Valparaiso University head football coach Dale Carlson has announced the hiring of Tony Pierce as the Crusaders’ new defensive coordinator.
“Tony brings a wealth of experience to Valparaiso University as our new defensive coordinator,” Carlson said. “He is an excellent teacher and a man of high character.”
Pierce brings 25 years of coaching experience to Valpo, including 18 years on the college level. He arrives at Valpo from Tennessee State University, where he was the running backs coach and special teams coordinator last season. The Tigers posted a victory over Eastern Illinois, the Ohio Valley Conference champion, during the 2009 campaign.
He served as the defensive coordinator at Alabama State University for six seasons, with his 2008 defense ranking 19th in the county. In 2004, he helped Alabama State to the 2004 Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and was named the American Football Coaches Association I-AA Assistant Football Coach of the Year.
Pierce has also served as the running backs coach at both West Virginia University and the University of Georgia. While at West Virginia, he coached two-time All-America selection Amos Zereoue, who went on to be drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also has coached at the University of Pittsburgh and Wake Forest University.
He has participated in the NFL Minority Internship program with the Arizona Cardinals, has coached in the CarQuest Bowl, Insight.com Bowl, and the Music City Bowl, as well as two SWAC championship games.
Pierce was a four-year starter at Gettysburg College where he set school records for interceptions in a career, most interception return yardage, and tied the record for interceptions in a game with three. He signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Stars of the United States Football League.
A graduate of Gettysburg College with a bachelor of science in physical education, Pierce earned a masters degree in coaching and sports administration from Montclair State University.
“I believe this hire makes a statement that Valparaiso University is serious about moving the football program to the top of the PFL,” Carlson concluded. “Tony is a proven football coach with experience as a coordinator at both the Division I-FCS and Division I-FBS level.”