SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Merritt Island Ironman Cal Dixon Anchored O-Line For Gators
By SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME // November 30, 2014
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
ABOVE VIDEO: At the University of Florida, Cal Dixon started 35 consecutive games for the Gators and appeared in 41 during the 1988 to 1991 seasons, participating in 2,361 offensive plays during his career. He anchored an offensive line that outscored opponents 776 to 362, won 19 of 23 games and claimed an SEC championship in his final two years.
CAL DIXON – 2014 INDUCTEE
• All-Southeastern Conference
• Second-Team All-American
• Five Years In the NFL
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Is there something in the water at Merritt Island High School that helps to consistently produce outstanding athletes such as Calvert Ray “Cal” Dixon?
Actually, it is the school’s commitment to a strong athletics program that nurtures this young talent to grow and develop.
In high school, it certainly helped Dixon that he was able to play as a Mustang under legendary Florida prep coach Gerald Odom, who helped harness Dixon’s abundant potential.
It was no surprise to anyone that the University of Florida (UF) offered Dixon an athletic scholarship.
For the young center from Merritt Island, the “Gator playing years” from 1988 to 1991 presented Dixon with the opportunity to absorb the knowledge of coaches Galen Hall and Steve Spurrier.
At UF Dixon started 35 consecutive games and appeared in 41 during the 1988 to 1991 seasons, participating in 2,361 offensive plays during his career.
He anchored an offensive line that outscored opponents 776 to 362, won 19 of 23 games and claimed an SEC championship in his final two years.
In his senior year the gator offense averaged more than 457 yards of offense and allowed just 16 quarterback sacks in 11 games.
As one of the premiere college linemen, he played in the Hula Bowl and East-West Shrine All-Star games after his senior season.
OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP, CHARCTER, COURAGE
A first-team All-SEC selection in both 1990 and 1991, Dixon in 1991 was also an Associated Press second-team All-American and the winner of the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy, as well as the Gator’s Fergie Ferguson Award, which is selected by the Florida Gators football coaching staff and presented to the “senior football player who displays outstanding leadership, character and courage.”
He was a first team pick on the Football News’ 1989 Sophomore All-American team, and one of ten finalists for the 1991 Lombardi Award, which is awarded annually to the best college football lineman or linebacker.
Majoring in exercise sciences, Dixon’s academic performance earned him a place on the SEC Academic Honor Roll for four years and on the College Football Association’s Scholar-Athlete Team in 1991.
As expected, Dixon went on to play in the National Football League. He was drafted in the 5th round of the 1992 NFL draft by the New York Jets, and played in 66 NFL games, 12 as a starter, from 1992 to 1995. Although he primarily played center, the versatile Dixon was also used in several line positions, including tight end in goal line situations.
The Florida player would later return to his roots, finishing his NFL career in 1996 with the Miami Dolphins. He went to camp with the Dolphins in 1997, but was forced to retire because of back injuries.
Four seasons later, when Dixon learned that Gator coach Galen Hall was coaching the Orlando Rage, Dixon returned to play in the unfortunately ill-fated XFL League.
Dixon hosted a charity off-shore fishing tournament each year, in which sports and television entertainers participated to benefit the Association of Retarded Citizens.
THE 2018 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 11 with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. – and dinner and ceremony at 7 p.m.
To make a nomination for the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2018 call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com
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