Dixon reflects on miracle buzzer beater against Texas in 1986

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On February 22, 1986, Jamie Dixon carved his name into TCU lore with one of the most legendary shots in Horned Frog history. 

Boasting a 16-5 record, TCU was riding a seven-game winning streak heading into a collision with the Texas Longhorns. Earlier that season, Texas bested TCU in a 56-54 battle down in Austin.

“We were kind of a surprise that year,” Dixon said. “No one had picked us to be at the top of the league. Really, we went into the game with the belief we were going to win the game.”

The fight between the Horned Frogs and Longhorns was critical, as it would decide the champion of the Southwest Conference. The Longhorns were defending champs, while TCU had not won a title in nine years.

After a scrappy game from start to finish, TCU head coach Jim Killingsworth called a timeout and drew up the play for Dixon with the Frogs down 54-53 and just 5.5 seconds remaining.

“The play was set up to get the ball in,” Dixon said. “We cut off the big guys.”

With three defenders swarming him, Dixon only had a fraction of a second to get a shot up and off.

The time was just enough.

Dixon’s shot flew, and the packed Daniel-Meyer Coliseum erupted as the ball rolled in, sealing the Frogs’ revenge, victory and conference title over Texas.

Jamie Dixon argues a call made against him during the 1987 season. (TCU Archives)

“It was gathering the ball and just trying to get the ball up,” Dixon said. “I don’t know if I knew then the significance of beating Texas. That was surprising; the atmosphere, the crowd, it all came together.”

TCU would go on to win the conference title the next season as well and advance to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for the first time since 1971.

Dixon returned to the Frogs 29 years later in 2016 as the second head coach in TCU’s Big 12 era.

“I don’t know as much about the moment, but the growth and the challenge and the determination to do what hasn’t been done in a long time, and just getting people to believe,” Dixon said. “What we’re trying to do is do it on a consistent basis.”

Dixon has coached multiple NBA players like Desmond Bane and Kenrich Williams throughout his time at the helm of the men’s basketball program and hopes to bring more stability to the program going forward.

“We’re such a unique program,” Dixon said. “We’ve been through such an odyssey over the years, trying to bring stability and consistency to the program is what we’re looking for.”

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Jack is a junior journalism major and studio art minor from Atlanta, Georgia. He enjoys everything sports and co-runs the Blanket Coverage podcast as well as photographs for TCU360.