North Florida Community College’s former athletic director and professor, Clyde Alexander, 66, will officially retire in January 2016 after 30 years of service. Alexander was the basketball coach at NFCC for 16 years before all athletic programs were suspended. Soon after he began teaching classes, and for the past five years has taught Diverse Population, and Intro to Education courses. Alexander spent 26 years on the Madison County School Board, and was appointed County Commissioner by the Governor. “I think the whole time I’ve been working, I’ve been working with young people,” said Alexander. “It’s rewarding to see kids progress and do well in school.” Clyde Alexander was born in Hernando, Fl. to Joyce and Clyde Alexander, Sr. He is the eldest of 12 and was eager to leave home and make room for the rest of his siblings. Alexander graduated from Booker T. High School in Citrus County, Fl. and went on to pursue his basketball career after he received a scholarship to St. Leo College. “I really liked my high school coach,” said Alexander. “He was a jack of all trades and he inspired me to want to play sports.”
Alexander remained at St. Leo College for a year and a half before transferring to Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. He graduated in 1972 with a degree in Education Criminology and social work. “After college I was drafted into the NBA, but got cut from the team,” said Alexander. After being cut from the NBA, Alexander was asked to play in Europe. He went on to play for 12 years in five different countries before returning to the States. According to Alexander, his reason for traveling to Europe was initially because he was recruited by the Secret Service. “They wanted us to be the first minority recruits in the Secret Service,” said Alexander. “We went through training and there was a federal freeze. So I still went to Europe and pursued other opportunities.” While in Europe Alexander not only played basketball, but was also an American Ambassador for the American Amateur Basketball Federation. He worked closely with the youth and participated in facilitating basketball camps. “Even though I didn’t make it in the NBA, I was still able to travel,” said Alexander. “I learned Finish and Swedish, and met amazing youth that I still keep in contact with to this day.”
In 1986, Alexander returned to the States and began working as Athletic Director and Basketball Coach at North Florida Community College; while pursuing his masters degree at Florida A&M University. “I was offered jobs at different places but I stayed in Madison because I’m not far from places I need to go,” said Alexander. “I’m able to look at first class college football and basketball, and I like fishing. It’s my hobby, and this is a great fishing area.” Alexander is described as a great friend and colleague by friend and former psychology professor, Teresa Stalvey Bailey. “He’s like my best friend,” said Bailey. “I call him my brother. We have a long history of friendship and probably speak to one another at least once a week. If you need a friend, Clyde’s the man to know.” Even after retirement, Alexander plans to keep working with the youth and serving his community as his mother once did.
“My life’s mission is to do what my mother did,” said Alexander. “That is to serve people, and always try to help others that are less fortunate then you are. So I plan on continuing that and I won’t get bored because I’ve got fishing.” Alexander has been married to Claudette Brookes for 22 years and together they have two children.
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1. Clyde Alexander