Update: Why Juan Dixon was fired, plus the latest in the Coppin State lawsuit

Coppin State University has fired head basketball coach Juan Dixon, the school announced Wednesday.

“After fully evaluating the men’s basketball program and performance, we feel a change of leadership is necessary moving forward,” athletic director Derek Carter said in a statement. “We wish Juan and his family the best for the future. We thank him for his time at Coppin.”

Both Dixon and the school did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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Jeff Goodman of Stadium originally broke the news of Dixon’s firing on Tuesday night.

A Baltimore native and beloved player at the University of Maryland, Dixon joined the Eagles in 2017 as the seventh head coach in program history. In the 2020-21 season, Dixon led Coppin State to a regular season MEAC title with an 8-4 conference record, but this year, the Eagles dropped to sixth in the conference with a 4-10 mark.

Over six seasons, Dixon had an overall record of 51-131.

Before coaching at Coppin, Dixon worked on the staff at his alma mater, where as a student, he’d led the men’s basketball team to its first national championship in 2002. He holds the record for the most points in program history.

After college, Dixon went on to play professionally for seven years, spending time with the Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons.

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Ahead of a game between the Terps and Eagles last year, Dixon told The Banner he interviewed for what he described as his “dream job” — coaching the school where he played for four years as a guard, three as a starter.

“My win-loss [record] didn’t pop off the page, but what we’ve done over the years at Coppin State, we’ve gotten better,” Dixon said.

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In November, Dixon was named in a lawsuit filed in Baltimore Circuit Court against Coppin State and the University System of Maryland, among others, by a former guard on the men’s basketball team. The player said that a member of the program blackmailed and sexually assaulted him, and also claimed that the school failed to protect student athletes.

In the complaint, the former player indicated he was concerned about an unchecked use of drugs by members of the team, but that when he met with Dixon about the issue in 2020, the coach indicated he was “helpless” to address it “in any meaningful way,” according to the lawsuit. Later, the complaint says, Dixon admitted that he and others knew the member accused of assault was “mentally ill or otherwise emotionally imbalanced.”

The university said at the time it does not comment on pending litigation.

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Dixon has also appeared on “The Real Housewives of Potomac,” which features his wife Robyn Dixon.

This story has been corrected to reflect that Juan and Robyn Dixon remarried earlier this year.