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Pierce Named South Central Region Coach of Year
Ninth-year head baseball coach Bobby Pierce has been named American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) South Central Region Coach of the Year, as announced this week.
The 2011 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year earns Region Coach of the Year honors for the first time, after leading his team to the regular season conference title.
TROY (43-19), which finished the season receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) poll, won the regular season conference title and went 2-1 in pool play in the conference tournament. The Trojans were awarded an appearance in the Nashville Regional where they upset Oklahoma State in the opening contest.
The Trojans also boast the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in Adam Bryant, and Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year in Tyler Ray.
With his region honor, Pierce now becomes eligible for the National Coach of the Year against other region winners; which will be announced later this month.
Trojans Finish Top 50 in Attendance
After posting a 30-5 record at home this season, the Troy University baseball program finished in the top 50 in the nation in overall attendance and average per game.
According to the final NCAA Division I Baseball home average attendance rankings, issued earlier this week, the Trojans averaged 1,313 people per home game. The average is the second-highest of any Sun Belt Conference foe; trailing only Louisiana-Lafayette and ahead of South Alabama.
The total attendance of 44,659 was more than 8,000 than that of South Alabama - the third highest total in the Sun Belt Conference.
The totals were good enough to place TROY 41st in average attendance and 39th in total attendance.
Head Coach: Troy University
In his 9th season at the helm of the Trojans, Coach Pierce guided a young, rebuilding squad to a Sun Belt Championship and a 43-19 record in 2011 while also leading the Trojans to their 3rd Regional appearance in 6 years. Coach Pierce was named the 2011 Sun Belt Coach of The Year.In 2007 he led Troy to its second consecutive NCAA regional appearance after a 2nd place finish in the Sun Belt Conference on the heels of a regular season and SBC tournament championship with a 47-16 mark in their first season in the Sun Belt in 2006. With an Atlantic Sun Conference title in 2005 as well, the consecutive conference championships were a first for Troy since becoming a Division I school in 1994. He was also named the Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year in 2006, to complement his 2005 Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year award.
Coach Pierce began his coaching career in his hometown of Marianna, Florida at Chipola Junior College at the age of 23. He still owns the distinction of being the youngest coach (age 23) in Florida Junior College history to win a state championship (1983). He posted 259 wins in 7 seasons at Chipola and then returned to the University of Alabama as the top assistant coach for five seasons. Coach Pierce left his alma mater to begin from scratch the baseball program at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The first UAH team in 1996 posted 37 wins and won a Division championship. He concluded his career in Huntsville with 276 wins in 7 seasons, an average of over 39 wins per season. A highly respected teacher and motivator, Coach Pierce has coached over 100 players who have played professionally, including 2 from the 2011 Trojan squad.
- Career record: 860-409 (.678), 10th Year at TROY University
- 2011 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year
- 2006 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year
- 2005 Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year
- 2005 Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Division I Coach of the Year
Assistant Coach: Troy University
Former Trojan Mark Smartt returned to his alma mater in July of 2002, accepting an assistant coaching position under head coach Bobby Pierce. Following his third season at Troy University in 2005, he was named the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year. He was the first-ever recipient of the award. Coach Smartt is the recruiting coordinator for the Trojans while also coaching third base and working with the hitters and infielders.
Smartt, a second baseman for legendary Coach Chase Riddle, helped lead the Trojans to the 1986 and 1987 NCAA Division II national championships. He was the second leading hitter (.405) on the '86 championship team, which is the sixth highest single-season average in school history. He ended his career with a .379 batting average, the third-highest career average in school annals. He also ended his career with a stellar .954 fielding percentage.
During his two-year Trojan career, Smartt was named to the All-GSC team in 1986 and 1987 and earned second-team All-Region honors in 1987. He was also named to the College World Series All-Tournament team in 1987 after hitting .333 while not committing an error in 24 chances. His successful playing career was punctuated by his induction into the Troy University Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Following two years as an assistant coach under Riddle, Smartt spent 11 seasons as a coach at the University of West Alabama, serving as the head coach from 1995-2000. He arrived in Livingston as the school's first full-time assistant coach in 1990 under then head coach Mark Hogan. His recruiting efforts helped produce a 1992 Division II College World Series appearance after capturing the Gulf South Conference and South Central Regional Championships along the way. The Tigers captured a GSC West Division Championship in 1994, his last season as an assistant.
In 1995, Smartt was elevated to the head coaching position and compiled a 165-163 record in six seasons. During his tenure, his teams broke or tied 38 school records while producing two All-America, seven All-Region and 10 All-GSC selections. Under his leadership, UWA also finished in the top five in national attendance in five of his six seasons, including setting a single-game home crowd record of 2,019 in his last season.
Smartt was appointed a member of the ABCA Division II All-American Committee from 1998-2000, serving as the chairman the last two years. He also was a member of the Division II National Poll Committee from 1995-98.
Immediately prior to returning to Troy, Smartt spent two years as park manager with the parks and recreation department in Moody, Alabama.
Assistant Coach: Troy University
Troy University head baseball coach Bobby Pierce did not waste any time in selecting a new pitching coach, nor did he have to look very far.
Former Charles Henderson High School head coach, and Troy University graduate, Brad Phillips became the Trojans' new pitching coach in August 2010. Phillips is no stranger to the Troy baseball program, having served as a volunteer assistant under Pierce during the 2003-04 seasons.
Phillips, a native of Hazel Green, Ala., in Madison County, played collegiately at Gadsden State Community College and the University of Montevallo before completing his degree at Troy in 2004. He took over the program at CHHS that same year and led the team to four consecutive AHSAA playoff appearances.
During his time at Charles Henderson he posted a record of 114-59 and was named the Class 5A Region 2 Coach of the Year four times. He was named the Dothan Eagle Super 12 Coach of the Year in 2008.
Phillips took over the program at Niceville, Fla., High School for the 2009 season and took his team there to consecutive state playoff appearances while posting a combined record of 43-16. He was named the 2009 Northwest Florida Daily News Coach of the Year.