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Published May 13, 2011

Bishop McLaughlin has hired former Florida State standout defensive lineman Derrick Alexander as an assistant football and basketball coach.

Alexander played in 10 games for the Seminoles during his redshirt freshman season in 1992 before exploding onto the scene as a sophomore and recording 100 tackles and eight tackles for a loss, both second-most on the team. He had 11 tackles against Nebraska in the Orange Bowl that season to propel FSU to the national championship.

As a junior, Alexander was named Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year.

He entered the NFL draft after his junior season and was the 11th overall pick, selected by the Minnesota Vikings. Alexander played four seasons with the Vikings and spent one with the Cleveland Browns before retiring. His most productive year came in his final season with the Vikings (1998), when he started all 16 games and recorded 71/2 sacks and 37 tackles.

The Jacksonville native was inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame in 2007.

Alexander will coach the defensive line for Bishop McLaughlin and will serve as the Hurricanes' junior varsity basketball coach.

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Eagles' Spalding signs with Carnegie Mellon

Springstead senior track and field star Sasha Spalding has signed with Division III Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh and will run track for the Tartans, according to Springstead coach Joel Myers.

In her final season at Springstead, Spalding qualified for the state meet in the 300 hurdles and as a member of the 4x800 relay team.

She was fourth at regionals in a time of 47.58 in the 300 hurdles and placed 16th at the Class 3A state meet after running 51.36.

The 4x800 relay team placed fourth at regionals (9:59.19) to qualify for states, where it came in 13th place in a time of 10:03.31.

Spalding also ran a leg on the Eagles' 4x400 relay team that placed seventh at regionals in 4:15.76.

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Sharks Ruiz, Bailey make it official

Nature Coast tight end Maxx Ruiz and running back Ike Bailey made their college plans official. Ruiz signed with Ave Maria University, an NAIA school located in a small community east of Naples. Bailey is headed for ASA Junior College in New York City.

Last season, Bailey rushed for 1,331 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Sharks as their primary ball carrier, following in the footsteps of Division I-A running back Tevin Drake (Western Michigan). Ruiz led the team with 11 receptions for 161 yards and two touchdowns in a limited passing offense.

Nature Coast finished the 2010 season 5-5 and failed to reach the postseason for the first time in five years.

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Springstead wrestling assistant earns national honor

Springstead assistant Sal Basile was named regional assistant coach of the year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. Basile, who has been on staff with the Eagles under head coach Eric Swensen the past seven years, is a former state-placing wrestler for Springstead under Hall of Fame coach Bob Levija.

After helping lead the program to its first state championship in school history, Basile was the only nominee from Florida to win an award from the NWCA this year. In less than a decade, he has coached 13 state champions, 17 All-Americans and three national champions.

Correspondent Derek J. LaRiviere contributed to this report.

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Bryan Burns can be reached at or (727) 892-2216.