Terrell Alexander is back at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, taking the helm of the Vikings storied football program after a nine-year stint at Rich Central.
The hire was made official in May.
“This is where it all started. It kind of came full circle for me. This is where I started coaching high school football. This was my first opportunity to fall in love with the coaching aspect of the game,” he said. “This is the only job that I would’ve applied for.”
Alexander was an assistant coach on the H-F staff for 10 years before leaving in 2011. He was on former coach Craig Buzea’s staff during his first season.
Alexander was brought back again for this past spring campaign after the IHSA moved the season from the fall due to the pandemic.
“There are a lot of great traditions here and you don’t win the amount of games that this program has without having great tradition and great program goals. We’ll try to keep a lot of those things the same,” he said. “I want to have that family atmosphere. That’s really important to me. I want everyone to feel like they have a piece of this thing. They’re responsible for it. It’s a family, from the coaches on staff to the people in the community.”
Alexander, a Rich East graduate who played linebacker at Northern Illinois, said he didn’t interview for any other jobs. He wants to lead the Vikings and plans to be an “accessible” coach.
“Our mantra for this team is “EARN IT!,” in all capitals with an exclamation mark. That’s what we’ll do. We’ll have to earn every point. We’ll have to earn every touchdown. We’ll have to earn every stop,” Alexander said. “We’ll go into every game with a humble mindset knowing that we’ll have to work for it but I think that the young men in this program have really shown that they’re willing to do all the work it takes to be successful.”
His history is on defense but he spent the last four years at Rich Central on the offensive side of the ball. At Homewood Flossmoor, he’ll work with special teams and oversee everything else with a bit of a hands-off approach. The full staff is in place and he wants to let them do their jobs.
“I am very far from a micromanager. I think we’ve got some coaches with some special talents and ideologies on football. I definitely want to utilize that,” he said. “Wherever I’m needed, I’ll be. I hope the staff feels like that, also. If that means I’ve got to be the equipment manager, I’ll be that.”
Buzea left Homewood-Flossmoor for Crown Point High School in Indiana after the spring season. He was 92-24 in 10 seasons with the Vikings, leaving big shoes for Alexander to fill.
“There are very high expectations here and that’s part of the challenge. That’s more challenging than people having low expectations and being able to mold it from nothing,” Alexander said. “I relish that challenge. I don’t shy away from it. I’m a pretty laid-back person but I think I bring some intensity as a coach and really relish that moment where we live up to the mystique of the program.”