BRISTOL, Tenn. – Desmond Pierce '15 has been promoted to head coach of the King University men's and women's cross country and track and field teams, as announced on Tuesday by Director of Athletics David Hicks.
"Desmond is a high-energy, proven leader who exemplifies King's ideals," said Hicks. "He's committed to our mission and is the perfect fit for King and our cross country and track & field programs."
Pierce takes over the Tornado programs after having served for two seasons as an assistant under Amanda Williamson, who resigned earlier this month. He served as the distance coach for the programs, helping the men's cross country teams to a third place finish in Conference Carolinas in 2016, and a fourth place finish in 2017. In 2016, he coached Tanner Cook, who qualified for the NCAA Championships after finishing sixth in the Southeast Regional.
"I want to thank Jesus Christ my lord and savior for giving me this opportunity," Pierce said. "It's a blessing and honor to step into this head coaching position. It was great learning from Coach Williamson and I'm thankful that she gave me the opportunity to be part of her staff."
Pierce competed at East Tennessee State University, where he was a standout runner for the Buccaneers. During his career, he won four gold medals at the Atlantic Sun Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships, and helped the Bucs win a pair of Atlantic Sun championships.
"Desmond has been successful as a student-athlete at the highest levels of intercollegiate competition, and brings a wealth of knowledge to our student-athletes," said Hicks. "In two years, he's demonstrated a passion for serving our student-athletes, as well as a proven ability to push our student-athletes to perform to the best of their abilities."
Pierce earned his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from ETSU in 2014, and then earned his Master's of Business Administration from King in 2015. As a student-athlete at ETSU, he was a four-time academic all-conference performer and named to the Buccaneer Honor Roll all four years.
"I would like to thank David Hicks and the hiring committee for believing in my vision for this program," Pierce continued. "I'm excited to continue the rich tradition of success we have here at King. I'm also excited for the incoming recruiting class that's made up of a lot of local talent from east Tennessee and southwest Virginia that can add to the talent we already have."
Pierce will begin his duties as head coach immediately, and a search for a new assistant will begin this spring.