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Mr. Butch Pierre




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Assistant Basketball Coach during 1988-
1996 on the Fletcher staff.

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Butch Pierre
POSITION: Interim Head Coach
ALMA MATER: Mississippi St. (1984)
HOMETOWN: Darrow, La. E-Mail Coach Pierre
Updated 07/10/2007

He’s been called “one of the best recruiters in the nation” and certainly every year he has been at LSU, he has added to that reputation. That was the reason, when John Brady was hired as LSU’s men’s basketball coach, Butch Pierre was the man Brady wanted on his staff to help build a program at LSU.

Pierre has played a key role in rebuilding the program through his intense work on the practice court and countless hours of planning preparation in the office. Pierre is highly involved in the total basketball program at LSU, providing the superior technical basketball knowledge to practice preparation, on the floor coaching and he plays an important role in the development of the total basketball program through his work with each student-athlete. The student-athletes recruited by coach Pierre have been very successful in the classroom, as 12 of the student-athletes during coach Brady’s tenure at LSU have graduated.

Pierre has made a mark in coaching wherever he has set up shop. He also has built and established a reputation throughout the country of turning losing into winning at each institution he has worked at throughout his career. At each stop, the head coach, in an average of three seasons, has won a league title and was named conference coach of the year.

In the past 17 seasons at LSU, Charlotte, and Louisiana-Lafayette, the teams on which coach Pierre has been on the coaching staff have won 303 games and in the last six seasons, the Tigers have averaged 20 wins a year.

In his first full-time collegiate job, Pierre spent two years as an assistant at Kentucky State (1986-88), where the program made a 12-game turnaround in his first year from 5-23 to 17-12, the school’s first winning season in seven years.

Following Kentucky State, Pierre came back to Louisiana at Louisiana-Lafayette, joining the Cajuns prior to the 1988-89 season. Pierre had a spectacular eight-year career as an assistant with his teams winning an average of 18 games a year as Louisiana-Lafayette won two Sun Belt championships and played in two NCAA Tournaments, winning fewer than 16 games only once in eight years.

More than a dozen of his UL-Lafayette players went on to play professionally after their college days. He was elevated to the top assistants’ position in his second season on the Cajun staff.

Pierre left UL-Lafayette for Charlotte prior to the 1996-97 season. He put together a top 10 recruiting class at Charlotte, which went 22-9, and won a first round game over Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament.

Pierre, who enjoys speaking to various community groups around the state, has taken tremendous pride throughout his coaching career in the development of players as student-athletes both on and off the court.

Pierre completed his undergraduate studies in four years receiving his degree in 1984 and completing graduate studies in 1986 at Mississippi State University. It has been coach Pierre’s passion and mission to insure that every student-athlete he has recruited works diligently to complete his degree prior to his departure from the University. During his tenure at LSU, Pierre has successfully recruited several Parade and McDonald’s All-Americans, and Mr. Basketballs. While many of these athletes have enjoyed extraordinary athletic success, most of the student-athletes who have matriculated to these various institutions, under his tutelage, have graduated.

In addition to his prowess as an accomplished strategist, tactician and teacher of the game of basketball, coach Pierre is recognized by his peers in the industry as a relentless, innovative and extremely successful recruiter. His work ethic and attention to detail is nothing new as he has had noteworthy recruiting and coaching success at all his stops. At LSU, Pierre has been able to bring in the key players (Stromile Swift, Jabari Smith, Ronald Dupree, Brandon Bass, Glen Davis and others) who have been instrumental in leading the Tigers to five postseason appearances in the last six years, including the 2000 SEC title and the 2005 SEC Western Division crown.

His recruiting at LSU has landed the Tigers four McDonald’s, nine Parade pre All-Americans, six junior college All-Americans and two who earned national junior college player of the year honors.

“Hoopscoop” has called Pierre, “one of the best recruiters in the nation, one of the hottest guys in the business.” Coach Brady says of Pierre, “My association with Butch Pierre goes back to his playing days at St. Amant High when I was the basketball coach at Crowley. We then continued the relationship at Mississippi State where he played while I was an assistant. He has experienced outstanding success with each stop as an assistant. He is an excellent coach, a proven recruiter and most importantly, a loyal friend.”

A native of Darrow, La., Pierre was a prep and Southeastern Conference standout in his playing days. At St. Amant High School, he was a prep All-American and the school retired his jersey in 1980. Pierre started four seasons as a point guard at Mississippi State and graduated as the Bulldogs leader in assists (342).

Butch and his wife, Clemmie, are parents of a daughter, Langley (14), and 12-year-old twin sons, Joseph III and Josh.

College Coaching Experience
1984-86 – Graduate Assistant, Mississippi State
1986-88 — Assistant Coach, Kentucky State
1988-89 — Assistant Coach, Louisiana Lafayette
1989-96 — Assistant Head Coach, Louisiana Lafayette
1996-97 — Assistant Coach, Charlotte
1997-02 — Assistant Coach, LSU
2002 — Associate Head Coach, LSU

The Pierre File
Year at LSU: Ninth
Birth Date: Oct. 4, 1962
Age: 43
Hometown: Darrow, La.
Wife: Clemmie
Children: Langley (14), Joseph III (12), Josh (12)
College: BS, Education, Miss. State, 1984; M. Ed., Miss. State, 1986

Posted 7/10/07 LSUSports.net

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Pierre leads LSU against Kentucky
Glenn Guilbeau

BATON ROUGE – Butch Pierre is at the high point of his career, and it may be just getting started.
The 45-year-old interim LSU basketball coach from the small town of Darrow near Gonzales got his long-awaited, first head coaching job a week ago. He got his first win on Wednesday night at Florida, which has lost only three games to Southeastern Conference West teams this decade. The Tigers had only one win this year before that stunning, 85-73 victory in Gainesville over the 2006 and 2007 national champions.

Today, Pierre goes against one of those gold standards of college basketball – Kentucky – at noon in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The game will be televised by the Lincoln Financial Sports network.

The Wildcats (12-10, 6-3 SEC) have struggled under first-year coach Billy Gillispie and are coming off one of their worst losses in history – 93-52 at Vanderbilt on Tuesday night. LSU (9-14) remained in last place in the SEC West at 2-7 in a tie with Auburn.
Pierre did not jump up and down when he was named interim coach with the firing of close friend John Brady, whom Pierre played under at Mississippi State and coached under at LSU from the 1997-98 season until last week. But he is now. Pierre has desired a head coaching job for years. He’s interviewed. He’s had people call on his behalf. Nothing worked.

Pierre walked tall and fast from practice to his office Thursday night as he discussed the Florida win with a friend on his cellular phone.

“I’m just living in the moment,” Pierre said. “I’m having a lot of fun.”

It is somewhat fitting that high of his landmark first win, Pierre now plays the flagship school of the state where all that dues paying started for Pierre. He used to call Kentucky home.

Located 24 miles west of Lexington, Ky., and the University of Kentucky is Kentucky State University in the capital city of Frankfort. It is where Pierre met his wife Clemmie, who is a native of Lexington. It is where Pierre got his first full-time basketball coaching job before the 1986-87 season after playing point guard at Mississippi State in the early 1980s and working as a graduate assistant there from 1984-86. In the shadows of Kentucky Blue, it is where Pierre became known as a recruiter, which carried him to his present position.

“That first year was rough,” Pierre said. “But that second year we had one of the biggest turnarounds in the history of the school. I signed about six players, mostly junior college guys you never heard of, after that first year. It’s where it all started for me. It was cold up there, but I had crawfish shipped up and boiled it right there in the snow.”

Pierre was off to his second job for the 1988-89 season as an assistant at Louisiana-Lafayette, where he would remain as associate coach through the 1995-96 season. Then it was one year at North Carolina-Charlotte before reuniting with Brady at LSU.

“I still recruit some of the schools Butch started recruiting,” said Paul Peck, who hired Pierre back in 1986 to come to Kentucky State. “He worked his butt off for me. He’s a very loyal person. He’s always been a great recruiter and knows the game.”

Peck is now coaching in Columbia, Ky., in the NAIA at Lindsey Wilson College, which just beat NAIA No. 1 Mountain State.University.

“I was so excited for Butch when the got the job,” Peck said. “I wrote him a congratulatory letter. He’s a great young man, or a great old man. He had his hair back then when he worked for me, and my hair wasn’t gray.”

Peck, 52, wanted a coach younger than him when he got the Kentucky State job in 1986 when he was just 30.

“There were a lot of connections,” said Peck, who would later become an assistant coach at Western Kentucky and at Ole Miss. “And I knew Butch from some camps.”

Peck knew Dave Farrar, who was a Mississippi State assistant coach when Pierre was playing for head coach Jim Hatfield and then Bob Boyd.

“They all recommended Butch very highly,” he said. “He got a lot done with me quickly. I really anticipated him moving up the ladder quicker. I thought he would have been a head coach before this, but sometimes in this business you have to wait. I hope this works out for him. This is his chance.”

Pierre hopes his waiting period is over. If not LSU, he said this audition could land him a head coaching job somewhere else.

“He loves it in Louisiana, though. He’d hate to leave there,” Peck said.

“I think being a head coach at LSU would be special to anyone in coaching,” Pierre said. “A lot of coaches would love to be the head coach here at LSU. But right now, I’m just enjoying my time as the head coach. I’m not focused on what I’m going to do next right now. I’m just trying to coach this team and finish strong. It’s all about LSU now. We want to keep winning. You can toss that game out that Kentucky just lost. They’ll be ready to play. They’re very tough. We’ll have to match their toughness, and carry over what we did the other night against Florida on both ends of the floor.”

As far as the LSU players are concerned at the moment, it’s all about Butch.

“Oh, coach Pierre would be a great candidate for this job,” junior guard Garrett Temple said. “Obviously, in terms of the players already here, he knows us real well because he recruited us. And he recruited the four players coming in next year. I hope they look at coach Pierre. He knows what he’s doing. What he’s done with us is obviously working.”

Daily Advertiser, Feb. 16, 2008

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Birth Date: Oct. 4, 1962



WIFE: Clemmie

CHILDREN: Langley (14), Joseph III and Josh (both 12)

COLLEGE: Mississippi State (B.S., 1984; M.Ed., 1986)

COACHING EXPERIENCE: Graduate assistant, Mississippi State, 1984-86; Assistant, Kentucky State, 1986-88; Assistant and assistant head coach, UL, 1988-96; Assistant, Charlotte, 1996-97; Assistant and associate head coach, LSU, 1997-present.

LAGNIAPPE: St. Amant retired his playing jersey in 1980 after he earned prep All-American honors … Started at point guard four years for MSU and left as the school’s all-time career assists leader (342) … Hasn’t had to recruit very far from home in the past couple of seasons. LSU’s starting five includes three from Baton Rouge, one from the suburb of Denham Springs and St. Martinville product Darrel Mitchell.

Patience Pierre soaks up Final Four glory
Dan McDonald

When John Brady called Butch Pierre with a job offer in March of 1997, right after he got the head basketball coaching job at LSU, Pierre did two things.
He gave Brady a written list of several items he needed, job-related things that would take care of his family should his run as a Tiger assistant turn into a long one.

He also told Brady that he expected LSU to make it to the Final Four and win a national championship in fairly short order.

“He just kind of looked at me and didn’t respond,” Pierre said. “But once he met all my needs and I became an assistant with him, I fully believed we were going to compete for national championships.”
The Tigers have fulfilled Pierre’s confidence, thanks in no small part to his efforts as one of the nation’s premier recruiters. When they line up against UCLA Saturday in the national semifinals in Indianapolis, it will be the high point – to this point – of a 20-year collegiate coaching career with 17 of those spent in Louisiana.

But the Darrow native doesn’t mind admitting that this weekend’s trip shouldn’t be the Tigers’ first in two decades, and that their 2000 squad was good enough to cut his national-title prediction time by two-thirds.

“That team was good enough to make it,” Pierre said. “With seeding and opponent matchups it didn’t happen, but it was good enough. We had to put some more great recruiting classes and some role players back together and get us into that position again.”

The 2000 squad of Stromile Swift, Jabari Smith and Torris Bright won the SEC overall title and went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years with a 28-6 mark. But the 10th-ranked Tigers lost to Wisconsin 61-48 in the regional semifinals.

It looked like an early-round matchup was again going to haunt the Tigers this year, but Darrel Mitchell’s three-pointer provided LSU with a 58-57 second-round win over unranked Texas A&M. After that, an eight-point win over top-ranked Duke and a double-digit win over ninth-ranked Texas put Pierre into his first Final Four.

“We had a good idea that we could do this,” Pierre said. “I knew our front line would be as good as anyone in America because I saw what Tyrus Thomas was doing in practice every day. We were a little suspect at the guards … I thought that would be our weakest link.

“After we moved Darrel over to point and Tasmin (Mitchell) made the adjustment to the three spot and Garrett (Temple) accepted his role, we knew we would become a really good team because we could put points on the board and our inside game was always going to be there.”

Pierre coached two years at Kentucky State before returning to his home state as top assistant to then-USL head coach Marty Fletcher. As an assistant coach and later assistant head coach, Pierre helped lead UL to an average of 18 wins a year over his eight years along with two Sun Belt Conference titles and two trips to the NCAA Tournament.

He coached one year at Charlotte, which went 22-9 and won an NCAA Tournament game, before getting the call from Brady – whom he played under at Mississippi State with Brady serving as assistant coach there for five years.

“He’s an excellent coach, a proven recruiter, and most importantly a loyal friend,” Brady said of Pierre, whom he promoted to associate head coach in 2002 while Pierre continued to be in the picture for several head coaching jobs.

“Obviously I’ve got goals and expectations of myself,” Pierre said. “At the age I’m at now (43), I have certain goals and aspirations to be a head coach, and to be competing for this kind of championship in my own program.

“But I don’t really get caught up in being an assistant or a head coach right now. I’ve been up for jobs at schools before, and it just wasn’t appropriate for me. This week I’m just focusing on the kids and trying to help them be the best possible team they can, and this week I have a great job, one of the best jobs in America.”

Originally published March 29, 2006