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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Avila University is bringing a familiar face back to the program and to the Kansas City area.

Former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Derrick Alexander has taken over as the head coach for the Eagles. He takes over for former Avila head coach Marc Benavidez.

The former Michigan Wolverine was selected in the first round of the 1994 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

Alexander spent a decade in the league, including four seasons with the Chiefs, where he was given the team’s Derrick Thomas Most Valuable Player Award and nominated for the NFL’s prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2000.

After spending the 2015 season at Wilmington College, Alexander returned to Kansas City to join the coaching staff at Avila University.

In his three seasons at Avila, he served as Wide Receivers Coach and Passing Game Coordinator, as well as the academic coordinator and director of football operations. In Alexander’s final season in KC in 2018, the Eagles had a 7-3 record, a top-three finish in the conference, and three First-Team All-Conference receivers and returners.

Alexander spent three seasons at Morgan State before spending 2022 at Wayne State in Detroit as the wide receivers coach.

The 51-year-old takes over an Avila football program that has won two KCAC championships in three seasons, and in 2022 won a program record 10 games and qualified for the NAIA Football Championship Series for the first time in team history.