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Georgia Southern Men's Basketball
Georgia Southern Men's Basketball

Coaching Staff


Larry Dixon
Assistant Coach

With more than 10 years’ experience as a collegiate assistant coach, Larry Dixon joined the Eagles for the 2013-14 campaign as an assistant coach. The 2015-16 season will be Dixon’s third at Georgia Southern.

The veteran coach has been a dynamic part of the Eagles basketball renaissance which has occurred over his tenure. The 2014-15 Eagles tallied a 22-9 mark for the program’s first 20-win season in a decade. Georgia Southern also made the program’s first trip to a conference championship game since 1992 by reaching the 2015 Sun Belt Championship Game. The Eagles’ renaissance has brought the fans back to Hanner Fieldhouse as the Eagles posted multiple sellouts in the same season for the first time in arena history.

In his first season, Georgia Southern improved throughout the year, and made the program’s first trip to the SoCon Tournament Semifinals in nine seasons. The 2013-14 Eagles went 15-19 on the year and took an upset 62-55 win over second-seeded Chattanooga in the quarterfinals.

A 1996 graduate of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., Dixon served as an assistant coach at East Carolina University for the two years prior to joining Randy Peele’s staff at Winthrop where he coached for five seasons. While with the Winthrop Eagles, Dixon was named the Top Assistant Coach in the Big South by Fox Sports.

He also served as an assistant coach at South Carolina State for two years (2003-2005) and for one year at St. Andrews College (2002-03). After leaving Winthrop following the 2011-12 season, Dixon worked last season as the Boy’s Basketball Head Coach at York Comprehensive High School in York, S.C.

A native of Salisbury, N.C., Dixon has spent the majority of his coaching career in North Carolina. Prior to his stint at St. Andrews, Dixon served as the head coach at Garinger High School in Charlotte for three seasons. During his tenure, Dixon led Garinger to a sectional championship in 2001 and earned Charlotte Observer Coach of the Year honors. A 1996 graduate of Johnson C. Smith, he also spent two years as assistant coach at Carver High School in Winston-Salem and South Rowan High School in Salisbury.

Dixon was a standout at North Rowan High school and earned a scholarship to Johnson C. Smith. During his playing days at Johnson C. Smith, Dixon was a four-year letterman and was named the team’s Most Improved Player following his junior season. He was also named Johnson C. Smith’s top defensive player at the end of his senior season. He helped the the Golden Bulls to a pair of CIAA Southern Division titles and a championship game appearance as a sophomore.

Dixon is the father of two children, Devin and Leah.

 
Andrew Wilson
Assistant Coach

A standout player in the ACC, Andrew Wilson has parlayed his success on the court into a successful coaching career that is entering its 10th season in 2015-16 and his third campaign with Georgia Southern.

Wilson, who played collegiately at Florida State, spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Charleston under head coach Bobby Cremins before moving to Binghamton for the 2012-13 season. While at Charleston, Wilson coached with new Eagle head coach Mark Byington and helped lead the Cougars to an average of 22 wins a season and three postseason tournament appearances in six years.

Wilson has helped the Eagles reach new heights in two seasons in Statesboro. The 2014-15 Eagles tallied a 22-9 mark for the program’s first 20-win season in a decade. Georgia Southern also made the program’s first trip to a conference championship game since 1992 by reaching the 2015 Sun Belt Championship Game. The Eagles’ renaissance has brought the fans back to Hanner Fieldhouse as the Eagles posted multiple sellouts in the same season for the first time in arena history.

In his first season, Georgia Southern improved throughout the year, and made the program’s first trip to the SoCon Tournament Semifinals in nine seasons. The 2013-14 Eagles went 15-19 on the year and took an upset 62-55 win over second-seeded Chattanooga in the quarterfinals.

At Charleston, Wilson gained a reputation for his recruiting, opponent scouting and steadfast determination. During his time on Cremins’ staff, the Cougars advanced to the Southern Conference title game three times, produced four 20-win seasons, a regular season title in 2011 and the program’s first NBA Draft pick in 14 years in current Los Angeles Lakers guard Andrew Goudelock.

A native of Kennesaw, Ga., Wilson played parts of six seasons at Florida State (2001-06), where he showed his mettle by rehabilitating from two devastating injuries to become the first player in the ACC to play in six different seasons. After enduring two medical hardships, Wilson became the school’s all-time leader in games played (129). As a senior co-captain in 2005-06, he averaged a career-high 6.3 points per game and helped the Seminoles advance to the second round of the NIT.

A 2000 graduate of Harrison High School in the metro Atlanta area, Wilson was a two-time, first team all-state honoree and is the school’s all-time scoring leader with 1,215 career points. As a senior, he averaged more than 18 points per game, hit 47 percent from three-point range and shot 86 percent from the line to lift the Hoyas to a 22-5 season that culminated in a state playoff berth.

 
Ben Betts
Assistant Coach

Betts’ coaching history is long and decorated, and includes three seasons as the head coach at South Carolina State, and assistant coaching stints at Oklahoma, VCU, Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne, Tennessee State, the College of Charleston and South Carolina State.

Betts most recent stop, a one-year stint at IPFW, came after three years at Tennessee State where he helped guide the team to the 2013 CIT Postseason Tournament. From 2006-11, he was an assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma, where he worked under Jeff Capel. The Sooners qualified for the 2008 and 2009 NCAA Tournaments, advancing to the “Elite Eight” in 2009, and Betts helped to recruit and coach current NBA All-Star Blake Griffin.

From 2003-06 he was the head coach at South Carolina State, where he led the team to an 18-11 record in his first season and the regular season Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title. He went 19-12 in his second season and 14-16 in his third and final season as head coach of the Bulldogs. Those three seasons, coupled with his 1-2 record as interim head coach at the end of the 1994-95 season, gives him a 52-41 record as a head coach with signature wins over Penn State and Miami (Fla.).

Prior to leading the program at South Carolina State he spent a season as an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) under Capel in 2002-03. From 1997-02 he was an assistant coach at the College of Charleston. Among the highlights in Charleston are qualifying for the 1999 NCAA Tournament after sweeping through the Southern Conference with a perfect 16-0 record, and a win over third-ranked North Carolina. The team ended the season ranked 16th nationally in each of the two primary NCAA Division I Polls.

Betts was a four-year basketball letterwinner at Roanoke College, helping propel the team to the NCAA Tournament as a player. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Roanoke in 1990 and his master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from South Carolina State in 1997.

 
Alex Meltzer
Graduate Assistant

Alex Meltzer is entering his first season as the Georgia Southern men’s basketball graduate assistant.

Meltzer serves as the program’s video coordinator including film breakdown, coordinating film exchange, creating team highlight videos, advance scouting of opponents and helping the student-athletes with individual film needs. In addition, his responsibilities include supervising the managers, assisting the coaching staff in limited on-court activities during practice and on-campus recruiting, He also assists the basketball director of operations with the planning, promotion and execution of the Georgia Southern Basketball summer camps.

Meltzer, 22, previously served as a student manager for the basketball program and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Sport Management with minors in business, marketing and management. In addition to his basketball duties, he is also pursuing his master’s degree in business administration.

 
Nick Sparacio
Athletic Trainer

Nick Sparacio joined the Georgia Southern Athletics Department in 2015 with the primary responsibility of overseeing the health care of the men's basketball team. Additionally, Sparacio also oversees the graduate assistant athletic trainers for men's and women's soccer, and rifle.

Sparacio comes from Nashville, Tennessee, where he spent the previous year at Vanderbilt, providing athletic training services for football and men's tennis. Prior to VU, Sparacio spent two years as a graduate assistant at the University of Wisconsin working men's soccer, before graduating with a Master's of Science in Kinesiology in 2014. While in Madison, he was able to work with All-American and first-round draft pick, AJ Cochran, of the Houston Dynamo while also helping the Badgers earn their first NCAA tournament appearance in 15 years.

He received his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in kinesiology with an emphasis in athletic training.

Sparacio is an active member of the National Athletic Trainers' Association, and is licensed in the state of Georgia. He also holds a Corrective Exercise Specialist certification through the National Academy of sports medicine.