Dixon Hired as Director of Scouting

All-SEC cornerback heads Vandy’s scouting efforts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt head football coach Clark Lea announced his director of scouting Wednesday with Gerald “Smoke” Dixon. The former All-SEC cornerback was most recently in the XFL.

Dixon was part of a three-man personnel staff with the XFL’s D.C. Defenders, joining Matt Cooper and Greg Gabriel. They, along with Pep Hamilton, were tasked with building the team.

Dixon spent the summer of 2019 visiting NFL training camps and scouting the talent for the XFL draft. In 2020, the Defenders started 3-2 before the XFL suspended operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Before jumping to the XFL, Dixon spent four years as a pro scout for the Buffalo Bills. He was part of the organization’s playoff berth in 2017 and a roster makeover in 2018.

Within collegiate football, Dixon spent six years (2008-13) at The Citadel. During his tenure, he worked with the team’s cornerbacks, defensive line, safeties and outside linebackers.

Beginning his coaching career in 2007 at Coral Park Miami Senior (Fla.) High School, Dixon worked with the defensive backs staff and as the special teams coordinator. He also taught 11th-grade English and coordinated an after-school peer counseling program.

Dixon earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and anthropology from Alabama in 2002. While with the Crimson Tide, Dixon started all four years at cornerback and was a member of the 1999 SEC championship team. He was a Freshman All-SEC selection and earned all-league honors as a senior.

Dixon signed a free agent contract with the Detroit Lions and was a member of the organization in 2002-03 before joining Buffalo. He then played with the Scottish Claymores in NFL Europe and joined the Edmonton Eskimos from 2005-07, winning a Grey Cup.

Lea also announced Andrea Cain, Erica Duane and Taylor Searels will remain with the program’s recruiting department. Cain, a member of the Vanderbilt football program since 1990, will serve in recruiting relations. Duane will be the graphic designer and Searels the on-campus recruiting coordinator.