Alex Barlow, who earned Academic All-America honors during his playing career at Butler and has spent the last eight seasons with the Boston Celtics organization, has been hired by Thad Matta as an assistant coach on his staff at Butler.
Barlow most recently served as the head coach of the Celtics’ G-League affiliate, guiding the Maine Celtics to 30 wins across the Showcase and regular season, and the team’s first playoff berth since 2017. Barlow was just the third coach in franchise history to reach 30 wins in a season. During his time in Maine, he has helped to develop NBA players, including Robert Williams, Sam Hauser, Luke Kornet and Luka Samanic. Barlow also coached former Butler standout Kamar Baldwin in Maine during the 2022-23 season.
“Alex’s basketball IQ, communication skills and work ethic have allowed him to rise quickly through the NBA coaching ranks,” said Matta. “During his playing days at Butler, Alex played a major role in a winning culture and NCAA Tournament appearances. We’re excited to bring a Bulldog back to Indianapolis, and the experience he has gained over the last few years will serve our program well. It also doesn’t hurt that Alex comes highly recommended from a guy in Boston who knows a thing or two about basketball.”
Barlow joined the Celtics organization as a video assistant under former Butler head coach Brad Stevens in 2015, serving in that role for two seasons. He also spent the 2018-19 season in Boston, working primarily with Celtics then-rookie Robert Williams.
His time in the G-League included one season as an assistant coach (2017-18) and three seasons as the associate head coach (2019-20 through 2021-22) before he was promoted to head coach for the 2022-23 season.
“I want to thank Danny (Ainge), Brad (Stevens) and the entire Celtics organization for everything over the last eight years,” said Barlow. “I’ve been lucky to work with and learn from some of the best in the business during my time in Boston, and I’m excited to bring that experience back to Hinkle. My family and I know firsthand how special Butler is; it was always a dream to be a part of this program again. I can’t thank Coach Matta enough for this opportunity to work alongside him and his great staff. Go Dawgs!”
“From the day Alex walked on campus at Butler, his goal was to be a coach,” said Stevens, now the President of Basketball Operations for the Celtics. “In his time here, he’s shown he’s going to be a really good one. Though we’ll be sad to see him leave Boston and Maine, I’m excited for him that his first college assistant job will be back at his alma mater. I know he can’t wait to get back to Hinkle.”
Barlow, with an eye toward a future career in coaching, chose to walk on at Butler under Stevens. He earned a scholarship later in his playing career, helping the Bulldogs to NCAA Tournament appearances in both 2013 (in Stevens’ final season at Butler) and 2015. He earned a reputation as a gritty defender and his 187 career steals are fourth on Butler’s all-time list. The point guard handed out 274 assists during his Butler career, which is among the Top 20 in Butler history. During the 2014-15 season, Barlow was named second-team Academic All-America, won the Senior CLASS Award, was named the BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year (which he was also awarded in 2013-14), and was voted as the BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award recipient for men’s basketball. He played in all 100 games over his final three seasons at Butler, starting 88 of those contests.
Barlow and his wife Belle (who played both volleyball and women’s basketball at Butler) welcomed their son Colton in 2022.