Coaching community applauds appointment of Casey Alexander as new Bison coach
Lipscomb Athletic Director Philip Hutcheson announced on Saturday that Nashville native Casey Alexander has been hired as the 18th head coach of the Lipscomb University men’s basketball program.
“Casey has been part of successful programs wherever he has been,” said Hutcheson. “But, what I’m most impressed with is his understanding of the spirit, character and mission of Lipscomb University. He shares our values and is a proven player and coach. Casey has observed the Lipscomb program for a long time, and he understands in his bones who we are.”
Bringing 18 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience in the Atlantic Sun Conference to the storied Bison program, Alexander takes over the reins of the Lipscomb program after a two-year stint at Stetson University, where he led the Hatters to a third-place finish in the A-Sun standings. Stetson’s 11-7 finish in league play marked only the second time in the last decade that the Hatters finished third or higher in the conference standings.
“I’m very grateful to Lipscomb for giving me the opportunity to lead this great program,” said Alexander. “I appreciate their belief in me. Lipscomb University is a perfect fit for my family and me. We couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity. The philosophy of the Lipscomb program is a great alignment with what we stand for.”
Prior to taking his first head coaching role at Stetson, Alexander spent 16 years on the bench with Belmont head coach Rick Byrd.
“Casey played and coached for me and I can say that he is as competitive as any player I’ve ever coached,” said Rick Byrd, head coach of the Belmont University men’s basketball team. “He is a great leader. He was born to coach and is an outstanding teacher of the game. I’m thrilled for him and I am confident he will be a great addition to the Lipscomb program.”
During that span, the Bruins captured four Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Championships, made four trips to the NCAA Tournament and one NIT appearance.
While still at Belmont, Alexander was named the “No. 5 ‘Mid-Major’ Assistant Coach” by national college basketball Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports.
“Belmont will always be an important part of my life,” Alexander said. “I value that experience and the people who are there. The things that I love about that part of my life are what attract me to Lipscomb. It’s what allows me to jump in with both feet and to be ready to go.”
Alexander is highly regarded as a well-respected member of the basketball coaching fraternity.
“I’m so happy for Casey,” said Brad Stevens, Butler University men’s head basketball coach. “He’s a great person and basketball coach, and will do a fantastic job at Lipscomb.”
Stan Van Gundy, former Orlando Magic head coach, said Alexander is the “kind of coach every parent would like their son to play for.
“Casey is a great fit for Lipscomb,” he said. “He has been around success and knows what it takes to win games. He is one of the finest teachers of the game that I have been privileged to watch. He sets high standards for himself and his players and is very demanding yet remains calm in all situations. His players will not only succeed and become better players, he will be the role model that they need to achieve great things in their lives after basketball.”
"Casey Alexander is a very fine basketball coach and an even better person,” said Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt University men’s head basketball coach. “He will do as outstanding job at Lipscomb's head coach. His background and history in this area will help him be very successful. Congratulations to Lipscomb University on a great hire."
Alexander has a unique understanding of Lipscomb’s institutional mission.
“Casey clearly understands the mission of the university,” said Scott McDowell, vice president for student development and dean of campus life at Lipscomb. “He has the desire to continue to raise the bar for the basketball program spiritually and to help make that mission come to life in the athletic realm of campus life. His teams are known to be disciplined and hard-working, and I believe he will continue to recruit players who want to be a part of the mission and culture of Lipscomb University.”
Former Bison players think Alexander will be a good fit for the program.
“I am excited to see what he will do,” said Richard Taylor, who played for the Bisons from 1983-1987 and was a member of the 1986 NAIA national championship team. “He can teach, coach and recruit and that’s a formula for success.”
Shannon Terry, former Bison player and founder and CEO of 247Sports, said Alexander will be a leader in the community.
“Lipscomb has made a fantastic choice in hiring Casey Alexander,” said Terry. “I watch coaches and programs all over the country and any short list of up-and-coming coaching candidates would have his name on it. He is as competitive as anyone out there but he has never sacrificed his character in order to be successful. He will be a tremendous coach and leader not only on the Lipscomb campus but also in the community as a whole.”
Connecting with Lipscomb’s current players is a top priority, Alexander said.
“Our players are clearly the priority,” he said. “They are so important, and we need them. I want to make sure they are on board and ready to work hard. I also want to reach out to former players and coaches to welcome them back and to let them know they are a key component to helping take this program where we went it to go.”
Alexander said that a trademark of his coaching philosophy is recruiting “players who are committed to playing hard and playing as a team. We work hard to find the right players and coaches on the front end. When you get this type of player, you can accomplish great things.”
This past season at Stetson, the Hatters ranked among the nation’s best in sharing the ball this as Alexander’s squad ranked eighth nationally averaging 16.2 assists per game. Stetson also ranked second in the A-Sun in scoring averaging 70.3 points per game finishing just behind the high-octane Florida Gulf Coast offense in the scoring race. The Hatters also ranked second in the conference in field goal percentage (.456), three point field goal percentage (.329) and free throw percentage (.705).
Under Alexander’s tutelage, Stetson’s Adam Pegg earned 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year for his play on the court and his work in the classroom. The center was also named All-Atlantic Sun Conference first-team after finishing as the only player in the league to finish in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.
Before putting on the suit and tie on the sidelines, Alexander was a standout player for the (’92-95) leading the Bruins to a 119-25 record during his playing career. He established himself among the career leaders in a number of categories and was inducted into the Belmont Hall of Fame in 2005.
A three-sport standout in high school, Alexander helped lead Brentwood Academy to a pair of state titles.
Alexander and his wife, the former Sunni Dixon, have three children, Allie, 14; Reed, 11; and Mason, 8.