Appalachian State University women’s basketball head coach Angel Elderkin is excited to announce the addition of former Akron assistant women’s basketball coach Sam Pierce to the Appalachian staff as an assistant coach.
“Sam is a perfect fit for our players, program and community,” mentioned Elderkin. “He is go-getter, a pro-active thinker and a doer. His passion for the game is infectious, and as expected, has hit the ground running for us. I am thrilled he and his family have joined our Appalachian State community.”
Pierce’s role on the staff will include skill development, practice planning, game planning and recruiting. The newly hired assistant will look to develop the six new commitments for App while seeking to continue to develop the eight returning Mountaineers.
While at Akron for three seasons, Pierce was responsible for Akron’s junior college recruiting circuit and spearheaded the Zips’ defense. In addition, he was the coordinator of player development, position coach for point guards and the strength and development liaison.
Pierce helped the development of Akron’s Hannah Plybon, who increased her scoring average every season including a 6.1 ppg jump from 7.1-13.2 in Pierce’s first season. Plybon would turn into a 1,000-point scorer and an All-MAC Honorable Mention member while averaging 16.4 points per game, which was the ranked eighth in the league in her final season. Four of the top leading scorers last season for Akron were from the guard position.
In 2015-16, one of his pupils, Kerri McMahan started all 31 contests as a freshman registering 6.3 points, 3.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game en route to being named to the MAC All-Freshman Team.
Before his three-season stint in Akron, Pierce founded a founded a basketball development program called PA Pride located in Altoona, Pa. He coached boys and girls for six years as a part of the program.
“I am incredibly grateful to Coach Elderkin and the entire Appalachian State Administration for the opportunity to be a Mountaineer,” said Pierce. “Coach Elderkin’s positive personality is contagious. She has the energy, experience and vision to lead this program to new heights. It is incredible when you combine that with the fact that Appalachian State is an institution of academic excellence and athletic tradition.”
I look forward to being a part of the staff that will help continue to elevate this program to the next level.
Before finding the PA Pride Program, Pierce was the director of men’s basketball operations at Robert Morris University and also spent time as an assistant coach at Penn State Altoona.
A 2002 graduate of Slippery Rock University, Pierce and his fiancé, Elizabeth Zerbee, have one son, Sam III.