The hits just keep on coming for the Chipola College baseball program. On Wednesday, Chipola Athletic Director and head baseball coach Jeff Johnson announced the hiring of retired Troy University Coach Bobby Pierce as an assistant.
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.”
Pierce, a Marianna native, started his coaching career at then Chipola (Junior) College, where he coached from 1982 to 1989. He captured the Florida FCSAA State championship his first season and posted a 259—92 record at Chipola with five berths in the state tournament. He was later hired as an assistant coach at his alma mater, The University of Alabama. In 1996, he was the head baseball coach at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, where he went 276—108.
Pierce retired as head coach at Troy in 2016 where he coached since 2003. Pierce won an Atlantic Sun Conference title (2005), two Sun Belt Conference regular season titles (2006, 2011), and one Sun Belt Conference tournament title (2006). He coached Troy to multiple winning seasons, including three 40+ win seasons. Pierce also led the program to four NCAA Regionals (2006, 2007, 2011, 2013).
Coach Pierce said, “It’s great to be back at Chipola were my career began in 1982. I admire and respect the job Coach Johnson has done over the years and certainly appreciate the opportunity to join his staff and I’m looking forward to working with this group of players.”
Pierce had a storied career as a student-athlete. He originally enrolled at Troy as a freshman in the fall of 1977 before transferring to South Florida Community College in 1978. He played the 1979 season at Wallace College in Dothan and then signed with the University of Alabama in 1980. As a senior co-captain at Alabama in 1981, Pierce set numerous school records as an All-SEC outfielder, and he was named to the Crimson Tide’s All-Century team. In 2010, Pierce was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Following his graduation from Alabama in 1982, the then 23-year-old became the youngest head coach in Florida junior college history at Chipola Junior College. In his first season, Chipola finished 41-15 and won the Florida state junior college championship. Under Pierce, Chipola won four Panhandle Conference championships, five state tournament berths, with one title, and won 40 or more games four times. In addition, more than 75 percent of his players signed scholarships at four-year institutions. In seven seasons, Pierce’s squads at Chipola posted a 259-95 overall record.
Pierce returned to his alma mater as Alabama’s top assistant coach in 1989. After five seasons as an assistant, Pierce was named the first head baseball coach in history at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. In seven seasons, he guided Charger baseball to become one of the best programs in the nation and posted a 276-108 record in seven seasons. He guided the Chargers to the 2001 Gulf South Conference title and four NCAA regional tournament appearances.