After leading the Lipscomb Bisons to a historic two-season stretch, coach Casey Alexander is headed home.
Belmont University announced Wednesday morning that Alexander, a former star player and assistant coach, would be returning to the program as its new head coach to succeed the recently-retired Rick Byrd.
“It’s an honor and a great privilege to have the opportunity to return to Belmont,” Alexander said in a release.
“I’m grateful that Dr. Fisher and Scott Corley believe I’m the right person to lead this incredibly successful program. The experiences gained over the last eight years have shaped and impacted me greatly, and I return to Belmont far better positioned to lead.”
After his two-state title run at Brentwood Academy, Alexander played for Belmont from 1991-95, helping them garner NAIA accolades. His tenure with the team as an assistant coach for 16 seasons produced similar fruits as the team transitioned into life in the NCAA and made a quick mark in the Atlantic Sun.
He then went down to Stetson in Florida to coach for a few seasons before coming back to Nashville to take the head coaching job at Lipscomb University. Alexander helped turn around the Bisons to be conference contenders, and oversaw the development and success of school great and Franklin High alum Garrison Mathews.
Two other standouts under Alexander’s tenure were FRA’s Rob Marberry and Kenny Cooper.
Alexander won the A-SUN with Lipscomb in 2018 and reached the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This season, the team fell short of a conference title, but went on a widely-acclaimed National Invitational Tournament run and reached the NIT’s final game.
Alexander replaced Byrd, his long-time mentor and close friend.
“This will always be Coach Byrd’s program in my mind,” Alexander said in the release. “So nothing will motivate me more than to make him proud and honor his legacy. We have a history of sustained excellence at Belmont, and everything is in place to build upon recent successes and make new history. We’re ready to get to work.”
Lipscomb reportedly has named assistant coach Roger Idstrom its interim coach and will conduct a national search, per Lumination Network’s Russell Vannozzi.
“During the past six years, Coach Alexander has led the men’s basketball program to grow in its success and national reputation for quality and excellence and to put its stake in the ground as a nationally recognized and competitive mid-major basketball program,” Lipscomb athletic director Philip Hutcheson said via release.
“We congratulate Coach Alexander on this appointment and, while we will miss his dedicated work and seeing him on the sideline at Lipscomb, we know that he will continue to be an effective leader and to make an impact on the lives of young people.”
Alexander bid farewell to his now-former team.
“I’m very grateful to Lipscomb for giving me the opportunity to lead this great program,” he said. “I appreciate their belief in me, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together. I am especially thankful for our current and former players and the great support from the administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni and fans. Lipscomb University will always be a special place for me and my family, and I wish Lipscomb University much success in all of its future endeavors.”
Stadium reporter Jeff Goodman reported that Belmont assistant Brian Ayers, a Lipscomb grad who played under Don Meyer, could be in line for the job.
Photo from Belmont University Athletics.