Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–10–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Pierce 'thrilled' to be back working for Blue and Gold

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BUCK PIERCE didn't stay retired for long.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers hired the former quarterback as their running backs coach.

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Pierce retired Tuesday after a nine season career that saw him throw for 15,289 yards, 76 touchdowns, 1,200 completions, and 130 games played.

"Deciding not to play football anymore was a difficult decision, but having the opportunity to re-join the Bombers in a coaching role was really a perfect fit. I am thrilled they wanted me to be a part of what I believe will be a great thing here in Winnipeg. I said when I was traded that I hoped one day I would be back in some capacity, and today is a really special day for my family and me," said Pierce.

Pierce was traded to the B.C. Lions last summer after playing the better part of four seasons in Winnipeg. During his time with the Bombers, Pierce became involved in the community working with Special Olympics, Manitoba Minor Football, Ronald McDonald House, Faces of Freedom, The Dream Factory and United Way after school programs.

"It feels good it feels right. Since I got here nine years ago I always wanted to be a student of the game," said Pierce. "I always wanted an opportunity to be a coach and to get to do it in this city, where I live, with this organization and in this league is a good fit for me. It's a good start for me. It's going to be a learning process."

The Bombers have gone through a lot of upheaval this off-season and Pierce, who saw the lowest of the lows during his time as a player in Winnipeg, likes the changes.

"I like the people they've hired here and the direction they're heading in," said Pierce, who had lunch with Bombers GM Kyle Walters two weeks ago which planted the seed for this hiring.

Pierce said he hasn't played running back since he was eight years old but doesn't expect to have any issue tutoring the position.

Going from the locker-room and having friendships with players on the club won't be hindrance said Pierce.

"I have friends and good relationships in the locker-room. They'll have to understand I have a job to do and I want to win," he said.

Rookie Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea now has a former quarterback on his scouting staff, Danny McManus, and with the hiring of Pierce another on his coaching staff.

"Buck has been through the trenches as a quarterback in this league. He has great experience, and will be a valued asset to our coaching staff," O'Shea said.

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @garylawless

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 8, 2014 0

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