North Carolina A&T men’s basketball coach Cy Alexander has resigned his position effective immediately. Associate head coach Jay Joyner will serve as interim for the remainder of the season, Director of Athletics Earl M. Hilton III announced on Friday.
Alexander becomes the third DI head coach this season to resign, and second this week to do so. Earlier this month, UNLV’s Dave Rice stepped away, while Byron Rimm II resigned at Prairie View A&M on Wednesday.
Joyner will make his Division I head coaching debut on Saturday when the Aggies face Savannah at 4 p.m., at Corbett Sports Center. Alexander will eventually be reassigned to another position associated with development, branding and broadcasting within N.C. A&T’s department of athletics. Alexander will join men’s basketball play-by-play announcer Spencer Turkin on the radio broadcast of Saturday’s game airing on WCOG 104.9 FM/1230 AM.
“I have decided to step away from actively coaching to pursue other interest within athletics,” said Alexander. I look forward to pursuing those interest here at North Carolina A&T State University. “I have a strong love for broadcasting, and I think being able to sharpen my skills on the Aggie basketball broadcasts will assists me in pursuing broadcasting as my next career. My decision to step down was a difficult one, but the last three years of my life have been tumultuous with the passing of my wife and mother. Therefore, I believe this decision was in the best interest of me and my family.
“I first want to say thank you to all the young men I’ve coached here at North Carolina A&T State University for their commitment to the program as well as their respective families who entrusted those young men to my care,” he continued. “Secondly, I want to thank Chancellor Harold L. Martin and Athletics Director Earl Hilton for the opportunity they gave me to become the head coach at North Carolina A&T, and the opportunity they are giving me to pursue my second career. I also want to say thank you to my coaches, managers and every person who has been involved with North Carolina A&T men’s basketball during my tenure.”
Alexander steps away with a career record of 386-386 over 26 seasons of coaching. He was 43-80 in four seasons as the Aggies head man. Over the first 22 games of the 2015-16, the Aggies are 5-17 overall and 2-6 in the MEAC. In Alexander’s first season as head coach N.C. A&T won the 2013 MEAC tournament title and made its first NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament appearance in 18 years. The Aggies went on to beat Liberty 73-72 in the first round of games in Dayton, Ohio to secure the school’s first-ever NCAA tournament win. Eventual national champion Louisville defeated the Aggies in the second round to end N.C. A&T’s season at 20-17. It was the Aggies first 20-win season in 25 years.
Alexander also made coaching stops at Tennessee State (2003-09) and S.C. State (1987-03). As S.C. State head coach he won five MEAC tournament titles. His career also includes six 20-win seasons and 31 MEAC tournament wins, second all-time behind former Coppin State coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell. His six MEAC titles are second to only former N.C. A&T head coach Don Corbett who had seven.
“I respect coach Alexander’s decision,” said Hilton. “I value his contributions to men’s basketball, and I appreciate the service he has rendered to our young men. The masterful job he did in leading our team to the MEAC championship three years ago will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first championship as an athletics director. I look forward to his continued association and contribution to athletics moving forward.”
Joyner played for Alexander at S.C. State from 1993-96. Before joining Alexander at N.C. A&T as his associate head coach in 2012, Joyner spent three seasons as the head men’s basketball coach at Columbia State Community College (Tenn.). Joyner led the Chargers to a 61-23 record and two Tennessee Community College Athletic Association regular-season titles.
“I first want to thank coach Alexander for all the opportunities he has given me in life, first as a player and then as a professional,” said Joyner. “We as a team have a big challenge ahead of us. We accept this challenge starting with our game against Savannah State on Saturday.”