Story Courtesy of Allegheny Sports Information Departement
Allegheny College has announced the hiring of Tommy Pearce as the first varsity men's lacrosse head coach in school history.
No stranger to building a new program, Pearce comes to Allegheny after serving as head coach at Frostburg State University since 2009, when the school resurrected varsity men's lacrosse after a 30-year hiatus.
"I would like to thank Director of Athletics Portia Hoeg and the search committee for this exciting opportunity," said Pearce. "My wife, Kelly, and I are eager to become a part of the Meadville and Allegheny College community. Allegheny is primed for the addition of men's lacrosse. The beautiful campus and athletic facilities, the college's excellent reputation, and membership in the extremely competitive North Coast Athletic Conference will not only attract outstanding student-athletes from surrounding areas, but will also draw interest from lacrosse players from across the country."
"I am thrilled to get to work recruiting the inaugural recruiting class for Allegheny men's lacrosse," he continued, "and lay the groundwork for future success."
A native of Chestertown, Maryland and graduate of Gettysburg College, Pearce posted an overall record of 85-62 at Frostburg, including a 67-36 mark over the past six seasons. Competing in the Capital Athletic Conference, one of the strongest Division III lacrosse leagues in the nation, the Bobcats have gone a combined 27-18 in CAC play dating back to the 2013 season, and qualified for the conference tournament in each of the past six years.
"We are thrilled to welcome Tommy to the Gator family," said Hoeg. "He proved to be the strongest candidate in an exceptional pool. He has experience in building a men's lacrosse program in a very strong conference, and he has a tremendous pedigree as a Gettysburg alum and assistant coach. I am more than confident that Tommy will hit the ground running, and quickly turn our men's lacrosse team into a strong North Coast Athletic Conference competitor. His extensive recruiting network will continue to represent Allegheny's pursuit of academic and athletic excellence."
A two-time CAC Coach of the Year, Pearce has coached six United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-Americans, three USILA Scholar-Athletes, eight All-ECAC selections, 23 All-CAC selections, and 103 Academic All-CAC honorees.
In just their third season in existence, the Bobcats qualified for the CAC tournament for the first time in 2013, earning Pearce CAC Coach of the Year honors. The Bobcats repeated the feat a season later, while also advancing to the championship game of the ECAC tournament, before breaking through with a record-breaking 2015 campaign. That season, Frostburg opened the year with a 14-game winning streak and climbed to 17th in the USILA Top 20 poll, before eventually finishing with a 16-3 record. The team ranked in the top-10 nationally in scoring defense, allowing an average of just 6.1 goals per game, while they outscored their opponents by an average of 7.1 goals per game. Two players garnered USILA Honorable Mention All-America honors, while Pearce was tabbed CAC Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons.
In 2016, Frostburg started the year 11-0, reaching as high as No. 15 in the USILA poll, and finished with a 15-4 overall record. The Bobcats scored 15 or more goals in seven different victories, while surrendering an average of just 7.3 goals per game. Once again, two Frostburg players were named USILA All-America.
Pearce began his coaching career with a four-year stint as an assistant at Gettysburg College. The Bullets won the Centennial Conference title and advanced to the NCAA playoffs in each of those four seasons, including a national runner-up finish in 2009. The Bullets were a combined 66-12 with Pearce on the staff, and were routinely ranked in the top five of the USILA poll. Pearce, who was named the Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association Outstanding Assistant Coach of the Year in 2008, helped recruit and coach a total of 20 All-Americans at Gettysburg. In addition to his lacrosse coaching duties, Pearce also served as Gettysburg's assistant strength and conditioning coordinator from 2006-09.
Pearce enjoyed an illustrious playing career during his undergraduate years at Gettysburg from 1998-2001. A midfielder, he was a three-time All-Centennial Conference selection and two-time All-America pick, including USILA First Team All-America honors during his senior season of 2001. As a senior, he was also tabbed the ECAC South Region Player of the Year, as the Bullets reached the NCAA Division III championship game. A team captain during his junior and senior seasons, Pearce helped the Bullets to a 54-12 overall record during his four-year career.
He earned his B.A. in English from Gettysburg in 2001, before going on to earn a Master's in Exercise Science and Physical Education from McDaniel College in 2009.
Pearce will officially begin his duties at Allegheny on June 18.
Allegheny College announced the addition of both men's lacrosse and women's field hockey in October, increasing the amount of varsity sports offered by the college to 23. Pearce will immediately begin recruiting and planning for his team's first official season, slated for the spring of 2020.