Geoff Alexander named Assistant to the Head Coach at Illinois

Illinois head basketball coach Brad Underwood has announced the hiring of Geoff Alexander as Assistant to the Head Coach.

Alexander is a 17-year veteran of the coaching profession and comes to Champaign after spending the last five seasons as an assistant coach at Evansville. During his time serving under 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 Tournament championship.

Prior to his tenure at Evansville, Alexander spent one year as an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois in 2011-12. That followed five years as an assistant at Idaho State from 2006-11, where he also served as the Bengals’ recruiting coordinator.

Alexander served three years as an assistant for Underwood at Daytona State College from 2003-06. 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 2001-03 season.

Alexander’s coaching career started as a two-year graduate assistant at his alma mater, Western Illinois, from 2000-02. He competed for the Leathernecks for two seasons from 1998-2000 while Underwood was a WIU assistant, following two seasons of play at Southeastern (Iowa) Community College.

“We’re excited to have Geoff joining the Illinois basketball program,” Underwood said. “He and I have a long history together dating back to our days at Western Illinois and Daytona Beach. He has great familiarity with me and our system, and being from Lincoln and playing and recruiting this state, he has connections with coaches and programs throughout Illinois.

“Most importantly, Geoff is a great basketball mind,” Underwood continued. “He spent the last five years at Evansville with Marty Simmons, who is a tremendous offensive basketball coach. So I’m excited to get to explore some of the things he picked up during his time there. Geoff is a student of the game at all levels, including the NBA, and will push the envelope in terms of challenging our staff with fresh ideas and perspective.”

Alexander had a stellar prep career at Lincoln High School. He played for his father, Neil, the winningest coach in school history after 27 seasons and counting on the Railers’ sideline. 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.

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