Bobby Pierce coming out of retirement as an assistant at Chipola
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -The Chipola baseball program is getting a new assistant coach, though it’s a coach who’s going to be pretty familiar with the surroundings at his new job!
Indians head coach Jeff Johnson announcing Wednesday he’s hired Marianna native Bobby Pierce as an assistant coach at Chipola.
Pierce grew up in Marianna, went to Marianna High School. After playing at and graduating from Alabama, he came back home as the head coach at Chipola from 1982 to 1989. After one state title and five trips to the State Tournament, he left the Indians to take an assistant coaching job at is alma mater Alabama. Not long after that he earned the head coaching job at Alabama-Huntsville. He won 276 games at that school. Then in 2003 took ove the baseball program at Troy, where he enjoyed his most success. He won an Atlantic Sun title, and after the conference change for Troy, won two Sun Belt titles. He led the Trojans to four NCAA regionals. After a great 14 year run at Troy, with 486 wins, coach Pierce retired.
So why come back to Juco ball as an assistant coach? Coach Pierce told me he needs one more year of service in Florida to be vested in the state’s retirement program. And he can only take advantage of that pension after turning 62. He recently turned 61, so he went looking for a job near his home in South Walton County. Coach Pierce says he was close to taking a job at South Walton High School, giving guidance to that school as it builds some new athletic facilities. Just before accepting that job, Chipola head coach Jeff Johnson called just to chat. And coach Pierce says within minutes, Jeff was offering the assistant coaching job that was coming open at Chipola.
Coach Pierce told me he loves the idea of winding up his career back in Marianna, “where it all started for me.” He said “Scott I feel like a young buck!” Pierce adding “Ever since I left Marianna, I’ve been coming back. My sister lives here. And I’ve made dozens of scouting trips to Chipola to recruit players.”
This won’t be a symbolic post, coach Pierce will be a valuable addition to an already stellar coaching staff, and no doubt the players will benefit from having another accomplished coach around the program. Coach Johnson said he is excited about bringing Pierce on board. “Chipola is very fortunate to get a coach with so much experience and success at the D-1 level. I’m looking forward to working together with Coach Pierce to help our student-athletes.”
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