ATLANTA (March 29, 2023) – First-year University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head coach Shawn Poppie is the 2023 Spalding® Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced today.
The award honors a WBCA member NCAA Division I head coach who has led their team to a successful season during their first year on the sideline. It is named in honor of the late Maggie Dixon, who in her inaugural season as the Army head coach, led the Black Knights to the 2006 Patriot League title and their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship tournament. Dixon, 29, died of an undiagnosed heart condition just weeks after on April 6, 2006.
“Success in your first year as a head coach is generally a difficult feat. When a new head coach demonstrates a mastery of managing all aspects of a program, as well as producing success in competition, our coaching family pays respectful attention. The WBCA is proud to announce Shawn Poppie as the winner of the 2023 Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “Shawn led his team to a remarkable season. We celebrate his effort and effectiveness on the basketball court as a teacher and equally applaud the extensive role he plays in impacting the lives of his student-athletes.”
“Spalding is proud to celebrate Shawn Poppie as the 2023 Spalding® Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year, together with the WBCA,” said Brian Collins, Spalding VP. “This award is a symbol of the leadership, mentorship and commitment to excellence both on and off the court, which Shawn embodies every day with his approach to inspiring and impacting the lives of student-athletes. We want to congratulate Shawn on such a memorable first year and hope for continued success.”
The first Spalding® Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award was presented in 2007, the year following Dixon’s death. To see a list of past recipients, visit www.wbca.org/recognize/.
SPALDING® is the largest basketball equipment brand in the world. Since its founding in 1876, the iconic American brand has remained one of the most recognized driving basketball innovation today. SPALDING® is a global sporting goods leader with high school, collegiate, and professional partnerships. The SPALDING® trademark is owned by Russell Brands, LLC. For more information, visit www.spalding.com.
About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women's and girls' basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to the organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit WBCA.org for more details about the association.
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