January 28, 2013

Alexander returns to Golden Eagle football as assistant coach


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A former player and coach at Tennessee Tech, and the head football coach at Cumberland University for seven seasons, Dewayne Alexander is returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach under Watson Brown.

Alexander will coach the offensive linemen, replacing departing six-year assistant Thomas Cox.

“We’re excited about getting Dewayne on our staff,” said Watson Brown. “He brings a lot of experience, he’s well-known in the state of Tennessee and as a Tennessee Tech graduate. I think he’s going to be a really outstanding addition to the Golden Eagle program.”

Alexander earned two degrees from Tech and was a four-year member of the football team and a three-year letterwinner. He has also been back at Tech twice as an assistant coach.

“I’m excited to be coming back to Tennessee Tech. It’s my alma mater. I played there, I’ve coached there two different times. This just seems to be the right time for me and my family,” Alexander said. “I’m excited about what’s going on at Tennessee Tech. Coach Brown has generated excitement around the program, with the team and with improvements to the facilities.”

His move to Tech comes after seven successful seasons at Cumberland.

“Any time you’ve been somewhere seven years, it’s tough to leave,” he said. “ You’ve invested time with your players and your coaching staff. The program was in tough times when I got here, and we worked hard to build the program, the facilities, the morale. The university and the people here have been fantastic to me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve as head coach here.

“Looking at the big picture, I’m going to a place that I care a lot about,” he added. “When I reflect back to the time I spent at TTU, both as a player and a coach, I’m grateful to all the other coaches and professors who invested in me. It’s a very special place. My mixed emotions about leaving are offset by the fact that I’m going back to a place that I care very much about.”

During his time at Cumberland, his teams had 44 all-conference honorees and 101 conference Scholar-Athletes. Cumberland tied for the Mid-South Conference West Division championship in 2008 and played for the conference title in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Thirty-nine players have been named NAIA National Scholar-Athletes, while 20 have garnered conference Player of the Week accolades and five NAIA National Players of the Week. The club led the nation with 16 NAIA Scholar-Athletes in 2012.

A 1988 graduate of TTU with a degree in political science and a minor in English, Alexander played four seasons on the defensive line for the Golden Eagles, one year under coach Gary Darnell and three for coach Jim Ragland.

Following graduation, he spent eight seasons at Hendersonville High School, his prep alma mater, as football, wrestling and softball coach, before returning to the Upper Cumberland region in 1996 to serve as assistant principal and head football coach at Jackson County High School.

His collegiate coaching career began in 1997 when he took a position at Tech as an assistant on coach Mike Hennigan’s staff, working with running backs for two seasons before being named head football coach at Upperman High School in Baxter. While at Tech, he earned a master’s in Instructional Leadership.

In 2001, he was offensive coordinator at Gallatin High School and in 2002 he came back to Tech as defensive line coach for one more year, working with Buck Buchanan Award finalist D.J. Bleisath. In 2003, he was offered the head coaching position at Wilson Central High School in Lebanon and in 2006, he was named head coach at Cumberland University. In seven seasons, his Bulldog teams posted a 41-33 overall record and in the past three years, Alexander led Cumberland to a combined 23-9 overall record.

Cumberland posted an 8-3 record in 2010, just the third eight-win campaign in school history since the program was revived in 1990. The Bulldogs were ranked in the NAIA Top 25 in eight of the 10 regular season polls, reaching as high as 16th in the nation. CU won eight of nine games with only an overtime loss before falling in the season finale and just missing the NAIA playoffs. Alexander was named the NAIA Region I Coach of the Year and also the Tennessee Sportswriters Association Coach of the Year.

In 2011 CU won six straight and was ranked as high as 14th nationally before dropping the last two games of the year and just missing the NAIA playoffs for the second straight season. The team finished with seven victories, setting the mark for the most victories in a two-year span (15) and tying the record for wins during a four-year period (26) in program history.

The Bulldogs again registered an 8-3 mark last fall, ranking as high as No. 16 in the nation. The squad tied for the second most wins in a season and set records for most victories in a three-year (23) and four-year span (28). His squad ranked fourth nationally in rushing offense per game (269.7).

Dewayne and his wife Angela, have four children -- son Hayden (18), daughter Kate (12) and twin sons Ross and John (10).