Texas made the hiring official at about 11:30 am CT on Wednesday. A press conference is planned for Thursday.
On June 7, HD was the first to report Pierce was a serious candidate for the Texas job.
HD reported on Monday to keep an eye on Pierce as Texas' replacement for Hall of Fame coach Augie Garrido once Jim Schlossnagle at TCU signed his extension.
I was told Texas nearly offered Pierce the job a week ago - before a push by some influential boosters was made to wait and see how things finally played out with Schlossnagle after TCU's appearance in the College World Series.
But after Schlossnagle signed his extension with TCU, it was clear Pierce would be the guy - if he wasn't already in the mind of athletic director Mike Perrin.
Pierce, 53, may not have been Texas' first choice - the job was also offered to Vanderbilt's Tim Corbin and Oregon State's Pat Casey, sources told HD. And Penn State coach Rob Cooper tweeted a thank you to Texas for raising the salaries of several college baseball coaches whose names were linked to UT's month-long search.
But when you take a close look at Pierce, I think he proves to be an excellent hire as UT's fifth baseball coach since 1911 - following Billy Disch, Bibb Faulk, Cliff Gustafson and Garrido.
He checks a lot of boxes - with most important being that he does a great job identifying, recruiting and developing talent. And Pierce has been prolific in pulling player after player from talent-rich Houston, where he has longstanding relationships that span more than 20 years in coaching.
Pierce's coaching career even includes stops at Episcopal and St. Pius X (his alma mater), both high schools in Houston. Pierce, who graduated from the University of Houston, even worked as a batting practice pitcher for the Houston Astros from 1994-2000.
Pierce just took Tulane to its second straight NCAA Regional (in two years as head coach), taking down top-seeded Ole Miss in the Oxford Regional before losing to Boston College 6-3 with a berth in the Super Regional round on the line.
The Green Wave hadn't been to the NCAA postseason since 2008 before Pierce took over the program in June of 2014.
Prior to his arrival at Tulane, Pierce took Sam Houston State to three straight NCAA Regionals from 2012-14.
Pierce's college coaching career took off during nine years as an assistant to Wayne Graham at Rice, including the Owls' 2003 national title team. At Rice, Pierce served as both the hitting coach (2003-05) and pitching coach (2006-11).
In 2001 and 2002, Pierce was the hitting coach at Houston, and the Cougars made NCAA postseason appearances in both years.
Right now, Pierce is on the coaching staff of Team USA that will play in the Olympics in Rio this summer.
"Quite simply, David Pierce is as good of a guy as you can find," said former Rice pitcher Matthew Reckling, who was recruited to Rice by Pierce.
"He's a guy all the players loved playing for, because he always gave you everything he had to make you a better player and a better person. When I was a freshman, he stayed after practice and worked with me every single day.
"He grinds as a coach, and he's a great recruiter, because he doesn't give you political answers like, 'If you come here, you'll start as a freshman and hit in the three hole.' He tells you, 'If you come and work your butt off, you'll have a chance to earn it.'"
Reckling said Pierce is a "straight shooter."
"He's honest. And to parents, he's going to take care of your kid. He pushes you with tough love when you need it. But he'll tell the kids at Texas that it's a privilege to play at Texas - not a right - and that everything will be earned.
"At Rice, he understood the importance of succeeding in the classroom and demanded that. I can't tell you how many former players have stayed in touch with Coach Pierce, but it's a lot. He's super intelligent, but he's funny and charismatic, too. And when it's time to get serious about baseball, he means business."
Reckling, who graduated from Kinkaid HS in Houston in 2008, said Pierce is a top recruiter because he has an eye for talent and the relationships across the state to help sign that talent.
"At Rice, we didn't always land the top recruits, but Coach Pierce had an eye for talent, and he worked to develop that talent," Reckling said. "At Texas, he'll get the top talent, and he'll develop those players further."
Pierce, who is married to the former Susan Kubiak, sister of Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak, has gone to an unprecedented 16 straight NCAA regionals. Five of those were as a head coach at Tulane (2) and Sam Houston State (3) - and eleven as an assistant - at Rice (9) and Houston (2).
I think Pierce eats, drinks and sleeps Texas baseball and wouldn't rest until he had Texas back in the CWS on a regular basis.
"He's a high-character guy," Reckling said. "And he knows how to win. Texas fans are going to love him."
Quotes from David Pierce on becoming the fifth Texas baseball coach since 1911:
“As a kid growing up in Texas, I dreamed of being a Longhorn and wearing the burnt orange,” Pierce said. “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 is second to no one. Just growing up, I was on the field when David Denny broke the doubles record at Texas. I played against a lot of the guys in the mid-‘80s and just understood the tradition and the history and the expectation of being a Longhorn. I understand it’s a position that’s going to hold a lot of responsibility, and I’m ready to accept that.”
“I think Texas Baseball fans are going to be excited to see the energy and passion of our team, the will to go out and play as hard as we can and try to do things that represent both the university and the athletic department well,” Pierce said. “We’ll look to run a high-paced offense that has the ability to score in multiple ways to go along with the pitching and defense that gives us a chance to win championships.”
“After playing high school baseball in Houston and then staying home to play baseball at the University of Houston, it was always exciting, but I think my true excitement has come since I started coaching,” Pierce said. “It’s been a journey. I just completed my 27th year and never lost sight of coming back home and having this type of opportunity.
“I’ve played against Coach Gus’ teams and I have coached against Coach Garrido’s teams. Even back in ’91 when I was at Rice and he was the head coach at Cal State Fullerton we crossed paths. Coach Garrido and I have become friends and have had some fierce competitions, especially in my days at Rice. Both of those guys are so significant to the legacy of Texas Baseball, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to follow them and continue the tradition they’ve established.”
Quotes from Texas AD Mike Perrin:
“We are so excited to have David Pierce taking over our baseball program,” Perrin said. “He is a terrific coach who was a part of some of college baseball’s finest teams during his time as an assistant at Rice and has produced consistent winners as the head coach at Sam Houston State and Tulane.
"David has deep roots in Texas and has strong recruiting connections throughout our state and surrounding states. But beyond that, he is a great man who has a passion for leading and developing young men in all aspects of life."
“In talking to David and visiting with others in the college baseball world, it was clear that he is highly respected,” Perrin said. “He is well thought of, a tireless worker and a tremendous student and strategist of the game of baseball.
"The time spent researching and meeting folks around college baseball during our search has been invaluable. There are a lot of wonderful people in the sport, and David is a big part of that. We think he is a great fit to continue the proud tradition and history of Texas Baseball."
Quote from Texas president Gregory Fenves:
“The University of Texas has a long and storied history in college baseball, and I’m thrilled to have David Pierce on board to continue that tradition,” UT President Gregory L. Fenves said.
“David is one of the best coaches in the country who is a proud Texan with great appreciation for our university and athletic programs. With his passion for the game, our student-athletes and the community, he’ll be a great fit, and I look forward to watching and cheering for our team for years to come.”