Jan. 19, 2017
NOTRE DAME, Indiana – DelVaughn (Del) Alexander, previously an assistant coach at Arizona State, Wisconsin, Oregon State and UNLV, has been named wide receivers coach for the University of Notre Dame.
“I’m excited to officially get on board, hit the road recruiting, and to find and develop the best student-athletes in the country,” said Alexander. “Notre Dame is a special place, and I’ve been able to the see the power of its brand on the recruiting trails across the country for the last 15-20 years. I’m honored and humbled to serve this University, this program and these remarkable young men.”
“I was looking for an experienced teacher, mentor, recruiter and developer of student-athletes,” said head coach Brian Kelly. “Del not only met the criteria, but he exceeded it. He also understands, respects and values the type of young men we want to bring to this University and football program.”
Alexander comes to Notre Dame following a five-year stint at Arizona State. He coached wide receivers and oversaw the Sun Devils’ passing game from 2012-15 before moving to tight ends for the 2016 campaign.
Alexander helped the 2015 Sun Devil aerial attack continue to operate at a high rate of efficiency (299.1 yards per game). He mentored graduate transfer wideout Devin Lucien in his only season at Arizona State. Lucien caught 58 passes for 752 yards and four touchdowns in his three seasons at UCLA, but excelled under Alexander’s tutelage. Lucien led the Sun Devils with 1,075 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on 66 catches. His 66 receptions were tied for the seventh-most in single-season school history and his 1,075 receiving yards were the 11th-most in single-season school history.
Lucien, who was later selected in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, registered four 100-yard receiving games in ’15, including three consecutive to close out his career (vs. Arizona 9-190-1, at California 8-200-3, vs. West Virginia 9-144-1). His 200-yard receiving effort against Cal and his 190-yard outing versus arch-rival Arizona were two of the top three single-game performances for receiving yards that year in the Pac-12.
In 2014, Alexander’s wide receivers accounted for 57 percent of the Sun Devils touchdowns and 61 percent of their total yardage. Under his tutelage, Jaelen Strong (all-Pac-12), Gary Chambers and Cameron Smith all recorded career seasons. The trio helped Arizona State average 36.9 points per game (16th in the nation) and register 34 receiving touchdowns (13th in the nation). Strong hauled in 82 catches (third-highest single-season total in school history) for 1,165 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was taken in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans.
Strong had a breakout season in 2013 as he led the team in receptions (75), yards (1,122) and touchdown receptions (seven). He became the first Sun Devil to have multiple 100-yard receiving games (three) in his first four career starts.
A major factor in the effectiveness of Arizona State’s passing game was the inclusion of the running backs, who accounted for more than 200 receptions and more than 2,200 yards to go along with 20-plus touchdowns combined in 2012 and 2013. D.J. Foster and Marion Grice were the main playmakers out of the backfield as the duo registered 192 receptions, 2,049 yards and 22 touchdowns during the aforementioned two-year stretch. Foster would continue to make plays out of the backfield in 2014 as he caught 59 passes for 646 yards and three touchdowns.
The Sun Devils’ passing game thrived in ’12 as ASU pass catchers helped (then) first-year quarterback Taylor Kelly establish a single-season school record for completion percentage. They also caught 33 touchdowns — the second most in school history.
Before joining the Arizona State staff, Alexander spent five seasons at Wisconsin as the wide receivers coach (2007-11). He was a part of two Big Ten championships and five bowl appearances, including back-to-back Rose Bowls in 2010 and 2011.
Alexander saw the Badgers offense turn in some of the most prolific passing seasons in school history. During the 2011 campaign, Wisconsin passed for 3,280 yards, the highest total in school history. All-Big Ten receiver Nick Toon led the team with 64 catches for 926 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 926 yards were the fifth-highest total in school history. Toon finished his Wisconsin career with the third-most receiving yards in school history and the fifth-most touchdown catches. In 2009, the Badgers passed for the fourth-highest yardage total in school history (2,770 yards).
Prior to his tenure at Wisconsin, Alexander served as the running backs coach, assistant travel coordinator, assistant special teams coordinator and NCAA rules representative at the University of San Diego (2005-06) under then-coach Jim Harbaugh. The Toreros, who led the nation in offense in 2005, won conference championships in both ’05 and 2006.
Alexander served as the recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach at Oregon State for two years (2003-04). The Beavers placed wide receivers on the all-Pac-10 first team during each of his two seasons.
Alexander arrived at Oregon State after coaching wide receivers and quarterbacks at UNLV for three seasons (2000-02). He was also the passing game coordinator for the Rebels in 2000-01. Alexander-coached players earned first-team all-Mountain West accolades in each of his three years. He also coached wideouts at UNLV in 1998.
Alexander worked for the San Diego Chargers in 1999 as a senior offensive assistant (running backs) and also had responsibilities with quality control, video analysis, opponent summaries and self scout.
Alexander earned his bachelor’s degree in social sciences/history from USC in 1995. A wide receiver for the Trojans from 1993-94, Alexander lettered in both football and track. He began his coaching career in 1995 at his alma mater as an assistant video coordinator. Alexander spent the next two years (1996-97) as a graduate assistant for the Trojans working with the tight ends.
A native of Los Angeles, Alexander’s family includes his wife, Star, and children: JD, Jalen and Drew.
|The Alexander File|
|Hometown||Los Angeles, California|
|College||USC (B.A., Social Sciences/History, 1995)|
|Children||JD, Jalen and Drew|
|1992||West Los Angeles College Wide Receiver|
|1993-94||USC Wide Receiver|
|1995||USC Assistant Video Coordinator|
|1996||USC Graduate Assistant (Tight Ends)|
|1997||USC Graduate Assistant (Tight Ends)|
|1998||UNLV Wide Receivers|
|1999||San Diego Chargers Senior Offensive Assistant (Running Backs)|
|2000||UNLV Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers/Quarterbacks|
|2001||UNLV Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers/Quarterbacks|
|2002||UNLV Wide Receivers/Quarterbacks|
|2003||Oregon State Recruiting Coordinator/Wide Receivers|
|2004||Oregon State Recruiting Coordinator/Wide Receivers|
|2005||San Diego Running Backs/Assistant Special Teams Coordinator|
|2006||San Diego Running Backs/Assistant Special Teams Coordinator|
|2007||Wisconsin Wide Receivers|
|2008||Wisconsin Wide Receivers|
|2009||Wisconsin Wide Receivers|
|2010||Wisconsin Wide Receivers|
|2011||Wisconsin Wide Receivers|
|2012||Arizona State Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers|
|2013||Arizona State Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers|
|2014||Arizona State Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers|
|2015||Arizona State Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers|
|2016||Arizona State Tight Ends|
|2000||Las Vegas Bowl|
|2003||Las Vegas Bowl|
|2008||Champs Sports Bowl|
|2009||Champs Sports Bowl|
|2012||Fight Hunger Bowl|
Michael Bertsch, director of football media relations at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2006. An Akron, Ohio, native, he graduated from Walsh University (Ohio) in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and also received his master’s degree in health and physical education with an emphasis in sports administration from Marshall University in 2001.
— ND —