UTC's Poppie Named 2023 Spalding Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach Of The Year

  • Wednesday, March 29, 2023

First-year UTC head coach Shawn Poppie is the 2023 Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced on Wednesday.

The award honors a WBCA member NCAA Division I head coach who has led their team to a successful season during their first year on the sideline. It is named in honor of the late Maggie Dixon, who in her inaugural season as the Army head coach, led the Black Knights to the 2006 Patriot League title and their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship tournament. Dixon, 29, died of an undiagnosed heart condition just weeks after on April 6, 2006.

“Success in your first year as a head coach is generally a difficult feat. When a new head coach demonstrates a mastery of managing all aspects of a program, as well as producing success in competition, our coaching family pays respectful attention. The WBCA is proud to announce Shawn Poppie as the winner of the 2023 Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “Shawn led his team to a remarkable season. We celebrate his effort and effectiveness on the basketball court as a teacher and equally applaud the extensive role he plays in impacting the lives of his student-athletes.”

In his first year as a head coach, Poppie guided the Mocs to their 19th Southern Conference Tournament title and 16th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Chattanooga finished second in the Southern Conference regular season, just one game out of first place.

Raven Thompson became Chattanooga’s first freshman to be named the SoCon Tournament Most Outstanding Player and was one of four student-athletes named to the all-tournament teams. She was also selected the SoCon Freshman of the Year by both the league coaches and the Southern Conference Sports Media Association (SCSMA) and one of two all-conference performers.

“Spalding is proud to celebrate Shawn Poppie as the 2023 Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year, together with the WBCA,” said Brian Collins, Spalding VP. “This award is a symbol of the leadership, mentorship and commitment to excellence both on and off the court, which Shawn embodies every day with his approach to inspiring and impacting the lives of student-athletes. We want to congratulate Shawn on such a memorable first year and hope for continued success.”

The first Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award was presented in 2007, the year following Dixon’s death.

Past Recipients

2022 - Kelly Rae Finley, University of Florida
2021 - Kyra Elzy, University of Kentucky
2020 - Amaka “Mox” Agugua-Hamilton, Missouri State University
2019 - Carlos Funchess, Southern University
2018 - Bart Brooks, Belmont University
2017 - Shauna Green, University of Dayton
2016 - Joni Taylor, University of Georgia
2015 - Lisa Fortier, Gonzaga University
2014 - Billi Godsey, Iona College
2013 - Holly Warlick, University of Tennessee
2012 - Jennifer Hoover, High Point University
2011 - Stephanie Glance, Illinois State University
2010 - Teresa Weatherspoon, Louisiana Tech University
2009 - Kelly Packard, Ball State University
2008 - Jeff Walz, University of Louisville
2007 - Krista Kilburn-Steveskey, Hofstra University

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