Newly appointed head baseball coach David Pierce stood before the Austin media on Thursday, reflecting on the road that led him to the 40 Acres.
“It’s a special day and it’s been a special journey,” Pierce said. “I’ve been waiting to come home.”
Pierce — a self-described “slow-talking Texan” — stressed his connection to the state throughout Thursday’s press conference, from his childhood in Houston to the eight years he spent as an assistant coach at Rice University.
“It’s been well documented from my roots how special it means for my family and I to come back to The University of Texas, the greatest university in the country.” Pierce said. “I played high school and college baseball in this state, I’ve coached in this state and I’ve got great friends in this state.”
But the past was far from the only thing on Pierce’s mind. The Longhorn’s fifth head coach since 1911 laid out his vision for the future of the Texas program during the press conference, both on and off the field. Pierce hinted at deviating from the offensive principles of Augie Garrido, stating the Longhorns will “prepare to score against multiple pitchers and in multiple ways.”
Outside of the dugout, Pierce stressed the amount of resources Texas has at its disposal. With one of the proudest baseball traditions in the nation, Pierce said he will focus on recruiting in-state and expanding throughout the nation as needed.
“We will use every resource we have,” Pierce said. “We will start in and work our way out.”
Prior to Pierce’s time at the podium, men’s athletics director Mike Perrin addressed the media. Perrin’s 30-day search for Garrido’s replacement had been fraught with rumors and reports on a variety of different candidates, but he insisted Pierce was the only man offered the job.
Pierce was interviewed for the head coach spot on June 18, but was not offered the position following the meeting. Perrin explained the reasoning behind not immediately offering the job to Pierce, as President Greg Fenves was still in Asia and unable to sign-off on a contract.
In the interim between Pierce’s meeting and his hiring on June 29, plenty of candidates emerged, including TCU’s Jim Schlossnagle and Texas Tech’s Tim Tadlock. But neither ultimately bolted from their respective Big-12 programs.
“I made one job offer to one person and that was David Pierce,” Perrin said. “There were other people I talked to, some I would have considered if they had they been available.”
Following Perrin’s decision, the reports of other candidates are now little more than hearsay. David Pierce is the Longhorns’ newest head coach, and the process of bringing Texas back into national-title contention will soon begin.
“We need to go in and get [the players] trust,” Pierce said. “Once you get their trust, you can coach them. And it's my job to earn their trust.”