Army coach Dixon will be buried at West Point

Updated: April 10, 2006, 11:53 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The family of Army coach Maggie Dixon has accepted an offer to have Dixon buried at West Point.

The burial, an honor usually reserved for high-ranking officials, is scheduled for Friday.

Dixon, 28, died last Thursday night at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y., after suffering a heart arrhythmia Wednesday. An autopsy conducted Friday found that Dixon had an enlarged heart and a problem with a heart valve, according to the Westchester County Medical Examiner's office. The valve problem could have caused her heart to beat irregularly and ultimately stop.

A funeral service for Dixon will be Tuesday morning at St. Charles Church in North Hollywood, Calif., her hometown.

The Army and DePaul teams are in California and will attend Tuesday's service. Dixon was an assistant at DePaul before taking over the Black Knights this past season. Players gathered at a dinner Monday night in North Hollywood to share stories about their coach.

Dixon's time at Army was short but significant.

She arrived at the military academy in October, just 11 days before the start of the season, and inherited a team that had gone 74-70 over the previous five seasons. The team struggled at the beginning before winning nine of its last 11 games.

Just six months after Dixon took over, a 69-68 win over Holy Cross in the Patriot League final put Army into the NCAA Tournament for the first time. The rookie coach's accomplishment earned extra acclaim because her brother, Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon, took the Panthers to the men's tournament. The Dixons are thought to be the first brother and sister to coach in the NCAA Tournament in the same year.

Dixon had hoped to play in the WNBA after graduating in 1999 from the University of San Diego. But the Los Angeles Sparks cut her after a tryout in May 2000. She went into coaching with encouragement from her brother.

She held a number of positions under DePaul coach Doug Bruno after walking into his office and introducing herself. She eventually became his top assistant in May 2004.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.