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Personality Test: Jamie Dixon

Pete Madia / Pitt Athletics
Pitt men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon

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Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Growing up in North Hollywood, Jamie Dixon's buddies were tempted by the lure of the silver screen.

While Dixon's dad, Jim, was a full-time actor and screenwriter with roles in more than 50 films, and Jamie himself starred in national television commercials and remains a card-carrying member of the Screen Actors Guild, he has chosen to focus on the screen that is executed on the basketball court.

It's there, as head coach of the University of Pittsburgh men's basketball team for the past 11 years, that he stars as one of the leading collegiate coaches in the sport, this year guiding the nationally ranked Panthers in their inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Off the hardwood, he commits himself to local and national charities, including the Maggie Dixon Foundation, named after his late sister, who died at 28 of a heart arrhythmia. The nonprofit educates youth on heart-health awareness and promotes women's college basketball.

In 2006, Jamie and Maggie, head women's basketball coach at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, became the first brother-sister duo in history to guide their teams to the NCAA tournament.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life:

No one. I don't think anyone would want to produce the movie!

Childhood hero:

Roberto Clemente. The first sporting event I remember watching was the 1971 World Series, my dad picking me up from school and rushing me home to watch. Heard he died when I was sitting by myself watching a Lakers game.

Pick one:

A. Go-Gos

B. Goo Goo Dolls

C. Lady Gaga

D. Yo Gabba Gabba

The Go-Gos. Timing and age is the key. Grew up in the Valley.

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:

Roberto Clemente poster

The superpower I wish I had in real life:

Bionic ears

I can't live without my iPod, cellphone, DVR or laptop:


My favorite reality show:

“Hawaii Life” (HGTV)

Favorite brunch food:


Pick one:

A. Pirates

B. Penguins

C. Steelers

D. Other

All of them, with “D” as Pitt. I was always a fan of the Pirates and became a fan of the others because of their leadership and how they run their organizations with class and integrity.

My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:

Roberto Clemente

Three people I'd love to have dinner with:

I like history: George Washington, Martin Luther King, Thomas Jefferson.

Top thing on my “bucket list” to do before I'm gone:

See my great-grandchildren

If I was auditioning for “American Idol,” my song would be:

“In the Air Tonight”

Favorite lunchtime spot:

Training table or The Porch

The song that always gets me out on the dance floor:

Thankfully, none

My favorite cable channel:


My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:

The Porch

App I wish I could invent:

One that would automatically turn off in planes so flight attendants and passengers wouldn't argue about it

Saturday mornings, you'll find me:

Watching film or with my kids

The movie that always makes me cry:

“Brian's Song”

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh:

It's home.

My quirkiest inherited trait:

I ask a lot of questions.

My favorite sandwich:

Chicken sandwich

One word my mother would use to describe me:

Loyal, quiet

When I was 10, I wanted to be:

A baseball player, a fireman

In five years, I'd like to:

Be a part of a national championship

The worst advice I ever received:

Don't ever turn down your first head-coaching position. You may not get another opportunity.

Exercise I hate most:


I'm deathly afraid of:


TV marathon I could watch all day:


In high school, I was:

The same

If I wasn't a coach, I'd be:

In the movie business. That's what all my friends growing up went into.

Favorite guilty pleasure:


The best concert I've ever seen:

Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney together at Heinz Field

My childhood nickname:


The last book I read:

“ACC Basketball: A History of ACC Basketball”

If I could live my life as someone else, it would be:

My grandfather

Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:

Cathedral of Learning

My first job:

Acting in a commercial

My worst job:


If I could tour with any band, it would be:

The Beatles

I never travel without my:


People would be surprised to know that:

My family has roots here in Pittsburgh. My grandfather moved here from Ireland in the 1920s, then married and moved to New York.

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