The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

June 5, 2014

Pitt’s Dixon appears at Sunnehanna

JOHNSTOWN — For the fourth time, the Johnstown Panther Club welcomed Jamie Dixon to its seventh annual A Night With the Panthers on Thursday at Sunnehanna Country Club.

“This event has been terrific,” the Pittsburgh men’s basketball coach said. “It’s fun, and there are a lot of friends up here. It changes all the time, and you meet new people and see old friends at the same time.”

In the past couple years, this area has come to Dixon. The Pitt-Johnstown basketball team has played the Panthers in exhibition matchups, and Dixon said he looks forward to playing it again in the future. 

“I love the idea of the exhibition games,” he said. “It was something brought up at the NEBC meetings. I think it’s a great opportunity. It’s served its purpose. You have the option of playing someone you usually don’t play or can’t play for scheduling purposes. It’s a good rule and rule change.”

The past season was UPJ’s first in Division II basketball and the PSAC. The Mountain Cats finished the season with a 13-13 overall record and a 6-10 conference record. 

“It’s great that they (Pitt-Johnstown) joined the league (PSAC),” said Dixon. “I think it’s great that they include all of the high-caliber teams in the state.”

Dixon also mentioned the performance of Mountain Cats players Bill Luther and Andrew Cressler. 

“They have a good program and are very well-coached,” he added.

Pitt-Johnstown isn’t the only tie with with Pitt basketball in the PSAC. The Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s men’s basketball coach, Joe Lombardi, was Dixon’s assistant coach for three years.

Lombardi has led the Crimson Hawks to three PSAC championships, and was a Division II NCAA runnerup in 2009.  

“It’s great to see him doing well,” Dixon said. “That is a great conference with great rivalries.”

If it wasn’t for such a busy schedule and NCAA rules, Dixon said he would try to see more basketball athletes in the area. 

“I wish I had time and opportunities to see local kids play,” he said. “But how the rules are in the NCAA, there are limitations on the days and who you can go see and how many times you can go out. It’s hard for a head coach to see kids in another area.”

Pittsburgh finished 26-10 in its inaugural season in the ACC. In the ACC tournament, the Panthers lost in the semifinals to Virginia. Pittsburgh was a No. 9 seed in the tournament and lost in the third round to Florida. 

“In the conferences I’ve coached in, there’s always constant changes,” Dixon said. “Unfamiliarity with teams was normal. Then you have coaching changes that come through and change programs. You’re always adapting. 

“I look at it as a merger rather than a new league for us.”

This year is Dixon’s 12th season as the Panthers’ head coach. He has a 288-96 record and 10 NCAA tournament appearances. Dixon said he feels that he will have a good team coming back for the 2014-15 season. 

“I’m excited about the group we brought in,” Dixon said. “Kinda different and not your typical class for us. It depends on what you’ve got coming back and what you’ve got committed in the future. You’ve got to get a balance, and I think we did that. I think we filled the hole we hadn’t filled, and I don’t think that they are holes any longer.”

The event also was attended by first-year Pittsburgh women’s head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio.

The Johnstown Panther Club also honored Westmont Hilltop graduate Chris DelSignore as its chapter honoree.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAG 0720 AAABA League playoffs: Laurel Auto Group moves closer to advancing

    Second-seeded Laurel Auto Group fell behind early against No. 3 Berkley Hills Renegades on Sunday afternoon at Roxbury Park. But Laurel’s players didn’t lose their composure.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urtz, Pope lead AAABA League award votes

    Logan Urtz hadn’t fielded a ground ball as an infielder or swung a bat in a game for a couple seasons.
    But you can’t take the former infielder out of a starting pitcher.

    July 20, 2014

  • Blairsville pegged as team to beat

    As Heritage Conference football coaches assembled at United High School during Wednesday’s media day event at Thomas J. Madill Field, the near-consensus opinion is that Blairsville – under second-year coach Rick Artley – is going to be the team to beat once the season begins on Aug. 29.
    After the Bobcats, the forecasted picture gets a little foggier.

    July 30, 2014

  • tim Baserunning blunder helps Giants end six-game losing streak

    Clint Hurdle says he and a pal often marvel over how there’s always something new to see at a baseball game.
    Too bad for Hurdle. What he watched Wednesday wrecked the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 7-5 loss.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • shazier Rookie linebacker making impression at Steelers camp

    Ryan Shazier grew up the football equivalent of a Rorschach test.
    Some coaches looked at Shazier’s 6-foot-1 frame with plenty of room to grow and saw a defensive end.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greene’s No. 75 will be retired at Ravens game

    Joe Greene’s No. 75 now belongs to the ages.
    The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Wednesday the team will retire the Hall of Fame defensive end’s number during a game against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 2.

    July 30, 2014

  • levon Bell planning to do better

    Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw.
    There were times during his rookie season when the Pittsburgh Steelers running back would place his hand on an offensive lineman’s back and wait patiently for the hole to open.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boilers advance in Pony series

    July 29, 2014

  • Martella’s Pharmacy, LAG name AAABA pickup players

    July 28, 2014

AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide