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TCU coach Jamie Dixon talks fan support and Big 12 tournament expectations

We had a chance to talk to Coach Dixon about the Dove Men+Care Real Strength Manifesto, and his expectations for TCU in the Big 12 Tournament.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Texas Christian Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

When Jamie Dixon was first hired as TCU’s new head basketball coach, he called upon fans to come out and support the team, as he worked to immediately turn it into a contender.

Dixon has absolutely held up his end of the bargain, coaching the Frogs to a 17-win regular season, with a record number of Big 12 conference wins. Beyond coaching, Dixon has also joined a national campaign run by the NCAA and Dove Men+Care, called the Real Strength Manifesto.

The Real Strength Manifesto calls on fans and athletes alike to hold themselves to high standards of sportsmanship, understanding that supporting your team doesn’t have to result in fighting with someone else in the stands.

Coach Dixon is a part of this campaign, and he’s encouraging TCU fans everywhere to sign on as well. As a part of this campaign, we hopped on the phone with Coach Dixon, and asked him about the campaign, as well as this vastly improved 2017 squad.

On the Dove Men Care Campaign

“We’re trying to promote good sportsmanship among your teams, but also among the fans during March Madness and just also during the season.”

“College basketball is just so unique. The venue, the spirit, the passion that can show through, we just want sure that all that is in a positive manner, a positive message, coming across as you’re representing your university and speaking, or acting, or encouraging, or cheering for your team. You always recognize that that is your university, that is your program, and that you’re representing that school for years to come.”

“There’s no better vehicle for marketing your university than athletics, especially the Final Four and March Madness. There’s no better way to get your message of your university, of your spirit and your passion out there.”

On TCU fan support in 2017

“As an alumnus, [I’m] very proud to see this increase, this renewed enthusiasm. It’s obviously been a long time coming. I remember when I played in the Southwest Conference and we were playing against the best, playing against these rivalry schools. I just think the fans are excited to be in that situation again.

As I talk with the student groups, as I talk with the Frog Army, you know, every game we play is on national TV, and the students, make their decisions if they catch a team on TV, they can see ‘would I like to be a part of that campus, be a part of that university.’

“Our students have been great in the Frog Army. We’re pretty much filling up the student section in all of our conference games, and it’s significant progress, but still we have room to grow at the same time.”

On his expectations for the Big 12 Tournament

“It’ll be my first Big 12 tournament, been in played in some great ones in the ACC and the Big East. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve heard great things about the venue, the fans, the crowds.

You want to be playing your best basketball going into March, and that’s what we’ve got to try to find. It’s amazing how quick it can turn, and obviously we’re on this losing streak, but, our belief is that one win can turn us back into a team that starts their own winning streak.”

“We know we’ve got to improve, we have to rebound better, we have to defend better, but every team is probably saying that right now.”

On Senior Leadership

“I really felt like our players have wanted to play well for the seniors, that they’ve wanted to win for the seniors, I know I did. They have done so much for us.

“They’ve sacrificed, their energy has been great, they’ve practiced hard every day, and they love TCU. I think they’ve set an example, and I think all four of them are very thankful for the opportunity to play at TCU. They knew what they were taking on. They came to a school that was at the bottom of the league in the Mountain West. They have made it a better place, and a better program than when they got here. That says a lot.”

On coming back to his Alma Mater to coach

“It really is special. I think there would have been excitement going to any school, as far as one that’s been a school that has been down and trying to rebuild, with the challenge that goes with it. But I think even more so because it’s [my] Alma Mater, but also because I remember when we were packing it in and winning NCAA tournament games, and winning conference championships in the premiere conference in the country.”