 276 receptions and 30 touchdowns.
Brazill finished the year with a single-season record 74 receptions for 1,146 yards. He also posted a single-season career mark of 11 touchdowns en routing to earning All-MAC Second Team honors. Brazill’s final game as a Bobcat in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was arguably his most memorable as he caught eight passes for 108 yards, earning MVP honors. Brazill went on to finish his career with 189 catches for 2,511 yards - both of which are school records. His 18 touchdowns rank second in school history.
In 2010, senior wide receiver Terrance McCrae was a third-team All-MAC selection and became the then all-time leader in career touchdown receptions, finishing with 19 to his credit.
McCrae, along with Steven Goulet, signed professional contracts with NFL teams. McCrae also hauled in nine touchdown receptions and led the team with 35 catches for 505 yards.
Dixon’s receiving corps was among the most dangerous in the league in 2009. Price set the school record with 145 career catches, which stood until 2011, while McCrae tied Andrew Mooney’s single-season touchdown reception mark with nine - a mark that stood until 2011.
Dixon’s receivers had another breakout season in 2008. In addition to hauling in 228 catches, the third-highest total in school history, the group also amassed a program-record 2,795 yards - a mark that stood until the 2011 season.
In his first season as wide receivers coach, Dixon saw his receiving corps haul in passes totaling over 1,200 yards, averaging nearly 14 yards per reception.
Dixon spent his first 15 seasons at his alma mater, the University of Florida. He held a number of titles in his tenure with the Gators, including assistant head coach from 1995-99 and 2003-04.
Dixon spent all 15 seasons working with the wide receivers and also mentored Florida’s kickoff unit and punt returners in 2000. He was the Gators’ assistant passing game coordinator that same season. Dixon moved then to North Carolina State, where he coached the Wolfpack receiving corps in 2005 and 2006.
Dixon brings a wealth of experience coaching at the highest levels of college football. A finalist for the 2001 Broyles Award given to the nation’s top assistant coach, Dixon has coached in 15 bowl games and helped guide Florida to six SEC titles and two national championship games, including a victory in the 1996 Sugar Bowl.
From 1994-2002, Dixon coached a national-best nine semifinalists and four finalists for the Biletnikoff Award as the country’s top receiver. The Gators had at least one wide receiver selected in the NFL Draft every year during that same span. In 1997, Reidel Anthony and Ike Hilliard were both first-round selections, marking the first time since the 1967 AFL-NFL merger that two receivers from the same school were both taken in the first round.
In all, he coached 22 players that signed NFL contracts, 11-All-Americans and 10 first-team All-SEC players at Florida. The Gators ranked among the country’s top 10 passing offenses in 10 of his 15 seasons. Dixon’s receiving unit recorded 445 touchdown catches from 1990-2002, 87 more than any other school in the nation during that span.
Dixon’s coaching career began after he completed a standout collegiate and professional playing career as a receiver. A four-year letterwinner for the Gators from 1980-83, Dixon finished his career with 124 catches. He was a first-team All-SEC and honorable mention All-America performer as a senior. Dixon helped the Gators to four bowl appearances during his career and was named the MVP of the 1982 Bluebonnet Bowl. He was inducted into the Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.
Dixon began his pro career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he played from 1984-85 and again in 1987. He played for the Arena Football League’s Washington Commandos in 1987 and the Detroit Drive from 1988-91. He led the AFL in scoring and receiving in both the 1987 and 1988 seasons. Dixon, a receiver and linebacker, was the AFL’s Ironman of the Year in 1988 and was named the 1988 Arena Bowl’s Ironman of the Game. The Sports Network named him one of the Arena Football League’s top 10 players of all time. In the spring of 2012, Dixon was selected as one of the AFL’s top 25 all-time players.
Dixon earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Florida in 1985. He and his wife, Sandra, have two children, Brittany and Ian, who is a current player.