TCU ‘relieved and excited’ Jamie Dixon is staying at TCU

Jamie Dixon is going to stay at TCU, Chancellor Victor Boschini confirmed.

“We are relieved and excited he’s staying,” Boschini said. “That’s what matters. He is staying.”

Dixon had been a leading candidate for the UCLA opening, but TCU was reportedly not willing to budge on Dixon’s contract buyout that is “a little north” of $8 million.

TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati refuted the notion that Dixon didn’t land the UCLA job over the buyout language of his contract.

“There was never a negotiation regarding the buyout of Jamie’s contract,” Donati said. “From Day 1, he has always expressed his love and passion for TCU to me. I am very excited about the future of our men’s basketball program.”

Dixon emerged as UCLA’s top target earlier this week, and the sides were reportedly in negotiations for him to become the next coach. But the buyout became a hurdle, sources said.

As Donati said, TCU didn’t -- and wasn’t willing -- to enter negotiations on a lower amount. That ultimately dissolved the possibility of Dixon landing at UCLA.

Dixon signed a contract extension to stay at TCU through the 2023-24 season last offseason. Boschini told TCU 360 that he expects Dixon to remain in Fort Worth his entire career.

“My interpretation of our conversation is that he [Dixon] plans to stay with us through the entirety of his career and that we don’t have to worry about something like this again,” Boschini said.

TCU has to consider this a major win, keeping Dixon from bolting to a blue-blood program. The school did not want Dixon to leave after he’s turned a once dormant program relevant and in the NCAA Tournament mix in three seasons.

The UCLA job is something that intrigued Dixon. It’s a blue-blood program in his hometown, and would have brought him closer to his parents. In the end, it wasn’t meant to be.

Dixon has expressed gratitude toward TCU every time he’s asked about a job opening, refusing to comment on other jobs. He didn’t address the UCLA situation with his players during a season-ending meeting Thursday.

I’ve got a great job. I’m very lucky where I’m at,” Dixon said earlier this week. “I’ve said that before, there’s nothing I can really say. Very thankful for this opportunity I was given at TCU.”

Dixon has gone 68-41 in three seasons at TCU, leading the program to the NIT championship in his first season. Dixon and the Frogs snapped a 20-year NCAA Tournament drought last season, and were among the top “snubs” from the Big Dance this season.

TCU reached the NIT semifinals, falling to Texas on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

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