The University of Southwest men’s basketball team is looking to improve on its previous season as the Mustangs have a new head coach Timm Dixon.
He is not a newcomer though when it comes to coaching at the collegiate level. Dixon has six years under his belt, and the experience of working at schools such as Lamar and Missouri Valley College. He is also not a stranger to USW, as he originally joined as the women’s head coach but decided to coach the men’s team after previous head coach Charles Goar departed. Dixon is optimistic that he can help Mustangs become a top 25 NAIA program, playing for a conference and national title.
Dixon choose USW as the best choice for him to continue to grow as a coach because of the resources the school has and the ability to achieve something the university has not accomplished in their past. He was intrigued by USW being a faith-based school that does not have a football program. He looked at the school and felt it was the place to be at and have a chance to compete for a title.
Dixon will taking over his first men’s basketball program, and admits he is very excited, as he has never coached a men’s team. He has 17 years of experience coaching women and admits there are adjustments he needs to make. Yet there is an excitement in his voice as he looks forward to a new challenge.
“It’s a big adjustment, mainly the biggest thing is you have to stay on the men a little more to make sure they get things done. But the athleticism on the men’s side, how they play above the rim and the speed, is different from the women’s game. Women’s game is a little more technical and fundamental. Men’s game is more above the rim, quicker, and athletic,” said Dixon on the adjustment from coaching women to men.
Dixon is not worried about the basketball side, as he does not need to change his style of play for the men.
“Nothing changes basketball wise, we still run the same things again they just run probably a little bit more above the rim and a little bit quicker.”
He understands that he needs to look at the little things on the men’s team. This means making sure they are focused at practice, making sure they are taking care of things off the court, like their academic work.
His goals for the season are to improve on last season when the team finished fifth in their conference. He wants to create an elite program at USW and challenge for a conference title. Ultimately he wants to compete for a national title.
“Our goal as a program is to compete for a conference championship,” said Dixon on his program’s goal. “And get to the national tournament.”
Dixon knows this will be difficult but at the same time an exciting journey. He only has one returning player who averaged double-digit minutes and points. He is excited to coach a new squad and have the chance for them to learn his style of play. One thing he has told his squad is he is going to let them play meaning he expects them to make mistakes early on in the season. After they discover those mistakes they will work on correcting them, before they go into the playoffs.
“It’s a new group, and you never know. Eight new kids they have to come together pretty quickly. Our schedule is really tough and we don’t have a lot of breaks on the way,” said Dixon on what his team will face this season. “Every game is going to be tough for us. It will get us ready for conference, and later on in the year it will get us ready for the national tournament.”
What Dixon hopes from the fans is they will come out to watch his team play and be excited and entertained by his team’s style of play.