Dixon coached Pittsburgh to a 31-5 record this past season, with a 15-3 mark in the Big East. The Panthers were 19-0 at home, had the No. 1 ranking for part of the season and had a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament.
The Panthers advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight before losing to Villanova on Scottie Reynolds' goal in the closing second.
Dixon's teams have gone 163-45 in his six seasons as Pitt head coach, which puts him third on the school's all-time coaching wins list.
Other finalists for the Naismith were Oklahoma's Jeff Capel, LSU's Trent Johnson and Kansas's Bill Self.
The award was chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's board of selectors, a collection of basketball journalists, coaches and administrators.