@DixieState @DixieAthletics March 11

My daily post theme for 2017 is on Colleges and Universities.

The plan for starting my blog back in 2014 was at the urging of fellow coaching colleagues to share posts on leadership and/or motivation. Somehow that idea got derailed and  turned into daily posts on one theme for an entire year.

In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and for 2017 I will focus on “Colleges and Universities”.

I have been associated with colleges since I was 18 and I love them. I have coached/worked at four different universities and in my professional and personal travels visited 100’s more. Each college has something in its history that I want to share that to me make it unique or personal.

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Name of University: Dixie State University

Location: St. George UT

I am going to profile universities the next couple of days that have qualified for the NCAA Division II Basketball Championships. The #8 Seed in the West Region for Men’s Basketball is Dixie State. I have always wondered how a school in Utah got that name. The explanation was not what I expected.


Dixie State University came by its name through many changes. In 1888, the Latter Day Saints Church established the St. George Stake Academy. After functioning for five years in the basement of the St. George Tabernacle, it was closed. Then in 1909, Stake President Edward H. Snow, who also served in the State Legislature and the state government in Salt Lake City, began urging LDS central leaders to authorize the founding of a high school in St. George under their sponsorship. A building was constructed on the town square using funds from both the central Church and from the local congregations between 1909 and 1911.

When it opened the institution was called “The St. George Stake Academy.” It offered three years of high school and in 1912 the fourth year was added, allowing students to graduate from high school. In 1914, a year of teacher preparation was added and in 1916 the second year of college courses were begun. As a consequence of those changes the school’s name was changed to “Dixie Normal College.”

dixie academy

Why did they use the name “Dixie”? It was the result of the community’s aspiration. The name “Dixie” was already used to identify the area. Within a year of the school’s beginning, students wrote the word “Dixie” on the Red Hill overlooking the town. The next year they painted the letter “D” on the Black Hill.


The locals wanted the name “Dixie” linked to their high school.  That attitude has continued generation after generation. When the students published their first yearbook it was called “The Dixie.”


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