Illinois head coach Brad Underwood announced Friday that Geoff Alexander has been elevated to assistant coach. Alexander moves to an on-court coaching and recruiting position after spending the last four seasons on the Fighting Illini staff as assistant to the head coach.
Alexander has contributed to scouting reports, game and practice preparations, offensive and defensive implementation, player development planning, and video analysis during his time in Champaign. The Illini are coming off back-to-back successful seasons, highlighted by the winningest two-year Big Ten run in program history. After winning 21 games during the regular season and finishing ranked No. 21 in the AP poll in 2020, Illinois went 24-7 this past season, including a 16-4 mark in conference play followed by the Big Ten Tournament championship. The Illini earned an NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed and set a school record by defeating six top-10 teams. Illinois ended the year at No. 2 in the final AP poll and No. 4 in kenpom, the second-highest rating in program history.
“Geoff has more than earned this opportunity; he has been an integral part of the everyday operation of our program these past four years during a period of tremendous growth and success,” Underwood said. “He has countless connections throughout his home state of Illinois and extensive recruiting experience across the country and internationally from his previous stops. I’ve always said that Geoff is a student of the game. That love and passion he has for basketball comes through in his coaching. He has great relationships with our players and familiarity with our systems, making this a very smooth transition.”
Alexander came to Illinois in 2017 after spending five seasons as an assistant coach at Evansville. During his time serving under then-head coach Marty Simmons, the Purple Aces recorded three 20-plus win seasons. Included in that run was a 25-win campaign in 2016 that equaled the most wins for Evansville in its Division I history and culminated in a Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title-game appearance. The 2015 Evansville squad, meanwhile, won 24 games, highlighted by the CollegeInsider.com Tournament championship.
Prior to his tenure at Evansville, Alexander spent one year as an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois in 2012. That followed five years as an assistant at Idaho State from 2007-11, where he also served as the Bengals’ recruiting coordinator.
Alexander served three years as an assistant for Underwood at Daytona State College from 2004-06. The Falcons compiled a 70-24 record, including a 25-5 mark in 2006, and won three consecutive Mid-Florida Conference Championships. He began in the junior college ranks as an assistant at Jacksonville (Texas) College during the 2003 season.
Alexander’s coaching career started as a two-year graduate assistant at his alma mater, Western Illinois, from 2001-02. He competed for the Leathernecks for two seasons from 1999-2000 while Underwood was a WIU assistant, following two seasons of play at Southeastern (Iowa) Community College.
Alexander had a stellar playing career at Lincoln High School. Geoff played for his father, Neil, the legendary Illinois prep coach who now ranks second on the IHSA all-time coaching wins list. Geoff graduated from Lincoln in 1995 and still ranks in the program’s top-10 for career points, rebounds and assists. He was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2012, along with his younger brother, Gregg. They joined their father, who was a 2004 IBCA Hall of Fame inductee
Alexander earned two degrees from Western Illinois, a bachelor’s in 2000 and a master’s in 2002.
He is married to the former Kiersten Coleman. The Alexanders have two daughters, Braelyn and Kinley, and a son, Jax.
Alexander’s 3-year contract is subject to University of Illinois Board of Trustees approval.