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William A. Alexander Papers

Identifier: MS145

  • Staff Only


William A. Alexander graduated from Georgia Tech in 1912, in Civil Engineering. After graduation, he became a mathematics instructor and assistant football coach for Tech under John Heisman. In 1920, he assumed the title of head football coach until his retirement in 1944, but continued his duties as Athletic Director until his death in 1950. Alexander is remembered for his numerous wins as head football coach and taking his team to four major football bowl games. These papers include correspondences, office files, administration files, and newspaper clippings documenting his activities at Tech.


  • 1918-1964 (bulk 1922-1958)
  • Majority of material found within 1922 - 1958


General Physical Description note

(two document cases)

Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections


0.8 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The William A. Alexander Papers include biographical information, administrative and office files, publications, newspaper clippings, and information on family members and other individuals. The bulk of the collection is composed of correspondence, located within the second series, to Alexander while he was head football coach at Tech. Newspaper clippings also make up a large portion of the collection, touching on subjects such as Alexander's marriage to Marie MacIntrye Scott in 1923, his numerous football victories as head coach at Tech, and his death in 1950. Due to the poor quality of the original newspaper clippings and the inability of the copier to reproduce clear copies, the original clippings remain within the collection. Also included are several of Alexander's personal items, such as awards and certificates from his college days at Tech.

Biography of William A. Alexander (1889-1950)

William Anderson Alexander was born June 6, 1889, in Mud River Kentucky, the son of Luther and Gertrude Anderson. He entered Tech in 1906, as an Apprentice and graduated in 1912, with a B. S. degree in Civil Engineering. After graduation, he became a mathematics instructor and assistant football coach under John Heisman. In 1918, he was called to serve in World War I, but in 1919, Alexander returned to Tech to assume the position of head football coach. He would hold this position until his retirement in 1944, but continued on as Athletic Director until his death in 1950.

Throughout his lifetime, Alexander won numerous awards for his team's accomplishments and his attitude towards his athletes. He was known as a tough coach, but a man who was well respected by athletes and faculty members. For instance, he was awarded Coach of the Year in 1942, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame posthumously in 1950. During his career at Tech, he won 133 games, had 95 losses, and eight tied games. Alexander was also the first football coach to take his team to four football bowl games.

Alexander married Marie MacIntyre Scott on June 1, 1935, in Tallulah Falls, Georgia. They had no children, but Alexander helped raise Marie's daughter, Rebekah Scott (Mrs. Morris Marion Bryan, Jr.), from a former marriage. William Alexander died on April 23, 1950.


Missing Title

  1. SERIES 1. Biographical and Personal Information, 1718-1958 [Box 1]
  2. SERIES 2. Office Files, 1920-1950 [Box 1]
  3. SERIES 3. Publications and Programs, 1913-1964 [Box 1]
  4. SERIES 4. Family Members and Individual Information, 1868-1950 [Box 1]
  5. SERIES 5. Newspaper Clippings, 1927-1964 [Box 2]

The William A. Alexander Papers have been arranged into five series.

Other Finding Aids

A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.


This collection was donated by Rebekah Scott Bryan, stepdaughter of William A. Alexander, in 2001. (Accession #2001.067).


Photographs have been removed and cataloged as VAM145, William A. Alexander Photograph Collection.

General Physical Description note

(two document cases)

Processing Information

Jody Lloyd processed these papers in 2001.

Inventory of the William A. Alexander Papers, 1918-1964 (bulk 1922-1958)
Jody Lloyd
Copyright 2001.
Description rules
Finding Aid Updated Using Rlg Best Practice Guidelines For Encoded Archival Description
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA