Original article (Niagara Announces Contract Extension for Pierce) on Niagara University’s athletic website purpleeagles.com.

Jada Pierce, the head coach of the Niagara University women’s basketball team, has signed a contract extension to coach the Purple Eagles through the 2025-26 season. Pierce is currently in her eighth season on Monteagle Ridge.

“Women’s basketball is an important component of our institution, and under Jada’s leadership, its influence can be felt well beyond the court,” said Simon Gray, associate vice president for athletics. “During her time at Niagara, Jada has developed into a leader both in our department and in the region, and the program has represented us well through academic excellence, service to the community, and competition. The extension of her contract further strengthens the stability of the women’s basketball program, and the athletic department as a whole.”

The Purple Eagles have seen continual improvement on the court during Pierce’s eight seasons on Monteagle Ridge, highlighted by the program’s best season under Pierce a year ago. Niagara finished 15-15 overall and 11-9 in conference play en route to the first MAAC semifinals appearance in nine seasons. Pierce has also helped mentor multiple All-MAAC selections, including 2017-18 Player of the Year Victoria Rampado, 2019-20 Sixth Player of the Year Maggie McIntyre, and 2021-22 Rookie of the Year Aaliyah Parker.

“We are extremely pleased with the success Jada has leading the Purple Eagles, but her work in developing young women to be leaders off the court is critical to the overall student-athlete experience at Niagara,” continued Gray. “Through involvement on campus, and service to the broader community, our student athletes have demonstrated a commitment to the mission of the university.”

Off the court, Pierce has had 46 student-athletes named to the MAAC All-Academic Team while maintaining a cumulative grade point average each season of 3.3 or higher. The women’s basketball program has also maintained or exceeded their sports’ national Academic Progress Rate (APR) average, including a score of 986 in 2021-22 and a perfect APR of 1,000 in 2020-21.

Niagara has also been heavily involved in the community during Pierce’s tenure, providing service to Gospel Missions and the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon, with plans to work with the Boys & girls Club of Niagara Falls this holiday season.

“I am grateful for the support of President Father James Maher, Associate Vice President for Athletics Simon Gray and our distinguished Board of Trustees,” said Pierce. “This contract extension is a great way for them to show their commitment and belief in the vision of our program. The continuity we’ve had has been a direct reflection of the growth and success of our program in recent years,” continued Pierce. “I would also like to thank our incredible student-athletes and coaching staff for all their hard work which made this possible. I found a home here at Niagara and am excited about our future.”