Pitt hires UMass assistant Williamson to Dixon's staff
Jamie Dixon is replacing Slice with Smoke on his Pitt staff.
After losing ace recruiter Barry “Slice” Rohrssen to Kentucky, Dixon announced Tuesday the hiring of Marlon “Smoke” Williamson as an assistant men's basketball coach.
Williamson, a Detroit native who spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Massachusetts, has family ties to Pittsburgh. His father, Julius Jerome “Bart” Williamson, grew up in Garfield and attended Peabody.
Williamson also played point guard at Youngstown State from 1999-2003, where he was named team MVP and Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. He earned his bachelor's degree in global studies from YSU in 2012.
“We are excited about Marlon becoming a member of the University of Pittsburgh community, and I know he is ecstatic to be coming aboard,” Dixon said in a statement. “As a former point guard with strong knowledge of the game, Marlon will help us in recruiting, scouting and player development. We are fortunate to have a coach with his well-rounded background. Marlon is extremely excited to be a part of our staff considering his family ties to Pittsburgh.”
Williamson spent nine years as director and coach of The Family, an AAU program in his hometown that produced Division I stars Brandon Cotton (Michigan State), Joe Crawford (Kentucky), Jordan Crawford (Xavier), Chris Douglas-Roberts (Memphis), Draymond Green (Michigan State), Malik Hairston (Oregon) and James Young (Kentucky).
Williamson joined Derek Kellogg's staff in August 2012, and the Minutemen went 21-12 and reached the NIT in 2012-13 before climbing into the national rankings for the first time since 1999 this past season, finishing 24-9 and earning an NCAA Tournament bid.
“This is a big step,” Williamson said. “When you talk about the University of Pittsburgh and ACC, you're talking about the highest level. You've got to go get players first. I look at coach Dixon as a legend. Our position as assistants is to put coach Dixon in a position to be great. We want to give him the tools that he can go coach those guys. Our goal is to win the last game.”
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.
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