Transition after transition, progression after progression, Utah Valley’s Cathy Nixon has taken the women’s basketball program upward over the last 15 years.
“It has been an incredible journey to see the change and growth that has happened. What an experience it has been to see the change from Utah Valley Community College to Utah Valley State College and then the transition to Utah Valley University,” said Nixon.
“The personal and professional challenge of guiding our women’s basketball program from Junior College competition to Division I has been an adventure.”
Nixon’s background in basketball goes back to growing up with four older brothers who all played basketball. Nixon began her competitive basketball career in high school in Duncanville, Texas. She was named a high school All-American during her junior and senior years and earned All-State honors four times during high school.
After high school, Nixon was recruited by BYU where she became a four-year starter during her time there. Nixon’s basketball career with BYU endures — she is included in the BYU athletics Hall of Fame and is currently the fifth highest scorer in BYU women’s basketball history with 1,771 career points.
After college Nixon’s future in coaching began to peak.
“I was given the opportunity to be a student assistant while I was finishing up my student teaching at BYU. I coached at camps with my high school and college coaches and loved the process of helping someone improve,” said Nixon.
Before joining Utah Valley’s coaching staff, Nixon was an assistant coach at BYU for three years. Prior to taking over as head coach of UVU women’s basketball, Nixon was a four-year assistant coach to longtime UVU coach Tom Perkins.
Even though Nixon says the last 15 years have been an adventure, she also says, “Like most adventures it has had its ups and downs and craziness, but I am so grateful I have been blessed to be a part of it.”
As far as Utah Valley women’s basketball has come in the last 15 years Nixon sees it as still moving upward. “UVU women’s basketball is on its way up. We have had incredible success at the Division I level, but I can foresee us consistently being a team that is recognized by the NCAA as a program that competes at a respectable level.”
After many championships and winning seasons, Nixon’s accomplishments with UVU women’s basketball have a different purpose from winning.
“If in any way I have helped our players learn lessons that will help them in life, that would be my greatest accomplishment. We have had a lot of success and won lots of championships along the way, but there is a greater purpose,” said Nixon. “The goal is that through our involvement in athletics, we choose to become better people and better prepared for the challenges that we face in life.”
It’s been a big 15 years and it’s not over yet. “The future looks bright. One thing I have learned is that my job is to prepare for the opportunities that will inevitably come. I don’t know for sure what they will be, but they will come and they will be awesome. We are working hard to be ready,” said Nixon.