Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Edmonson County High School Athletic Director Kyle Pierce will be turning over his job to someone else as he has been hired as the newest head football coach at Barrren County High School. The announcement was made earlier today at Barren County.
Pierce, who has spent the past 17 years at Edmonson County as a teacher, coach, and athletic director, said the decision to change roles and move schools was a very difficult one to make; however, after much prayer, he says the time is right for the change.
"I came here at age 24 to coach the football team in June of 2004 by my mentor, Coach Rick Wood," Pierce said. "It's going to be very hard to leave here because Edmonson County is the best place there is, but I'm a believer in prayer. I've always felt like staying here was what I needed to do until now."
As head football coach, Pierce finished 12 seasons for the Wildcats, where he also played four years from 1995-1999. During those twelve years, the Wildcats were 68-66, made the playoffs nine years, had an undefeated regular season with a district championship in 2011, and made it to the regional championship game in 2008.
Pierce has also taught P.E., weightlifting, driver's education, and teen health over his years in education and coaching.
"I know how much influence my teachers and coaches had on me when I was a student and player and that's the reason I went into education and coaching. When I stepped away from coaching in 2015, that was the right thing for my family at the time, but I'd been praying again about coaching because I just felt like that was were I needed to be headed again, even though I'd told myself 'no'". Once I got some clarity within my prayers--once the Lord told me it was okay--I started looking that way."
Pierce said when the ECHS football coaching job reopened a few months ago, he couldn't get a clear answer about it and started to worry.
"I felt like I had a good chance of being hired if I applied, but it just didn't feel like that's what I was supposed to do, so I just waited. That wasn't for me. Sometimes things don't work out like we expect, but I know our football program is in good hands with Coach Smart. I know he's going to do great things at Edmonson County,"
Pierce has been the athletic director at ECHS for past 11 years. While he's enjoyed that position, he says the time it requires to do the job correctly is very consuming.
"Being an AD is very rewarding, being able to work with all our coaches, but it can be very tiresome," he said. "I have to be gone around 90 to 100 nights per year for games and events. Coaching is more of a set schedule. Right now, I leave school, go home and see my boys for about 30 minutes, then have to leave again. This has been a great job, but it's worn on me from time away from the family."
Pierce will also be a P.E./weightlifting coach at Barren County and will likely assume his duties there after spring break. He still plans to live in Edmonson County with his wife, Leanne, who is also a teacher at ECHS, along with his two sons.
The move will also cause an open athletic director position at Edmonson County for the remainder of this school year. Principal Jonathan Williams said he would like to name an interim immediately to finish out the remainder of the school year and post for a more long-term position later on, but he's still researching his options. He said that he fully supports Pierce's decision.
"I've known Kyle Pierce since I was in the second grade and he was in the fourth grade at Kyrock Elementary," he said. "He's been a teammate, a coach, mentor, and friend of mine, and I've always trusted that. I've gone to church with him for the past 12 years and I know he believes in prayer. If his prayers lead him somewhere, I'll support it. There's nothing I can negatively say about Kyle and I fully support him in his decision. Barren County is getting a good one. He's a good coach and an even better person."
Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools Brian Alexander wanted to thank Coach Pierce for his years of service as a teacher, coach and athletic director for Edmonson County Schools.
"No one can dispute Kyle's dedication to Edmonson County High School and the athletics programs here over the years," he said. "Barren County is getting a great coach and an ever better man to serve as a coach, mentor and role model in their football program. We wish him the best of luck as he guides the Trojan Football Program."
Pierce said he's cherished all his time here and is proud to have been part of this school system over his career.
"I've been blessed to work here with good people. All our teachers, our coaches, our great kids and parents here have been first class. We have administrators that care about our schools, our programs, and that means so much. I know some might not understand, but this wasn't a spur-of-the-moment decision. I know this is what I'm supposed to do and I look forward to it. I've been able to see some great projects come through here at home, like the new gym floor, our video board, the improvements at the football field, baseball field, and softball field, and I know more of that will continue in the future."
Pierce said one of the hardest things about the move is putting on new school colors.
"I told the folks at Barren County that I don't have one thing that's burgundy or gold. All my stuff is navy, red, and white," he said with a laugh. "I've got a closet-full of Edmonson County gear and I'm not getting rid of it. As we say around here, 'once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat,' and I know it's true."