Bob Pierce, the first coach in Shiga Lakestars history, has been appointed the expansion Akita Northern Happinets’ first coach, the bj-league team announced on Friday.
Pierce, who turns 50 on Sunday, guided the Lakestars to the team’s first playoff berth last season. The team made a 10-win improvement in 2009-10, going 29-23 and finishing fourth in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
Pierce’s well-rounded career has also include time as the sideline supervisor of the JBL’s Hitachi Sunrockers and a stint as an assistant coach for the Japan men’s national team. He has also served as an Asia-based scout for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Pierce filled the final coaching vacancy in the rapidly changing bj-league, which begins its sixth season in October. All told, only five of the league’s 16 teams now have head coaches who held the same position with their respective teams at the start of the 2009-10 season.