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It’s official. The gang is all back together.

Utah State head men’s basketball coach Ryan Odom now has his three assistant coaches in place, and they all just happen to have been with him at UMBC this past season. Odom made it official Monday afternoon by naming Nate Dixon, who will join Bryce Crawford and Matt Henry on the Aggie coaching staff. Crawford and Henry were announced last week.

Dixon has actually been with Odom at three different coaching stops during their careers in college basketball. The past five years Dixon has been Odom’s lead assistant coach at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). With the Retrievers, Dixon helped lead the squad to the America East Conference regular season title in 2020-21, along with three-straight 20-plus win seasons at UMBC. Dixon was also a member of the coaching staff that mentored UMBC to an NCAA Tournament victory in 2018, upsetting top-seeded Virginia as a No. 16 seed — the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed in tournament history.

“I’ve been all over the country, but the Mountain West is my favorite league in all of college basketball,” Dixon said in a press release. “There’s nothing like that college-town feel, the support of passionate fan bases and community involvement. Utah State checks all those boxes and I couldn’t be happier to continue working with coach Odom and be a part of his staff. My family and I are looking forward to building upon the winning culture that we’ve got here in Logan.”

During his tenure with UMBC, Dixon helped coach four all-conference selections, including K.J. Maura, a two-time America East all-defensive team member and the 2018 America East Defensive Player of the Year. In July, Dixon was named one of the top five assistant coaches in the America East Conference by Stadium.

Dixon was also a member of Odom’s staff at Lenoir-Rhyne, serving as the associate head coach and helping the Bears to the NCAA Division II Regional Finals for the first time in school history. Lenoir-Rhyne finished the year 21-10, improving by 10.5 games from the previous campaign.

Dixon first crossed paths with Odom at Charlotte, where he served as the team’s technology and scouting assistant for four seasons.

Dixon’s resume also includes stops at Wyoming (2010-11), Louisiana-Lafayette (2009-10), New Orleans (2007-09), Louisiana-Monroe (2005-07), Florida (2003-05) and Stetson (2001-03), along with Division II schools Queens (1998-2000) and Belmont Abbey (1997-98).

The newest Aggie assistant has been rated as one of the top mid-major assistants by both Basketball Times and HoopScoop Online, and has also served on the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ (NABC) Board of Directors from 1998 to 2001 and again for a second stint from 2016 to the present day. Dixon has been selected to participate in the prestigious 2020 TopConnect Virtual Seminar. TopConnect (formerly Villa 7) originated in 2003 by then VCU Athletic Director Dr. Richard Sander, identifies the top basketball assistant coaches in the country, and connects them with mid-major athletic directors providing tremendous networking opportunities for both parties. He also participated in 2018 and 2019.

The native of Sparta, North Carolina, graduated from UNC Wilmington in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He and his wife, the former Kristin Fabrizio, have two sons, Walker and Hunter.

AGGIE COMMIT

Nothing is official, but it looks like the first high school player to commit to USU under Odom is Muzamil Hamoda.

The 6-foot-7 wing currently plays for Bridgton Academy in Maine. He came to the United States from Bahrain to play basketball this past high school season. He is set to graduate in 2021, so could sign and join the Aggies for this upcoming season.

Several media outlets have reported that Hamoda has verbally committed to USU. A highlight video that showed up on Twitter showed Hamoda hitting jumpers, dunking and handling the ball with ease.

Shawn Harrison is the sports editor at The Herald Journal. He can be reached at sharrison@hjnews.com or 435-792-7233.

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