Bacari Alexander

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Bacari Alexander
20150303 Bacari Alexander.JPG
Alexander in 2015.
Current position
Titleassistant coach
TeamDenver Pioneers
ConferenceSummit League
Biographical details
Born (1976-09-15) September 15, 1976 (age 42)
Detroit, Michigan
Playing career
1994–1996Robert Morris
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2001–2007Detroit (asst.)
2008–2008Ohio (asst.)
2008–2010Western Michigan (asst.)
2010–2016Michigan (asst.)
2019-presentDenver (asst.)
Head coaching record
Overall16–47 (.254)

Bacari Torrell Alexander (born September 15, 1976) is an American college basketball coach, formerly the men's basketball head coach at Detroit Mercy. He is a former assistant coach at Michigan, Western Michigan, Ohio, and Detroit Mercy. At Michigan, Alexander was responsible for coaching the team's post players, developing defensive strategies, scouting opponents and on-court coaching. In six seasons as an assistant coach under Michigan head coach John Beilein, Michigan advanced to the NCAA Tournament each year, won Big Ten Conference regular season championships in 2012 and 2014 and appeared in the Elite 8 in 2014 and the National Championship in 2013.

Playing career[edit]

Alexander was born in Detroit, Michigan and played high school basketball at Detroit Southwestern High School. He starred in two seasons of college basketball at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh an earned NEC All-Newcomer honors in his freshman campaign (1994–95 season) before transferring to Detroit Mercy.[1][2] In two seasons with the Detroit, Alexander appeared in 62 games and, along with teammate and fellow co-captain Jermaine Jackson, helped lead the Titans to back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths in 1998 and 1999.[1][3] He was known as "the enforcer" on the Titans' 1999 team.[4]

From 1999 to 2001, Alexander played with the Harlem Globetrotters, participating in over 300 plus shows in 13 countries.[5][6][7][8] He also directed camps for the Globetrotters and served as an "Advance Ambassador" for the team marketing and promotions.[1] Alexander described his time with the Globetrotters as "the toughest job in professional ... anything. You travel to a different city every day and twice on Sunday. I played near 10 NBA regular seasons in two seasons with the Globetrotters."[5]

Coaching career[edit]

In 2001, Alexander began his coaching career as an assistant coach to Perry Watson at Detroit Mercy. He has held assistant coaching positions at Detroit (2001–2007), Ohio with Tim Oshea (2007–08), and Steve Hawkins at Western Michigan(2008–2010).[1][5] Alexander also developed a reputation as an intense coach and sharp dresser and was recognized by's Runway to the Fashionable Four as the most fashionable assistant coach in the United States in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010. He was also the runner-up in 2008. No other coach has won the award four times.[1][9]

Assistant at Michigan[edit]

Alexander (2nd from left) with the national runner-up 2012–13 Michigan Wolverines

In April 2010, Alexander was hired as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan.[6][10] At the time, Alexander told reporters, "You know, in short, it's a dream job. I can't put it any better than that. If you grow up in the state of Michigan ... the University of Michigan is a global entity. To be fortunate enough to get this opportunity is a blessing."[11]

At Michigan, Alexander has been responsible for coaching the team's post players, developing defensive strategies, scouting opponents and on-court coaching.[1] In Alexander's four seasons as an assistant coach at Michigan, the Wolverines have advanced each year to the NCAA tournament, won a Big Ten Conference regular season championship in 2012 and 2014, and advanced to the Final Four as the National Finalist in 2013 and Elite 8 2014.

Alexander's creative and inspiring pregame speeches, often involving props, were credited with keeping the team loose and ready to compete. Before a game against Michigan State, Alexander wore a construction hat and safety goggles while urging the group to "go to work". Before the team's Sweet Sixteen game against Kansas, he placed a picture of a Jayhawk (Kansas' mascot) in a birdcage and told the team "The JayHawk needed to be caged".[8][12] Before Michigan's Elite Eight victory over Florida, Alexander sent one of the team's student managers, James Peretzman, to purchase a can of Pringles potato chips and then placed a Pringle on the shoulder of each Michigan starter and inspired the team to "play with a chip on its shoulder".[13][14][8] On April 6, 2013, Alexander was profiled in The New York Times as "a showman often ranked among college basketball's most fashionable assistants" and "a recruiter who can regale elite young players with tales from his two seasons with the Globetrotters."[8]

Head coach of Detroit Mercy[edit]

On April 21, 2016 Detroit Mercy announced Alexander as the new head coach of the men's basketball team, replacing Ray McCallum.[15]

On March 26, 2018, after 47 combined losses in 2 seasons, Detroit fired Alexander.[16]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Detroit Titans (Horizon League) (2016–2018)
2016–17 Detroit 8–23 6–12 7th
2017–18 Detroit 8–24 4–14 10th
Detroit: 16–47 (.254) 10–26 (.278)
Total: 16–47 (.254)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Bacari Alexander Bio". University of Michigan. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  2. ^ "Robert Morris Snaps 9-Game Losing Streak". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. February 26, 1995.
  3. ^ "Alexander contributes more than points to Detroit". Associated Press Archive. March 13, 1999.
  4. ^ "UDM seeks return to glory". The Detroit News. November 19, 2002.
  5. ^ a b c Graham Crouch (July 7, 2008). "Return home, respect for Hawkins lures new Western Michigan hoops assistant Bacari Alexander".
  6. ^ a b Mark Snyder (April 26, 2010). "Ex-Globetrotter joins Beilein's coaching staff". Detroit Free Press.
  7. ^ "World-Class Globetrotters Team Backs Up Showmanship With Renewed Emphasis on Talent". Rocky Mountain News. February 6, 2001.
  8. ^ a b c d Greg Bishop (April 6, 2013). "Michigan Assistant a Showman, Too". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "UM hired a sharp dresser". Detroit Free Press. April 28, 2010.
  10. ^ "WMU's Alexander added to UM's coaching staff". Detroit Free Press. April 25, 2010.
  11. ^ Graham Couch (April 24, 2010). "Bacari Alexander leaves Western Michigan for "dream job" at Michigan; Clayton Bates may be making move, too".
  12. ^ Colleen Thomas (April 5, 2013). "Bacari Alexander finds new motivational tool for Saturday's pregame vs. Syracuse". Michigan Daily.
  13. ^ Jeff Eisenberg (April 5, 2013). "Funny pregame speeches from Bacari Alexander help keep Michigan loose". Yahoo Sports.
  14. ^ Nicole Auerbach (April 5, 2013). "Wolverines have chips on their shoulders -- literally". USA Today.
  15. ^ "Detroit to give Bacari Alexander 7-year deal as new basketball coach". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  16. ^ Farrell, Perry A. (March 26, 2018). "Bacari Alexander out as Detroit Mercy's basketball coach after 2 seasons". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved March 26, 2018.