Urbana’s Dixon records 250th win


ST. PARIS – Urbana High School basketball coach Jeremy Dixon earned his 250th win Friday night.

Fittingly, it was against rival Graham with his team in the thick of another CBC/Mad River Championship hunt. The Hillclimbers defeated the Falcons, 50-47, to improve to 10-3 overall and 4-1 in the MRD.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Urbana was 6-16 in 2004-05, the first year Dixon took over as the Hillclimbers’ 26th head basketball coach.

“My first game was a loss at Northeastern, and we lost to them the next three times we played them,” Dixon painfully recalls. But since then, the ’Climbers have gone 30-1 against the Jets.

It was a rough start for the young coach whose teams did not break into double digit wins until the 2008-09 season.

But by 2010-11, “Dixon ball” was in full swing. That year the Hillclimbers were sectional champions and district runners-up.

The next seven seasons, Dixon’s teams compiled a 127-43 record for a .747 win percentage. During that span, the Hillclimbers won six CBC championships, were 3-time sectional champions and twice made it to the district finals.

The ’Climbers had won only two CBC titles in the 44 years prior to the resurgence under Dixon’s guidance.

Urbana, over the last 12 years now, has amassed double digit wins each season and is the winningest team in the CBC with seven championships.

On this recent accomplishment, Dixon said “250 wins means I’ve been around a long time; I’m lucky that I didn’t get fired by (former) Athletic Director Ron Saylor after going 13-51 in my first three years.” He said he appreciated Saylor’s confidence in him through those lean years.

Dixon has built Urbana basketball into a perennial conference powerhouse and the program is in a shape it hasn’t been in since the 1960s. Dixon added that his focus has always been on defense. He enjoys coaching the subtle nuances that make the difference between good and great defensive teams. He said he would rather win a game 32-26 than win by 20 points but give up 60 points.

It should also be noted that in his second season as Urbana coach, Dixon’s first child was born and he now has four children ranging from 4th to 11th grade who are all heavily involved in Urbana basketball.

Both Jeremy and his wife Holly, a nurse, volunteer a great amount of time coaching youth teams.

“Jeremy embodies the true essence of being a head coach as well. His time spent teaching and getting to know players through youth clinics, travel basketball and lower levels really pays off once players reach high school,” said UHS Athletic Director Greg Hower.

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