Great basketball coaches are often marked by their longevity and success, and Coach Neil Alexander can certainly be considered in those two categories. He begins his 41st season as a head basketball coach with 761 all-time victories to his credit, a prestigious mark that ranks him 2nd among active coaches and 10th among all-time coaches in the state of Illinois. He was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame in 2004, and he is the only coach in the history of Lincoln Community High School to lead four teams to Illinois’ Elite Eight State Tournament. Coach Alexander has undoubtedly established himself and his program as one of the state’s finest.
Alexander first succeeded as a player and student. Neil played four years at Monmouth College and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1998. After graduating from Monmouth, he went on to receive a Master’s Degree from Western Illinois University.
Alexander began his coaching career at Joy-Westmer and then moved back to Monmouth-Yorkwood High School, where he coached for two years. Those experiences led to an eleven-year term with Bushnell-Prairie City before accepting the head basketball position here in Lincoln.
Last year, Coach Alexander led his team to a 17-win season. His 2015-16 squad didn’t have a starter over 6’ 1”, but they quickly became best known for their solid defense that held opponents to 43.3 points per game, their shooting accuracy from the three-point line (38.3%), and their team-first style of play. Throughout the year, the Railers proved their coach’s ability to create teams that overachieve and compete at the highest level of high school basketball.
The Railers have been blessed with a talented basketball coach whose success is evident in many areas. With 602 Lincoln wins to his credit, Neil Alexander remains the all-time winningest coach in LCHS history. His remarkable career in Lincoln has led the Railers to eighteen 20-win seasons, five Super-Sectional games, and four Elite Eight State Tournament appearances in ’99, ’05,’07, and 2014.
Coach Alexander’s accomplishments are outstanding. He attributes his success to hard work, dedicated players, a loyal coaching staff, and a supportive family. He has often said he considers it an honor to have worked with the many talented athletes and coaches who believe in Lincoln’s standard of excellence and who work hard to preserve it. He regularly notes how difficult his profession would be without Denise, his supportive wife of 44 years and mother of their three children: Tammy and husband Scott Kirby, Geoff and wife Kiersten, and Gregg and his wife Nicole. Coach is also proud of his six grandchildren: Austin and Bryson Kirby; Braelyn, Kinley, and Jax Alexander; and Eli and Nash Alexander.
Neil Alexander’s success is not limited to a mere basketball floor; it is also evident in those he has surrounded himself with. He continues a standard many will follow, but few will reach.