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Dave Hixon '75
Dave Hixon has coached the Jeffs to 440 wins in 26 seasons.

Dave Hixon '75 to Join Father, Wil Hixon, as Part of 2003 New England Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Class

July 23, 2003

AMHERST, MA - Amherst College men’s basketball coach Dave Hixon ’75 and his father, former Andover High School coaching great Wil Hixon, have each been selected for induction in the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. The 2003 class, which is the Hall of Fame’s second ever, will be inducted on September 19, at the Ryan Center on the campus of the University of Rhode Island.

The Hixons will join a host of notable selections, including former NBA stars Travis Best (Springfield Commerce), Caron Butler (Maine Central Institute), Mike Gminski (Masuk High School), the late Reggie Lewis (Northeastern University) and Lenny Wilkens (Providence College). Coaching greats Rick Pitino (Providence College), Hugh Greer (Connecticut), George Blaney (Holy Cross) and Buster Sheary (Holy Cross) will also be inducted.

The inaugural 2002 induction class included Bob Cousy (Holy Cross), Patrick Ewing (Cambridge Rindge & Latin), Julius Erving (University of Massachusetts), Calvin Murphy (Norwalk HS), Tom Heinsohn (Holy Cross) and coaching legend Dave Gavitt (Providence College), among others.

Entering his 27th season as head coach at Amherst, Dave Hixon describes being inducted with his father as, “probably my best moment in basketball to date.” As the winningest coach in school history, the 14th winningest active Division III coach in the nation (by total wins) and the 39th winningest coach in NCAA Division III history (by winning percentage, as listed in the NCAA Record Book), Hixon has guided the Jeffs to a 440-209 overall record, six NCAA Tournaments, 13 ECAC Tournaments, 11 Little Three titles and back-to-back NESCAC Championships in 2001 and 2002, while posting an 8-1 record in NESCAC Tournament play. During his tenure, the Jeffs have continually excelled in the postseason, claiming four ECAC Championships (including consecutive titles in 1995 and 1996) and advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight in both 1994 and 2003. In 2001, Hixon was honored as the NESCAC Coach of the Year after leading the Jeffs to a 22-6 overall mark (the first of two straight 22-win seasons), tying the school record for single-season victories, which the Jeffs subsequently shattered with 24 victories this past winter.

Already a member of the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, the Plymouth State College Athletic Hall of Fame, the North Shore Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame and the Andover High School Athletic Hall of Fame (in which Dave Hixon is also a member), Wil Hixon cemented his legacy with nearly 500 high school coaching victories, most of which came at nearby Andover High, where he guided the Golden Warriors, and his son Dave, to a state championship in 1970. Under the elder Hixon, Andover returned to the state finals twice more, falling both times to the No. 1 team in the nation, Cambridge Rindge & Latin, which was led at the time by future NBA All-Star Patrick Ewing.

“This was a real surprise as I’ve been away from it for so long,” explains Wil Hixon, who left coaching in 1981 to become assistant principal and then principal at Andover, before retiring in 1991. “Going in with my son makes it very special, like winning the state championship. It ties the knot a bit tighter between us.”

Dave and Wil Hixon are one of three father and son combos to enter the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. Former Catholic Memorial High School coaches Ron Perry, Sr. and Ron Perry, Jr. were inducted in 2002. Bernie and Keith Cieplicki, who each coached at Rice Memorial High School in Vermont, will enter the Hall of Fame along with the Hixons in 2003.

Induction festivities will tip off at 9 a.m. with a celebrity golf tournament at the Beaver River Country Club in Richmond, R.I., followed by a cocktail reception at the Institute for International Sport at the University of Rhode Island. Festivities will then move to the Ryan Center for a dinner reception, silent auction and induction ceremony. Last year’s events drew nearly 1,000 people.

For ticket information, call the Institute for International Sport at (401) 874-2375.