May 17, 2012
CHICAGO - Continuing its countdown of the 25 Greatest Players in AFL History, the Silver Anniversary Committee has announced its selection for the 15th Greatest Player in AFL History: Dwayne Dixon.
A First-Team All-SEC selection and honorable mention All-American at the University of Florida, Dixon was an "AFL Original," joining the Washington Commandos in the League's inaugural season in 1987.
On July 16, 1987, Dixon collected 20 receptions in the Commandos 64-61 loss to the Chicago Bruisers. The catch total set a League record that has yet to be broken.
Dixon was named First-Team All-Arena after leading the League in receptions in 1987. He finished the year with 68 catches for 810 yards and 11 touchdowns.
In 1988, Dixon joined the Detroit Drive and the AFL's first dynasty was born. Dixon led the League with 79 receptions and 1,007 receiving yards to go with 20 touchdowns. His efforts propelled the Drive to ArenaBowl II, where Detroit defeated Chicago 24-13. Dixon caught five passes for 63 yards, recovered a fumble, knocked down a pass and recorded two tackles in the contest, earning Ironman of the Game honors.
Dixon remained with the Drive through the 1991 season, making four consecutive trips to the ArenaBowl and finishing his career with three championship rings.
After announcing his retirement, Dixon turned to coaching. In 1994, he returned to his alma mater to become the Gators' wide receiver coach. During his tenure at Florida, the team won six SEC championships and appeared in two national championship games, winning one.
In August 1997, Dixon was announced as one of eight inductees in the inaugural class of the AFL Hall of Fame. He was joined in induction by former Drive teammates Gary Mullen, Tate Randle and Alvin Rettig, as well as former Detroit Head Coach Tim Marcum. Dixon was also inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great," that year, and his Gator squad brought home a national championship at the Sugar Bowl.
Dixon joined the North Carolina State Wolfpack coaching staff in 2005. After being selected as the 10th Greatest Player in Arena Football History in 2006 by the AFL Historical Committee, Dixon moved to Athens, Ohio. He has served as Ohio University's wide receivers coach since 2007.
The League's Silver Anniversary Committee will continue to countdown its list of the 25 Greatest Players in AFL History each week throughout the 2012 regular season, with the announcements of the Top 5 during the postseason.
25 Greatest Players in AFL History
15. Dwayne Dixon
16. Kurt Warner
17. Bob McMillen
18. Mark Grieb
19. Darryl Hammond
20. Alvin Rettig
21. Durwood Roquemore
22. Chris Jackson
23. Ben Bennett
24. Clevan Thomas
25. Gary Mullen