Texas hires Tulane's David Pierce as next baseball coach

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Tulane baseball coach David Pierce, who led the Green Wave to the American Athletic Conference regular-season title this past season, was announced Wednesday as the new coach at Texas.

Pierce replaces Augie Garrido, the winningest coach in college baseball history, who was forced out after 20 years after the Longhorns had a losing season and missed the NCAA postseason for the third time in five years.

Texas athletic director Mike Perrin searched for Garrido's replacement for a month before putting the traditional powerhouse program in the hands of Pierce, who has deep ties to the state of Texas but just five years' experience as a head coach.

"As a kid growing up in Texas, I dreamed of being a Longhorn and wearing the burnt orange," Pierce said. "Today that dream is coming true ... Texas is second to no one," Pierce said in a statement released by Texas.

Terms of Pierce's contract were not immediately released.

Pierce, 53, is just the third coach at Texas since 1968. Garrido won national titles with the Longhorns in 2002 and 2005 and had six 50-win seasons between 2002 and 2010.

Texas' recent slide — and first losing season in 20 years — pushed Garrido into a special assistant's role within the athletic department. He had one year left on a contract worth more than $1 million per year.

While Garrido racked up 1,975 victories dating back to 1969 with five national titles overall, Pierce has an overall record of 197-109. He was the head coach at Sam Houston State for three seasons before spending the last two seasons at Tulane. He also was a longtime assistant at Rice.

Pierce has led his teams to the NCAA postseason in every year as a head coach but has not yet advanced to a super regional.

"David has deep roots in Texas and has strong recruiting connections throughout our state and surrounding states. But beyond that, he is a great man who has a passion for leading and developing young men in all aspects of life," Perrin said. "In talking to David and visiting with others in the college baseball world, it was clear that he is highly respected."