Long-time Belmont assistant still aims to be head coach

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 8:58pm

One head coaching job has been filled but two others remain on Casey Alexander’s radar.

The longtime Belmont assistant men’s basketball coach had “ongoing conversations” with officials from Florida Gulf Coast University but wasn’t one of the finalists for the job. FGCU, which, like Belmont, is a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, hired former Florida State assistant Andy Enfield as its new head coach on Wednesday.

“I think your ego is bruised any time you’re being compared to others and someone doesn’t think you are as good,” Alexander said Wednesday afternoon. “But you just trust the process and know that athletic director did what he thought was best for his institution. There is not much you can do about it either way.”

But Alexander is still in pursuit of his first head coaching job. He says there is mutual interest around vacancies at Atlantic Sun schools Stetson (Fla.) and Kennesaw State (Ga.).

Alexander, a 1995 graduate of Belmont, has been an assistant for Rick Byrd and the Bruins for the last 16 seasons.

“I want to be a head coach but not at any costs, not at any place or under any circumstance,” Alexander said. “It needs to be the right fit. It needs to be somewhere that I’m comfortable and somewhere where I feel like that program is committed to winning.”

Asked if Stetson and Kennesaw State fit that description, Alexander said, “I’m learning that.”

“I am in a process of evaluating that,” he said. “That is why I am interested because I want to be able to determine that. ... As long as I felt like they were committed to being a championship program and my family felt good about it, most likely I would take it.”

Alexander, a Brentwood Academy grad, has played a huge role in taking Belmont from a player on the NAIA level to a mid-major powerhouse at the NCAA Division I stage. He is currently part of the longest-tenured coaching staff in the country, along with head coach Rick Byrd (25 years) and assistants Brian Ayers (13) and Roger Idstrom (11). Together, they have led the Bruins to four NCAA Tournaments in the last six years, including this past season when they went 30-5.

Alexander has been Belmont’s associate head coach since 2002 and has the responsibility of tutoring the Bruins’ point guards. Byrd has repeatedly said this season that Alexander is ready to be a head coach.

Whether he gets that chance in the near future remains to be seen.

“If I end up at Belmont next year,” Alexander said, “I will be entirely satisfied and fulfilled because it is a great job and great place to be and work.”

1 Comment on this post:

By: Dore4Life on 4/1/11 at 8:40

I wish Coach Alexander all the best of luck! I can only imagine that if he becomes HC at another A-Sun program, he and Coach Byrd will have some memorable showdowns!