Dave Alexander, Former Purdue Baseball Coach, Dead at 79

Dave Alexander, a longtime baseball coach at Purdue University died on Wednesday at the age of 79, according to the Journal & Courier. Alexander was Purdue baseball's head coach from 1978 to 1991, and led to team to 407 wins. Doug Schreiber, Purdue's head baseball coach from 1999 to 2016, played for Alexander and revealed the impact he made on his life.

"He recruited me, gave me a great opportunity to come in and fill a starting spot as a freshman at second base, a position I hadn’t played before," Schreiber said, who is now the head coach at Purdue Fort Wayne. "I played shortstop and never played that side of the infield but he gave me that opportunity.

"He was very instrumental bringing me back and getting the opportunity to coach at Purdue. When I think of Purdue baseball, I think of Dave Alexander. He meant a lot to the program as a player, as a coach, administrator and even when he served as a scout."

In 1986, Alexander led the Boilermakers to 37 wins which was the most in school history at the time. The following year, Purdue qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

"Coach Alexander's return to Purdue in the late 1970s led to a program revival. The following decade was one of the most successful in team history," Ben Turner of Purduesports.com wrote. "The Boilermakers won 30 games six times in the 1980s, setting single-season records for victories four times – 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1986. The 1986 team's 37 wins stood as the record until the 2012 Big Ten championship season. Purdue enjoyed eight winning seasons under Alexander.

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Alexander was inducted into Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985 and won the Golden Diamond Amateur Baseball Coach of the Year Award in 1991. During his career, Alexander coached and recruited 22 MLB draft picks including Rico Rossy, Matt Kinzer and Jermaine Allensworth.

"He was a baseball personality but one of the best baseball minds I was ever around," Schreiber said. "He knew baseball in and out. He was a great teacher of the game. He had high expectations and sometimes that came across in a short fuse or short temper. He was able to get the most out of us."