A family affair

Former Jacksonville High School head boy's basketball coach John Alexander (holding plaque) is surrounded by members of his family on Friday evening, shortly after the dedication of the John Alexander Gymnasium, located at 800 Farnsworth Street.


So often landmarks, buildings, stadiums and arenas are named for a worthwhile individual posthumously.

Thanks to the wisdom of the Jacksonville Independent School District Board of Trustees, the school district's primary arena officially became the John Alexander Gymnasium during a special dedication ceremony that was held Friday night, prior to the start of the Fightin' Indians' game against Whitehouse.

The entrustment served to honor former Tribe head boy's basketball coach John Alexander, who is very much alive and well — in fact, Alexander looked right dapper as he walked out to mid court to accept a plaque from JISD Board of Trustees President, Todd Travis, amidst a stirring ovation from what was the largest crowd of the season that had gathered in the facility on Farnsworth Street.

Wearing a Jacksonville blue shirt, tucked into his straight-leg jeans, accented by a sporty brown-western belt and brown boots, the ever-gracious Alexander offered up thanks to a bevy of folks, including his family (many of which were on hand to share in the joyous occasion), former players and of course God, who Alexander said allowed him to be in the greatest profession of coaching and teaching.

Nearly half of his coaching career took place as mentor of the Jacksonville Fightin' Indians.

When Alexander hung the whistle up for the final time he departed with a record of 574-311, which put him at No. 79 in all-time career wins in Texas high school basketball circles.

Alexander's teams won district championships nine times and in 1984 the Tribe made it all the way to the state tournament.

Alexander served the teaching and coaching profession for more than 40 years.

More so than just the Alexander name, but the legacy that Alexander carved out by not only teaching young men how to win on a basketball court, but in the real world as well, the John Alexander Gymnasium will now serve as a local beacon for many, many more young men of Jacksonville.







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