The worst season of Texas Longhorns head coach David Pierce’s head coaching career prompted a staff change on Tuesday, as news broke that volunteer assistant Phil Haig will not return in 2020:
David Pierce is making a change to his staff. Longtime volunteer pitching coach Phil Haig won't be returning to Texas next season, he confirmed to Orangebloods. More: https://t.co/yzAd3j5WQt #HookEm pic.twitter.com/YVRuE6YVIb— Dustin McComas (@DMcComasOB) July 23, 2019
When Pierce took over the Sam Houston State program in 2012, he hired assistants Sean Allen and Philip Miller, as well as Haig as a volunteer assistant. When Pierce moved on to Tulane and then to Texas, he brought all three with him to both stops — he’s clearly a loyal head coach.
However, the Longhorns cratered during the 2019 season and missed the postseason entirely, marking the first time that Pierce failed to do so as a head coach.
The pitching was a big part of the problem. As a former college pitcher at Illinois, that was Haig’s area of expertise, but Texas struggled, finishing seventh in the Big 12 in ERA at 4.37 and eighth in walks allowed with 257. So while the Horns finished in the top half of the conference in hits allowed, runs allowed, and earned runs allowed, the results matched the ERA and walks allowed.
And so now Haig is moving on as Pierce makes the first staff change of his head coaching career with Texas heading into a critical offseason for development on the pitching staff following the struggles in 2019.