Troup officially hires Dennis Alexander
Tuesday, 24th July 2012 - 4:29PM
Dennis Alexander has signed his contract to become the AD/Head Football Coach at Troup High School.
Alexander, fourth all-time in career wins in Texas history, has been the AD/Football Coach at Harleton for the past ten years and told David Smoak on Monday, "I've been more than satisfied in Harleton, I've had this little place to live in the country where I've devoted a lot of time and enjoyed getting to know so many friends and a great coaching staff, but, this is an opportunity at Troup I couldn't pass up."
Only Phil Danaher at Corpus Christi Calallen has more wins among active high school coaches in Texas with 380, with Alexander fourth with an overall career record of 323-126-11, including two state championship teams at Daingerfield in 1983 and 1985.
Before his great run at Daingerfield (1976-1988), Alexander started his head coaching career at Hughes Springs in 1972. He's also been a head coach at Henderson (1989-2001), and most recently Harelton (2002-2011).
The Kilgore High School and Rice University graduate told Smoak, "I really wasn't looking for anything new, but, when I heard the job at Troup was open, and I knew Andy Griffin was their school board president, it was worth looking into."
Alexander said he and (Andy) Griffin met in Longview on Friday (July 13th) to discuss the job, "I visited the campus and I was absolutely blown away by the top-notch facilities and the overall school system." Alexander added, "Seriously, everything is in place, it's setup just right, the school is awesome, and I've always appreciated the tradition at Troup from afar during their great run in basketball under Leland Hand and even their state championship football team in 1973."
Alexander also admitted that Andy Griffin was one of his coaching heroes when he got into the business, "He was like Jack Murphy (Gladewater) and James Cameron (Kilgore, Sulphur Springs), I mean I truly worshiped the ground he walked on, so to have this almost come full-circle is pretty amazing."
Alexander actually coached against (Andy) Griffin during his first year as a head coach at Hughes Springs in 1972, with Alexander saying, "Believe me, our win against White Oak in 1972 was a massive upset, but, they got revenge the next year." Alexander continued, "And, of course I coached against him one more time when I was at Daingerfield during Andy's second tenure at White Oak, and we won a playoff game at Pine Tree, but we just had better players."
So, the legendary coach takes over a program just a couple of weeks away from starting workouts in early-August, and, the Tigers are in a district with perennial power Tatum, along with White Oak, Jefferson, Harmony and Sabine, but, Alexander is pumped-up about the challenge, "Troup High School has really good athletes, and we'll need them with the schedule we have in front of us, but, I'll tell you this, I've already compiled a long list of things we need to get done quickly, and my normal day starting with a cup of coffee at 6:00am, is now starting at 4:00am, we have work to do."
Alexander continued, "We're in a strong district no doubt, but, I've been playing Harmony and Sabine, and we played Jefferson twice while I was at Harleton and we split those games, and we've played against White Oak but we haven't played Tatum, and I have tremendous respect for their history and tradition and Andy Evans and his coaching staff."
In just a short time Alexander has met some of the assistant coaches at Troup, "I've been impressed with the one's I've met, and although they were all disappointed in how things went down with Coach (Chuck) Griffin, they are ready for this new challenge in front of us."
As he is known to do, Alexander couldn't help but toss in a fun-loving jab at an old rival, "I guess me going to Troup means Jerry Bennett (AD/Football Coach at Jefferson) won't be the oldest and ugliest coach in the district anymore."
And, before he wrapped-up his conversation, Alexander told Smoak, "This is my last rodeo, I hope to be here at Troup and continue building the program the way I want to see it succeed, with the great system in place, and I want to win here like we've won everywhere else, and only then will I be satisfied."
Chuck Griffin resigned earlier this month to take a job as an assistant football coach at a high school in Alabama.
Meanwhile, it appears as if Alexander's long-time assistant coach, Jackie Lloyd, will be recommended as the AD/Head Football Coach at Harleton. Lloyd, who is also the head baseball coach has a son who will be a senior this coming season.