Tulane names David Pierce head coach; spent past three years guiding SHSU
NEW ORLEANS -- David Pierce, who guided Sam Houston State to three consecutive trips to the NCAA Regionals, has been named the 23rd head coach of Tulane, it was announced Sunday by director of athletics Rick Dickson.
"David brings a great track record of coaching with energy, enthusiasm and strong history of recruiting while developing some of the country's finest collegiate players, as evidenced by the selection of five student-athletes from his first recruiting class at SHSU being chosen in this week's MLB draft," Dickson said. "David's contributions during his tenure at Rice ranked among the nation's best in that decade, which were an important factor as we sought the best fit to lead Tulane baseball back to national prominence."
Pierce becomes just the fourth head coach to man the Green Wave dugout as head skipper since 1967, joining Milt Retif (1967-74), Joe Brockhoff (1975-93) and Pierce's predecessor, Rick Jones (1994-2014).
"I know we have a lot to do in the next few days to secure and communicate to recruits and returning players that good times are ahead of us," Pierce said. "Our intent is to come in and win now, and we are not only going to win on the playing field, but also in the community and in the classroom. I would like to finish my statement with one thing: Roll Wave."
Pierce owns an overall head coaching record of 121-63 after completing just his third season as head coach of Sam Houston State. In his three seasons at SHSU, Pierce took the Bearkats to three consecutive NCAA Regional appearances for just the second time in program history. Pierce was named the head coach at SHSU prior to the 2012 season after serving as an assistant coach for nine years at Rice.
In his third season in Huntsville, Texas, Pierce guided the Bearkats to a 43-19 overall record that included a berth into the NCAA Fort Worth Regional. The 43 wins were the second most in a single season in Bearkats history since joining the Division I ranks in 1987. The Bearkats opened Regional play with a 2-1 victory against Dallas Baptist before falling to TCU in the second-longest NCAA postseason game in NCAA history -- a 22-inning, 3-2 loss. The Bearkats bounced back with a 9-2 win against Siena to play for a Regional championship on June 1, falling to TCU by a score of 6-1.
In Pierce's second season at SHSU, the 2013 squad won 14 of 15 games down the stretch to clinch the Southland Conference title and solidify their status as an at-large candidate into the NCAA Regionals. Pierce's program won the Southland Conference regular-season championship for the second consecutive year -- the first time in program history -- while finishing the regular season with 36 wins to earn the first national ranking of the season for the Bearkats.
Pierce kicked off his head coaching career in grand fashion during the 2012 season, leading the Kats to the regular-season conference title and an overall record of 40-22. During the course of the season, the Bearkats made program history by being ranked in each of the major college baseball polls for the first time since joining the Division I ranks. The 2012 team made their seventh NCAA Regional appearance, earning an at-large berth in the Houston Regional.
Pierce was honored as a Regional Coach of the Year in 2012 by the American Baseball Coaches Association, as well as being named Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 2012 and '13. He became the first Southland coach to earn consecutive honors since UTSA's Sherman Corbett (2007-08).
He also was twice named by PerfectGame.org as one of 10 rising stars in the Division I college baseball coaching ranks.
Prior to joining SHSU, Pierce was an assistant coach for nine years for a Rice team that has been one of the best in college baseball. He served as hitting coach from 2003-05 before moving to the role of pitching coach from 2006-11. Pierce was instrumental in the success of Rice's first national championship team as the squad hit .313 with 51 home runs and 449 RBI in 2003 under Pierce's tutelage. As pitching coach from 2006-11, Pierce produced a staff ranked in the top 30 in the NCAA in staff ERA for five years, including a No. 4 national mark in 2007.
Before joining the Rice program for his second stint -- he was an assistant with the Owls for a season in 1991 -- Pierce worked across town with Houston for the 2001 and '02 campaigns. In both years with Pierce working as the hitting coach, the Cougars made NCAA postseason appearances, including a Super Regional appearance in 2002, and helped the team to just a game away from a College World Series berth.
Under Pierce's direction in 2002, UH sluggers pounded out nearly 700 hits and finished the season with a .310 batting average, the fifth-best single-season performance in team history.
• Tulane head coach Jones retires