Eastern baseball coach makes TCL history


Brazos Valley Bombers head coach Curt Dixon, middle, led the team to its third consecutive Texas Collegiate League championship in August.
By Adrian O'Hanlon III, Sports Editor for the McAlester News-Capital

One of McAlester’s own continues making history.

McAlester grad and Eastern Oklahoma State College pitching coach Curt Dixon coached the Brazos Valley Bombers in August to their third consecutive Texas Collegiate League championship — a league first.

Dixon — who is 135-52 overall in four years with the Bombers — was also named the Texas Collegiate League coach of the year for the fourth consecutive season, which also helped Dixon earn a two-year extension with the team after the season.

“That’s a testament to a lot of good players; they make me look good,” Dixon said. “We had kids from University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Arizona, Dallas Baptist…and all those guys gelled together and made me look pretty good.”

Thirteen Bombers were selected in the MLB Draft as the team finished the year ranked No. 3 in the final CSB rankings for 2015.

Brazos Valley outscored Acadiana, 36-2, to sweep the two-game championships series and finish the season at 45-9 overall — including a 29-2 record at their home park Cellucor Field — and set the TCL record for winning percentage (.823).

Nine rainouts during the season held the Bombers shy of the win total from 2013 (49-15), but they were the first team in the league’s 12-year history to finish with single-digit losses.

“I think if this team played all 60, they would have eclipsed 50 wins,” Dixon said.

Dixon graduated from McAlester in 2004 before going on to play baseball at University of the Ozarks, where he set school career records in strikeouts, innings pitched, wins, and games started.

After his senior season and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Dixon played three seasons of professional baseball in the independent leagues with the Sioux City Explorers, Southern Illinois Miners, Big Bend Cowboys and Kalamazoo Kings. Dixon was also voted to the Continental League All-Star Game in 2009 when he was the co-league leader in wins.

Dixon — who went 8-8 with a 5.29 ERA in three seasons in the independent leagues — then decided to make the transition from the field to the dugout after he married his wife, Whitney. The couple now lives in Wilburton with their daughter, Addison.

Dixon became the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa — where the pitching staff set school records in Earned Run Average, opponent batting average and conference wins in his only season there.

He returned to his alma mater as pitching coach and head junior varsity coach in 2009 and 2010 before joining the Eastern staff under head coach Craig Price — with whom he already had a long history.

“We played together in high school on summer league teams and everything and he called me to come down here,” Dixon said. “And I came down here pretty quick.”

Dixon has made some contacts in the Division 1 coaching ranks — including Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress — and had other coaching opportunities this summer, but said he loves his current situation.

“Getting to coach at a good junior college and being able to manage in the summer with being a pitching coach in the spring is the best of both worlds for me,” Dixon said. “Then being close to home and having my folks being able to be a part of my daughter’s life, and then coaching with (Price) too because he’s awesome.”

This article first appeared in the McAlester News-Capital on Sept. 1, 2015.

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