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David Pierce introduced as new Texas baseball head coach

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The former Tulane dugout leader has never missed an NCAA tournament as head coach. Now he looks to rebuild a Texas team that missed out on the tourney in 2016.

David Pierce was officially welcomed in Austin today, as the new Texas coach held a press conference with athletic director Mike Perrin to formally announce the ex-Tulane leader to the Forty Acres.

However, Pierce needed no introduction to the University of Texas. After all, the Houston native stated, "as a kid growing up in Texas, I dreamed of being a Longhorn and wearing the burnt orange" the day that he got the job.

Pierce's press conference featured traditional coachisms ( "It's about becoming great citizens, and not just great baseball players"), but the newest 'Horn also expressed genuine sincerity and gratitude for being selected. It appeared that Pierce was even beginning to get emotional as he thanked his wife and his mother, the latter of whom he didn't expect to be there.

And most importantly, it certainly looks like the players are behind him.

Shugart will likely be the closer or the 'Horns for 2017, and Pierce said at the press conference, "we consider our closer, the stopper. If the game is on the line in the 7th, we'll put him in." Whether the rising sophomore Shugart will thrive under Pierce's guidance remains to be seen, but the new Texas coach will have a rebuilding project in squeezing the talent out of a group of players who underperformed in 2016.

Here's a few other intriguing quotes from Pierce:

1. "How ironic... we open up with Rice this upcoming season."

Pierce was under the legendary Wayne Graham's tutelage for nine years at Rice. Graham took a chance on Pierce, who had been a high school coach and was a collegiate assistant for only two years at the time of his hiring at Rice. In Pierce's first year as Graham's assistant, the Owls won a national championship.

Pierce began as the pitching assistant coach, but later moved to become the hitting coach at Rice. Learning how to develop players on both sides of the game will be crucial for Texas. In bad years, the 'Horns are usually decent in pitching but poor at the plate. This year, they were sub-par at both.

Now, the student will take on the mentor in the first game of the 2017 season. Both men's hair is a little grayer than when they last coached together in 2011; Pierce is now 53 and Wayne Graham is 80.

2. "We've got such a great foundation to start with."

This is true! Despite finishing at a humiliating 25-32 last season, Texas' roster is by no means devoid of talent. The Longhorns should be bringing high school MLB draftees David Hamilton (shortstop) and Blair Henley (pitcher) to campus, and Augie's youngest team ever will grow into being a more experienced one for David Pierce.

Pierce emphasized that he does not expect next year to be a rebuilding season, but rather a year to move back on track. He's stated that he understood the talent Texas had when his Tulane team faced off against the 'Horns this season. "If we're prepared and we're consistent, we're not guaranteed anything, but we're guaranteed an opportunity to compete," Pierce said.

3. "I definitely feel like I'm the first choice."

Despite not being interviewed until June 18th, Pierce expectedly showed optimism about a search that's professionalism has been debated by the Statesman and at times, Burnt Orange Nation. He continued by saying "it doesn't matter where you start, it's where you finish".

Every hire, a coach seem to call their new school a "dream job", but for David Pierce, Texas really is where he feels he belongs. He wanted the job with a fervor that wasn't publicly apparent of other candidates. Just because he may not have technically been Perrin's first choice, doesn't mean the administration and fans shouldn't make him feel like he is. Pierce is our coach, and if his track record is any indication, he'll be a very good one at that.

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You can watch the full press conference below. It's a lengthy 28 minutes, but if Pierce's introduction was worthy of Shaka Smart's attendance, then it may be worth a portion of your Thursday night.