One of the most decorated football players in the history of Gamecock football, King Dixon served as USC's Director of Athletics from 1988-1992.
Dixon passed away Monday night after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 83.
A native of Laurens, Dixon was in charge of the athletics program when it moved from an independent to the SEC.
USC's President Bob Caslen said of Dixon, “The entire University of South Carolina family is saddened today by the passing of King Dixon. His service to this country, as a U.S. Marine; to the university, as an athlete, athletic director and Board of Trustees member; and to the state of South Carolina is inspiring. He led wherever he was asked to serve and leaves a lasting impact on the Gamecock community.”
During his playing days, Dixon was quite versatile as he could scored as a running back, receiver or a kick returner. His 1,250 rushing yards are ranked 33rd on USC's all-time list. His two kickoff returns for touchdowns in 1956 are still a school record, a mark he shared with Boo Williams and Deebo Samuel.
USC Board of Trustee Chairman John C. von Lehe, Jr said in a statement, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Dixon family on the passing of our fellow trustee King Dixon. King’s service to the University of South Carolina is legendary. From his playmaking abilities on the field, academic achievements in the classroom, leadership as athletics director and, finally to his service on the Board, King exemplified what it is to be a Gamecock. Additionally, he also gave back to his country as a proud U.S. Marine, serving in combat and being honored with numerous commendations, including the Bronze Star. King did not shy away from service, he ran towards it – always with a commitment toward selfless hard work. All of us are saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague. He will be missed by the Board and the entire Gamecock family.”
Dixon spent 22 years in the Marines where he achieve the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and received the Bronze Star.