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New MSU Running Backs Coach has Bobcat Connections
A lot of Bobcat football fans may strain their memories trying to recall former reserve quarterback Clarence McKinney, but Kerry Dixon, the newest Bobcat assistant coach, will never forget him.
“Everything I learned about football (in high school), I learned from him,” Dixon said of his high school offensive coordinator. “He gave me the foundation of my football knowledge.”
Dixon fell under McKinney’s tutelage at Booker T. Washington High School in Houston in the late 1990s when “I had only been playing football for about three years,” Dixon said. McKinney moved through the high school coaching ranks in his hometown, eventually joining the University of Houston coaching staff as running backs coach in 2008, a position he continues to hold.
“He’s a real good coach, and a good guy,” Dixon said of McKinney, who used his background as an option quarterback at MSU to build prolific offenses at each of his prep stops.
“We threw it all over the place,” Dixon said of his time under McKinney, also indicating that “when we ran, we ran out of the veer. We didn’t even have any zone (run plays). We just ran speed option out of the two-man veer.”
McKinney played for a couple of seasons at MSU before transferring to the University of Mary for the 1992 season. There, he reunited with a former Bobcat assistant, Myron Schulz, who joined the Marauders’ staff after Earle Solomonson’s staff was dismissed and eventually rose to the position of head coach and athletic director at Mary, both of which he continues to hold.
Dixon’s college career was similarly hit-and-miss. He played quarterback during his freshman season at Baylor, starting two games, including one at Nebraska.
His quarterback coach that season was former Nebraska legend Tommie Frazier.
Dixon moved to receiver after that campaign, but was injured just before fall camp and didn’t play that year.
One season later, Dixon transferred to Hampton, where he played both receiver and quarterback over his three seasons with the Pirates. “I was all about winning a championship,” Dixon said of the multiple position changes. “I didn’t care where I played.”
Dixon played for championship teams at Hampton, and looks to replicate that feat during his coaching career. That coaching career has taken him across the offensive spectrum, coaching quarterbacks at previous FCS stops Texas Southern (2007) and Morgan State (2008) before taking over offensive coordinator duties at Division II Stillman last season.
Bobcat coach Rob Ash said that depth of offensive knowledge is one of the features that made Dixon an attractive coaching candidate. “He has seen (offensive football) from a lot of different angles,” Ash said. “He has a lot of quality experience.”
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