By David Boclair
For Casey Alexander, the decision to become Belmont’s next basketball coach was an easy one. After all, he played college basketball for the Bruins and has spent two-thirds of his professional life to date as an assistant coach there.
Now comes the hard part.
Alexander admitted Thursday that he faces difficult choices when it comes to his staff.
His assistants at Lipscomb include two, Roger Idstrom and Steve Drabyn, who have worked with him all eight seasons he has been a head coach (two at Stetson, six at Lipscomb). Idstrom also was a Belmont assistant with Alexander for 11 seasons.
Belmont currently has an established roster of assistant coaches including two, Brian Ayers and Tyler Holloway, who were part of the program when Alexander was an assistant coach there. Ayers was elevated to associate head coach under Rick Byrd when Alexander left to become head coach at Stetson.
Ultimately, he will have to settle on three assistant coaches and a director of basketball operations.
“I’m going to have to think through some things,” Alexander said. “Quite naturally, I have a staff at Lipscomb that did a heck of a job and have been incredibly good and loyal to me. And I’m very comfortable with and knowledgeable of the staff (at Belmont) that did exactly the same thing.
“The reality is there’s essentially eight people for four spots. So there’s some tough decisions.”
It is possible that one or more of the decisions could be made for him. Lipscomb could promote someone from within to replace Alexander (Idstrom was associate head coach) and the remainder of that staff could stay largely intact.
Another interesting element is that Ayers, who has spent the past 21 seasons at Belmont, is a Lipscomb graduate who likely would have interest in becoming the head coach there. If that happened, he likely would take some or all of the current Belmont staff with him.
The real challenge will be what to do if Lipscomb hires somebody from outside the two-mile stretch of Belmont Boulevard that separates the schools.
“All I can do there is my absolute best to make the right choices and do the best things for the players,” Alexander said. “So that’s what we’ll do.”