FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Purdue University Fort Wayne baseball head coach Bobby Pierce has stepped down effective immediately. Pierce resigned to accept the position of athletic director at Vista Grande High School in Casa Grande, Arizona.
“As I reflect on my tenure as a Mastodon, gratitude is how I best sum up my overall feelings,” Pierce said. “Thank you to the student-athletes that played under me. It was an honor to coach each and every one. Thank you to the alumni for their support during my tenure. Thank you to the assistants that coached with me, especially Grant Birely, I will never be able to repay their hard work and sacrifice. Finally, thank you to the chancellors and administrators for their support, trust and guidance.”
Pierce led the Mastodons for 11 seasons. He leaves as the program’s career leader in wins with 192. He guided the Mastodons to back-to-back appearances in the Summit League Championship game in 2015 and 2016. The ‘Dons set a program record for single-season wins in 2016 with 33.
The Mastodons earned 22 All-Summit League nods under Pierce’s tenure. The ‘Dons picked up six Academic All-Summit League honors with Greg Kaiser being named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team in 2015. In 2016, Evan Miller was selected in the 22nd round by the San Diego Padres.
“We want to thank Bobby Pierce for more than a decade of contributions to his program and the university,” Purdue Fort Wayne Athletic Director Kelley Hartley Hutton said. “He directed the baseball program to the best seasons in their history, and the athletic department and university is in a better place because of his time as a Mastodon. Bobby has a deep passion for this university, and he has been an incredible mentor to our student-athletes helping them achieve their goals on and off the field, so I know this was not an easy decision. We wish him and his family the very best as he begins this new chapter of his life.”
Grant Birely, an assistant under Pierce throughout Pierce’s tenure at Purdue Fort Wayne, will serve as interim head coach as a search is conducted for Pierce’s replacement.