A day after it was announced that Jonathan Pixley was selected as the Louisiana Sportswriters Association Class 2A Coach of the Year for 2020-21, Dunham boys basketball coach shared a decision that was even more noteworthy.
Pixley announced Wednesday he is stepping down as the Tigers’ coach after 20 seasons to enter private business.
“It really is a bittersweet day,” Pixley said. “It is a sad and exciting time all at the same time. I am eager to transition into the business world.
"But at the same time, telling these kids is so hard. This school and this program have been such an important part of my life for 20 years.”
Pixley said he will devote more time to his role as director of basketball at Baton Rouge Sportsplex, which grew out of a AAU/private lessons program that he started at Dunham.
He said he will also be part of a new company called Match Point designed to manage name, image and likenesses of athletes and will continue to train former University High and LSU star Skylar Mays of the Atlanta Hawks.
A former Catholic High standout who went on to play at Samford, Pixley started his coaching career at Dunham as an assistant for one season. He has led the Class 2A/Division III Tigers to the LHSAA title game for five straight years and won three titles, including the past two in Division III.
Pixley compiled 437 wins in his 20 seasons at Dunham, including an 18-11 record last season that included a 52-48 come-from-behind victory over Newman in the Division III final played in Lake Charles in mid-March.
"As a fellow high school student, I thought Jonathan was the best high school basketball player I had seen," said Dunham athletic director Neil Weiner, a former Catholic High classmate. "Now, working alongside him at Dunham, he's the best basketball coach I have seen. He has been an incredible coach and leader of men at Dunham."
The Tigers beat district rival Episcopal to win Division III titles in 2020 and 2018.
“My taste runs to old music and the kids get on me about that,” Pixley said. “One of my favorite songs is ‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra and when I heard it recently, I realized some things.
“Dunham has been a terrific place to work. The support I received from the administration and staff is outstanding. That allowed me to do things my way. So many milestones in my life also happened here, including the birth of my two daughters. It will always be home.”
Dunham is seeking applications for a head boys basketball coach. The position is for a full-time educator who fits the mission of Dunham.
It is recommended that applicants have previous head coaching experience, be detail-oriented, possess excellent communication skills and have a strong belief in strength and conditioning.
Submit résumés to Weiner at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 9.