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Dixon, UCLA engaging in contract talks

TCU School of Journalism
Jamie Dixon watches his team against West Virginia. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto

TCU men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon has started to engage in buyout talks with the Horned Frogs to become the next head coach at UCLA, but a deal has yet to be reached, a source told ESPN Wednesday.

“He’s trying to negotiate his $8-million buyout down to $1 million,” Ben Bolch of the LA Times said in a tweet. “Barring that, UCLA will have to come up with the money.”

Dixon, a native of southern California, earned a two-year extension to his contract after the Horned Frogs reached the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time since 1998. The contract kept him signed through the 2023-24 season.

Dixon hardly mentioned the rumors after last night’s 58-44 loss to Texas in the NIT semifinals.

“I’ve got a great job,” Dixon said Tuesday night. “I’m very lucky where I’m at. I’ve said that before, there’s nothing I can really say. Very thankful for this opportunity I was given at TCU. It doesn’t feel good right now as far as this loss. That’s what’s so disappointing because it’s just that we’ve been playing so good. We just never got in that rhythm offensively today. That’s the only thing I feel right now.”

Dixon has turned the Horned Frogs’ team, which was a bottom-feeder of the Big 12, into a program with NCAA Tournament expectations after going 68-41 during his three-year tenure so far in Fort Worth.

Dixon has led TCU to postseason basketball in each of his three years at the helm; the team won the NIT title in his first season, and it made appearances at an NCAA Tournament appearance last season and in the NIT semifinals this year.

UCLA, one of college basketball’s blue bloods, is first all-time in national championships with 11. However, the Bruins last made the Final Four in 2008 and have yet to move past the Sweet 16 in the last 11 years.

Neither Dixon nor TCU has commented on the contract talks.

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