Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Bill Alexander

Bill Alexander

Details

  • Position: Coach
  • School: Georgia Tech
  • Years: 1920-1944
  • Inducted: 1951
  • Place of Birth: Mud River, KY
  • Date of Birth: Jun 06, 1889
  • Place of Death: Atlanta, GA
  • Date of Death: Apr 23, 1950

Member Biography

A tough, shrewd taskmaster with teams to match his character, Bill Alexander spent his entire head coaching career at Georgia Tech. Under his command, the Yellow Jackets became the first school to appear in all four of the major bowls: the Rose in 1929, Orange in 1940, Cotton in 1943, and Sugar in 1944. Alexander rarely enjoyed top-flight talent on his teams, yet he drove his players to surpass their limited abilities. Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne once said, "Bill gets more out of nothing than any coach in America." And indeed, he did. After serving as an assistant to John Heisman at Tech, Alexander became the head coach of the Yellow Jackets in 1920, and began a 25-year career during which he compiled an overall record of 134-95-15. Few athletes dared defy him, and although they hated him on the field, they idolized him off the field. He had a habit of bullying his players and was inhospitable to strangers. Bobby Dodd, who succeeded Alexander as head coach at Tech, said of him, "He growled, snapped and carried on all over the place, but underneath it all, he was in your corner in any emergency." He was the clearing house of personal matters for every player, coach or employee of the Tech athletic department. Alexander died in his sleep on April 23, 1950.