On Tuesday morning, the South Carolina football program received some tough news when a beloved former member passed away.
King Dixon, a former running back for the program, passed away following his battle with pancreatic cancer, according to a statement from the university. He was 83 years old.
Dixon was a running back for South Carolina from 1956-58 and served as the team’s co-captain during his senior year. He went on to serve in the Marine Corps, earning a Bronze Star.
He made his return to South Carolina in 1988 when he was hired as the school’s athletic director. Dixon oversaw the school’s entrance into the Southeastern Conference.
Former Gamecocks sports information director and current president of Darlington Raceway Kerry Tharp issued a statement on Twitter:
“One of several athletic directors I had the privilege to work with at (South Carolina), King Dixon was a Gamecock through and through. Thoughts and prayers to the Dixon family.”
Dixon was appointed to the University’s Board of Trustees earlier this year after the passing of A.C. “Bubba” Fennell.
He was an all-conference halfback under coach Warren Giese, who co-captained the 1958 team with fellow USC legend Alex Hawkins and Dwight Keith. The Gamecocks finished 7-3 and ranked No. 15 in the country.
His record of returning a kickoff for a touchdown in back-to-back games wasn’t equaled until 2017, when now-San Francisco 49ers star Deebo Samuel did it.