Fresh off a third consecutive Blue Map trophy as softball state champions with the Orange Beach Makos, Shane Alexander was promoted to Athletic Director of Orange Beach City Schools on Friday, Feb. …
Fresh off a third consecutive Blue Map trophy as softball state champions with the Orange Beach Makos, Shane Alexander was promoted to Athletic Director of Orange Beach City Schools on Friday, Feb. 9.
He will remain the head softball coach of the Makos who made history as the first AHSAA team to win a state title in its first year of varsity competition in 2021. Alexander was part of Orange Beach’s inaugural staff in 2019 after 21 years at his alma mater, Hartselle High School.
Also announced on Friday was the elevation of Laura Der Hopkins, a former collegiate associate athletic director, to Assistant Athletic Director of Orange Beach City Schools. She arrived on Pleasure Island as an assistant volleyball coach when Karen Atkins took over the helm on Jan. 16, 2023.
Der Hopkins was fresh off her Senior Associate Athletic Director role and a four-year stint at Jacksonville University. She was also previously Assistant Director of Athletic Development at Marshall University, where she was a two-time all-conference volleyball player.
“Orange Beach City Schools is thrilled to welcome Shane Alexander as our new Athletic Director,” said Randy Wilkes, Superintendent of Orange Beach City Schools. “His leadership, experience, expertise, dedication, and community knowledge make him the ideal candidate to lead our athletic program to new heights. Under his guidance, we are confident that our student-athletes will continue to excel on and off the playing surfaces.”
The Makos have logged a 112-28 overall record since joining the varsity ranks with the three Blue Map trophies. Alexander is no stranger to the state finals where he was an assistant coach on Hartselle’s state championship baseball team in 2000 and football team in 2011. As head softball coach of the Tigers, Alexander and Hartselle won a state title in 2003 and added a runner-up finish in 2008 as part of 240 wins in six seasons.
“Alexander is a 1986 graduate of Hartselle High School. After graduation, he joined the United States Army. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of South Alabama in 1997 and later obtained a master’s degree in physical education from Jacksonville State University,” the Friday release says. “Beyond his professional achievements, Shane Alexander is a devoted family man. He has been married to his wife, Shelly, for the past 27 years, and they are proud parents of two boys, Scout and Sebastian (Seb).”
Alexander’s next in command as athletic director will be Der Hopkins, who will bring her experience as the primary event manager from Jacksonville University’s trip to the 2019 NCAA March Madness tournament. Der Hopkins will also retain her teaching role in Orange Beach’s career and technical department.
During her time on the volleyball court, she was also a two-time academic all-conference honoree at Marshall and won the Conference USA Spirit of Service Award in 2013.
“Der Hopkins holds a bachelor’s degree from Marshall University, where she excelled athletically and academically. She furthered her education by obtaining a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from West Virginia University, equipping her with the strategic insights necessary to drive success in her field,” the Friday release says. “In her new role as Assistant Athletic Director for Orange Beach City Schools, Hopkins will continue to uphold the school district's commitment to excellence in athletics while fostering a culture of character in and outside the classroom.”