Phone: (269) 749-4184
Shelby Dixon is in his third season as the head baseball coach at Olivet College in 2022. Prior to being the head coach, he served as the Comets’ assistant coach for three years.
During the COVID-19 shortened season in 2020, Dixon made immediate improvements to the program, as he guided the Comets to their first three-game winning streak since 2014. The pitching staff recorded its lowest ERA since 2015, marking the fourth straight season of improvement under Dixon’s guidance. The pitching staff was on pace for the most strikeouts in school history.
The offense was also poised for a historic year in 2020. The Comets were on pace to set the single-season stolen bases record before the pandemic ended the season. Olivet also finished the year with the best slugging percentage in the last decade. After 12 games, Olivet ranked fifth in all of NCAA Division III in stolen bases, while setting the single-game record with 13 stolen bases against Becker (Mass.) College on March 10. Senior Brandan Settles finished the season tied for four nationally with 15 stolen bases. The Comets rounded out their 2020 campaign with senior pitcher Matt Rehfeldt and junior utility player Logan Sella earning Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively.
As an assistant coach, Dixon worked closely with the pitching staff, which saw year over year improvements. In addition to Rehfeldt in 2020, Zac Walter in 2018 and Aaron Gillespie in 2017 earned MIAA Pitcher of the Week honors. Zach Oshinsky received national recognition as the D3baseball.com Relief Pitcher of the Week in the first week of the 2018 season. In 2017, Gillespie was Olivet’s first pitcher since 2013 to earn All-MIAA honors. In addition, Joe Crosby set the program record for appearances in a season with 22 in 2018. Crosby also finished his career fourth all-time in appearances.
Dixon was instrumental in staff-wide improvements for Olivet. The 2018 pitching staff recorded the most strikeouts by an Olivet team since 2005. The Comets have reduced their ERA against MIAA opponents by 1.87 runs per game since Dixon began working with the team. Additionally, the Olivet pitchers led the conference with the fewest walks in 2017 and improved the team’s strikeout-to-walk ration from 0.90 to 1.31 in Dixon’s first year.
Prior to joining Olivet’s staff, Dixon had a two-year stint as a pitching coach at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.
In 2016, Dixon helped the Transylvania pitching staff to its lowest team ERA since 2013, guiding the Pioneers to a 4.85 ERA and their first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) tournament appearance since 2008. In 2015, Dixon helped Transylvania rank in the top 60 in NCAA Division III in walks per nine innings at 2.89. During his tenure, six pitchers received All-HCAC recognition, including the HCAC Most Valuable Player, who was a two-way player for the Pioneers.
Outside of his college coaching experience, Dixon spent two summers coaching in elite collegiate summer leagues. In the summer of 2017, Dixon worked as an assistant coach for the Irish Hills Leprechauns of the Great Lakes Collegiate Baseball League (GLCBL), where he worked with players from all levels from NCAA Division I to NAIA and NJCAA. Three players received GLCBL mid-season all-star honors and two players earned post-season all league recognition. In the summer of 2018, Dixon worked for the Fort McMurray Giants of the Western Major Baseball League in Alberta, Canada.
Dixon has also worked as a camp instructor for the Cincinnati Reds, University of Kentucky, Bellarmine (Ky.) University and the Top 96 organization. He also spent the summer of 2016 as Head Coach for the Lexington Grays 15u team and provided private instruction at the Lexington Baseball School.
Prior to his coaching career, Dixon was a four-year letter winner at Transylvania, earning All-HCAC honors in 2013 after posting what was, at the time, the third-lowest single season ERA in school history. In 2012, Dixon was named All-HCAC Honorable Mention and All-Sportsmanship Team after a strong season in the bullpen. At the time of graduation, Dixon ranked second in appearances (59) and strikeouts to nine innings (8.54), third in batting average against (.271) and fourth in ERA (4.27).
Dixon graduated from Transylvania in 2014 with honors in writing, rhetoric, and communications. He completed a master’s of science degree from California University of Pennsylvania in exercise science in 2018. Dixon also holds national certifications as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and a Performance Enhancement Specialist from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Dixon currently lives in Lansing with his wife, Michelle, and their dogs, Tino and Tilly.
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