June 18, 2007
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Head Football Coach Frank Solich has announced the hiring of Dwayne Dixon as the Bobcats' wide receivers coach. Dixon, a 17-year coaching veteran, comes to Athens after two seasons as the wide receivers coach at North Carolina State.
Dixon spent his first 15 season 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 to North Carolina State where he coached the Wolfpack receiving corps in 2005 and 2006.
"We're excited to have Dwayne and his family join our staff," Head Coach Frank Solich said. "Based on his experience and the players he has developed, it's easy to say that he is one of the top receiving coaches in the country. His time at North Carolina State and Florida has given him the opportunity to work with great athletes, and he has helped those athletes maximize their abilities with many of them going on to the NFL. I think he has great knowledge of how to coach wide receivers that will help our players in their development."
Dixon brings a wealth of experience coaching at the highest levels of college football. A finalist for the 2001 Broyles Award given annually 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.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to coach at Ohio," Dixon said. "I really feel like this program is on the upswing. It has good leadership in Coach Solich, and I felt right at home with the staff. The players are really hungry for success. I want to be a part of helping them reach the level of continuous success."
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.
Dixon earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Florida in 1985. He and his wife, Sandra, have two children, Brittany and Ian.
Dixon replaces Derek Mason, a two-year member of the Bobcat staff, who recently took a position with the Minnesota Vikings.
The Bobcats begin defense of their MAC East Division championship on Sept. 1 versus Gardner-Webb at Peden Stadium. For season ticket information, call the Ohio Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-575-CATS or click here.