Dixon retires as Head WBB Coach at Texas Lutheran; Patterson takes over

Mel Dixon, who led Texas Lutheran University to four Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances – the first two in school history, is retiring after 47 seasons and 736 wins as a head basketball coach at the high school and college level. Assistant Coach Troy Patterson has been named as Dixon’s replacement.

The two-time SCAC Coach of the Year concluded his ninth season as the Bulldogs head coach in March. In addition to SCAC Tournament Championships in 2014 and 2019, he led the Bulldogs to two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2014 and 2019, and two regular season championships in 2014 and 2015.

Texas Lutheran Athletic Director Bill Miller

“Coach Mel Dixon is a tremendous coach.  Under his leadership, the TLU Women’s Basketball Program jumped to a new level of competitiveness. His tenure as head coach of the women’s basketball program was not only marked by winning championships, but more importantly by the care and concern that he displayed for the young women who he coached. Coach Dixon made a difference in the TLU Women’s Basketball Program and in the lives of many of the young women he coached, and in so doing he became the winningest women’s basketball coach in TLU history.  We wish him all of the best in his retirement.”

Texas Lutheran Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach Troy Patterson (4 years under Dixon)

“Congratulations Coach Dixon on a truly remarkable career! It has been an honor to be afforded the opportunity to work alongside a coach that has been able to consistently achieve success over such a great period of time. It is my hope that as you reflect on your coaching/teaching career that you can truly understand the impact you have made on so many lives. I wish nothing but the very best as you move into this next chapter of your life. I am grateful and blessed to call you friend, colleague and mentor. Thank you for everything coach!”


  • 47 seasons as a coach, including 36 seasons as a high school basketball coach (4 as head coach at Robert E. Lee, 26 as head coach at Theodore Roosevelt), 2 as an assistant at TLU, 9 as head coach at Texas Lutheran University.
  • Winningest Coach in TLU Women’s Basketball History with 127 victories
  • 2x SCAC Coach of the Year (2014, 2019)
  • Led the Bulldogs to a TLU program record 23 wins in 2014, most all-time by men’s or women’s Texas Lutheran basketball programs
  • 2 NCAA Tournament Appearances (Most in program history)
  • Coached 2 All-Americans, 2 Defensive Players of the Year, 20+ All-Conference Honorees
  • 19 seasons in playoffs
  • Led the Bulldogs to first ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2014
  • Named San Antonio “City Coach of the Year” three-times during tenure as a high school coach
  • Coached 2002 Texas State All-Star Game


  • Overall: 736-424, 45 seasons as head coach (.634)
  • Record at TLU: 127-96, 9 seasons at TLU (.570); 81-51 record in SCAC (.613)
  • NCAA Tournament: (0-2)
  • Conference Regular Season Titles (2): 2014, 2015
  • Conference Tournament Titles: (2): 2014, 2019
  • 609-328 record at the high school level

Troy Patterson, who helped guide the Bulldogs to a SCAC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2019 as an assistant, has been named the Texas Lutheran’s new women’s head basketball coach. President Debbie Cottrell and Athletic Director Bill Miller immediately chose Patterson because of his dedication to student-athletes, leadership, work ethic, service and passion to win.

He succeeds Head Coach Mel Dixon, the all-time wins leader in program history, who announced his retirement earlier today.

I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this program, Patterson said. “I also would not be here without President Cottrell and Coach Bill Miller. I appreciate their faith in me and I look forward to working closely with them. I am proud to lead this team, and I can’t wait for all that comes next.”

Said Miller: “We are tremendously excited about Coach Troy Patterson becoming our new head women’s basketball coach.  As the Associate Head Coach, Coach Patterson has played a big role in the success the women’s basketball program has experienced over the last four years including the 2019 SCAC Women’s Basketball Conference Championship.  I have no doubt that Coach Patterson will continue to lead the TLU Women’s Basketball in a championship direction.

He is not only a great coach, but also a great role model. He truly coaches for the right reasons.  Coach Dixon leaves big shoes to fill, but with Coach Patterson we have the right coach at the right time to keep the TLU Women’s Basketball Program moving forward.”

Patterson, who was born in San Antonio, but was raised in The Bronx, New York is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio. After graduating from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he majored in biology with a minor in chemistry, Patterson would go on to become the head coach at Incarnate Word High School. Patterson served as head coach for the Shamrocks for 9 years prior to being hired as an assistant coach at Texas Lutheran.

During his time as a coach for Incarnate Word, Patterson produced an overall record of 234-67 and won six district championships, one regional championship and made a trip to the Final Four of the TAPPS 6A State Championship Tournament. Patterson was named WOAI News “Coach of the Year” for the 2012-13 basketball season.

“I’m very happy that Coach Patterson will be leading our women’s basketball program,” said Texas Lutheran University President Debbie Cottrell. “He inherits a strong foundation from Coach Dixon and brings experience, talent, and passion for Bulldog athletics.”

Patterson and his wife Vanessa have been happily married for 39 years, and they have four children: Tiffany, Tracey, DeAnna, and Troy. The Pattersons have also been blessed with three grandchildren – Adrienne, Jaxon, and Jalen.


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