It may have taken 31 days, but Texas baseball finally has a new head coach. The Longhorns hired Tulane University’s David Pierce to lead their program on Wednesday, the team announced.
Pierce’s move to Austin makes him the 13th head coach in Texas’ baseball history. He will undoubtedly have a large pair of cleats to fill, replacing Augie Garrido, who won two national titles for the burnt orange prior to his departure from the dugout on May 30.
"As a kid growing up in Texas, I dreamed of being a Longhorn and wearing the burnt orange," Pierce said in a statement. "Today that dream is coming true. I am truly honored and grateful to become a part of The University of Texas community and to serve as head baseball coach.”
Texas brass is familiar with Pierce, both on and off the field. His Green Wave won out two of three games from the Longhorns earlier in the season. Pierce was interviewed for the head coaching job on June 18, but did not receive an offer after that meeting.
While he doesn’t tout a championship résumé like many of the candidates rumored to take the Texas job, Pierce has impressive credentials nonetheless. He made a name for himself in the Rice University program, serving as both its hitting and pitching coach on different occasions in addition to its recruiting guru for eight years.
"In talking to David and visiting with others in the college baseball world, it was clear that he is highly respected," athletics director Mike Perrin said in a statement. "He is well thought of, a tireless worker and a tremendous student and strategist of the game of baseball.”
Pierce nabbed the Tulane job in 2015 after three years as the head coach of Sam Houston State University. He led the Green Wave to a 41–21 record last season, good for the American Athletic Conference regular season title.
Before Pierce’s hiring, Texas was tied to various Big 12 coaches, hoping to bring one of them to seemingly greener pastures. However, those attempts were quickly rebuffed as Oklahoma State’s Josh Holliday, TCU’s Jim Schlossnagle and Texas Tech’s Tim Tadlock all elected to remain with their current teams.
But the search is over. When the spring of 2017 rolls around, Pierce will be in the Disch dugout as the newest man to lead the Longhorns.