HAMPTON, VA (WTKR)- Hampton saw plenty of Marcus Dixon during his college football career, as he was a staple of the Pirates' defensive line from 2004-2007. He returned to the school as an assistant coach from 2017-2020.
Now his former school will watch him on the Super Bowl stage. Dixon made the jump from Hampton to the NFL, as he's now the assistant defensive line coach for the Los Angeles Rams.
"For him to have an opportunity to showcase his skills as a coach on this platform is wonderful," Pirates' head coach Robert Prunty said on Monday. "I'm happy for Marcus and his family."
Dixon coached on Prunty's staff for two seasons. The head coach calls him a very determined and hard-working individual, adding that Dixon is a very intelligent football coach with a great grasp on the technique of the game. Prunty also pointed out his former assistant's willingness and desire to learn and improve. Having him on the Super Bowl sideline is valuable as an example to which he can point for his student-athletes and coaches.
"If I'm a player, the first thing I'm saying is 'Wow, if Coach Marcus Dixon can do this, then God knows that I can do it,'" said Prunty. "I think you should be inspired. I think it's great. It's great for the university and it's great for the student-athletes to pattern themselves after one of their own."
The head Pirate is picking the Rams to win the big game on Sunday. He wants to see Hampton's own win a ring, but even if the Bengals prevail, Dixon already has a lot to be proud of.
"It's great for our university, but most of all it's great for our student-athletes and not just football. It's great for all of our student-athletes" he noted. "Marcus is one of theirs. He's Hampton University, he's one of ours and he's done a great job. For him to be in the Super Bowl, I want him to win it, but if they don't win it, he's a hero to the people here at Hampton University."
After his college playing days, Dixon signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent and saw regular season time with the Cowboys and Jets.