From the Montrose Daily Press
By Matt Lindberg Daily Press News Editor
Local orthodontist Chuck Alexander has always had a passion for mentoring Montrose youth and the pigskin, so when MHS football coach Todd Casebier recently asked him to become the team’s new defensive coordinator, he knew it was a great opportunity.
“For a coach like Todd Casebier to ask me, it was quite an honor,” said Alexander, who has served as the Montrose High football team’s secondary coach the last eight seasons. “I took a couple of weeks to think about it. I talked with my wife and some of the coaches. I felt like it was the next step of progression for me.
“My goal has always been to teach boys to be authentic men by using the game of football — the greatest team sport.”
Alexander, who runs his Alexander Orthodontics practices in Montrose and Gunnison, said he has made the necessary adjustments to his schedule to properly fulfill his obligations as an orthodontist and football coach going forward. He assured neither would conflict with the other. The new Montrose defensive coordinator takes over for Eric Handke, who recently accepted an opportunity to become Salida High’s head football coach after a decade with the MHS squad. Alexander acknowledged he has big shoes to fill, but was eager for the challenge.
“Absolutely,” Alexander responded when asked if he felt there was pressure to do well. “The legacy has been built. There’s pressure, but that’s good. I love that.”
He said he also has had conversations with his predecessor about the role. “Eric and I have gotten close,” Alexander explained. “He gave me some pointers — some suggestions. I’m sure we will be in contact throughout the year.”
Casebier said Alexander was the right candidate for the job on Monday. “ It was an easy decision because I believe in Chuck and the coaches on our staff,” Casebier said. “Chuck has been a member of our staff as a varsity coach for all eight years that I have been at Montrose. He knows the kids, the other coaches and the expectations. Chuck is a great person and succeeds in all areas in his life. He is a role model for our team and believes the lessons that football and sports teach.
“Chuck knows the time commitment and work ethic it takes to do the job. He has Tom West and Kirk Scriffiny to help him teach and implement his defense.”
Alexander said he was looking forward to football season already, and added he knows he has some of the best position coaches, such as West and Scriffiny, to help him in his transition.
“I’m totally excited,” he said of his new role. “It’s a good time to be a defensive coordinator in Montrose. We have some of the best kids we have ever had. All the pieces are in place for this to work out, and hopefully we can build on our past success.” The Indians are coming off a season in which they won their fifth Southwestern League title in seven years by going undefeated (4-0), 7-4 overall and making the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs.
Alexander said Montrose fans shouldn’t expect much of a difference when it comes to the Indians’ defense. “Not a lot is going to change,” he assured. “We’re going to be aggressive, we’re going to be well prepared, be physical and we’re going to have fun out there … We have got a great group of young men. They are going to be exciting to watch.”
Casebier said his expectations for Alexander were simple. “To be prepared, be himself, and have fun coaching the great game of football,” he said.