Cumberland University Hires New Head Football Coach
By Tommy Bryan, The Wilson Post
LEBANON — Cumberland University officials didn’t have to go very far to find the man they want to lead the Bulldog football program into the future.
Sporting a black Cumberland pullover, former Wilson Central coach Dewayne Alexander was introduced to the media Thursday, Dec. 29 as the new head football coach. Alexander, 41, a Sumner County native and head coach at Wilson Central High for the past three seasons, replaces John Parker who was fired Nov. 12 after two years on the job.
Parker went 2-18 overall and saw his team lose seven straight games to close the 2005 season, and surrender 210 points over the final four games.
“We’ve hired a great man in Dewayne Alexander to be our football coach. This man wins on the field but equally wins as a person,” said CU president Dr. Harvill Eaton.
“I was determined we hire someone who not only fit in the community, but fit like a glove. I got input on this man, I got input I didn’t have to ask for. “Everyone whom I have talked to about Coach Alexander says he is a great coach, a solid leader and a role model. I talked to him about the importance of the ‘calling’ to be a teacher, coach and mentor of young men and women. I am convinced he understands what it means to nurture and coach student-athletes. We’ve got a winner in Coach Alexander. I cannot wait to see him interact with the players,” Dr. Eaton said. Cumberland University Athletic Director Pat Lawson, who led the search for the new coach, was unable to attend Wednesday’s event due to his being with the Lady Bulldog basketball team in Hawaii.
In a prepared statement, Lawson said, “Dewayne Alexander’s coaching experiences give him an understanding of both successful college and high school programs. He brings to Cumberland the leadership skills and knowledge needed to build our program to the top of the Mid-South Conference.” Alexander, who played and coached at Tennessee Tech University, has compiled a won-loss record of 40-32 as a prep head coach in Tennessee with stops at Jackson County, Upperman High and Wilson Central.
In three seasons at Wilson Central he led the Wildcats to several firsts including: first victory, first winning season, first playoff berth, first home playoff game, first playoff victory and a 10-2 record in 2005.
At Tennessee Tech, he coached on both sides of the ball working with defensive and offensive lines.
“I’d like to thank Dr. Eaton, Pat Lawson and all the members of the committee and all the other people on campus I’ve met. I think the thing that stood out the most is the sense I have that there’s a lot of people who want to see this football program be successful,” Alexander said.
“I sense a close-knit situation here, that’s one of the advantages of a smaller university is having that family atmosphere. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone on campus.”
Alexander will meet with the Bulldog players when they return from the holiday vacation for registration on Jan. 9.
“The first task I’ll have is ‘re-recruiting’ the players who are already here,” Alexander said, “The players are the ones who have been here working, they’ve been here practicing and going to class. I want to reassure them that things are going to be OK. I can’t do that in one meeting, it’s a day to day thing.”
Three other candidates were brought to the campus for interviews just before Christmas, including: CU offensive line coach and former Oakland High head coach Rick Butler, Southeastern Missouri State defensive coordinator Damon Bradford and Copiah-Lincoln Community College offensive line coach and former CU assistant Carson Jeffers.
Alexander and his wife Angela are the parents of four children: Hayden, Kate and twins John and Ross.