Buck Pierce

Last updated
Buck Pierce
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Buck Pierce.jpg
Pierce playing for the BC Lions in 2007
Born: (1981-11-15) November 15, 1981 (age 39)
Hutchinson, Kansas
Career information
CFL status American
Position(s) QB
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight195 lb (88 kg)
College New Mexico State
High school Crescent City (CA) Del Norte
Hand Right
Career history
As coach
20142015 Winnipeg Blue Bombers (RB)
2016–2019 Winnipeg Blue Bombers (QB)
2020–Present Winnipeg Blue Bombers (OC)
As player
20052009 BC Lions
20102013 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
2013 BC Lions

Buck James Pierce (born November 15, 1981) is the offensive coordinator of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and a retired professional quarterback who played nine seasons for the BC Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. He spent the first five years of his career with the Lions before signing with the Blue Bombers for the 2010 CFL season. During the 2013 CFL season, he rejoined the Lions when the Blue Bombers traded him for Akeem Foster. [1] He played in two Grey Cup games, winning a championship in 2006 and also won as part of the coaching staff with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2019. He played college football at New Mexico State from 2001–2004, starting at quarterback for most of his senior year.

Contents

High school

The son of Tim and Connie Pierce, he attended Del Norte High School, in Crescent City, California. He was a three-year starter at Del Norte, guiding the Warriors to a 16-4 record as a junior and senior.

He passed for 2,225 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior in 1999, earning Big 5 Conference Most Valuable Player honors for the second consecutive season. He broke the school's single-season and career records for both passing yardage and passing touchdowns in 1999. Buck threw for 2,010 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior in 1998 and 1,180 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore in 1997.

He was voted to the Times Standard North Coast California All-Century team. He qualified for North State meet as a long jumper, leaping better than 22 feet as a junior. He also led DNHS to a pair of league titles as a starting guard on the basketball squad.

College career

Pierce attended New Mexico State University, in Las Cruces, New Mexico [2] where he majored in kinesiology. In 2001, on his first run from scrimmage as a college player, Pierce ripped off a 75-yard run against Louisville. He did not throw an interception in 2001 and did not throw one in 2002 until the fourth quarter against North Texas (11/16) in the next to last game of the season.

Wearing the #11 jersey, he started seven games as a sophomore, and took the top job in 2004 as a senior. He consistently posted high efficiency ratings as a college quarterback.

Professional career

BC Lions

Pierce signed a free agent contract with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League on May 16, 2005 after being passed over by the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Pierce began the season as the third-string quarterback, making his CFL debut on Aug 19, 2005 versus Hamilton. In this game, he completed all three of his passes and also threw his first CFL touchdown pass, to running back Antonio Warren, in a 39-15 win over the Tiger-Cats. [3] After injuries to starter Dave Dickenson and backup Casey Printers, Pierce earned his first career start in Week 16 at Winnipeg (Oct 10/05), a 44-23 loss, completing 12-of-22 passes for 133 yards. [4]

After Casey Printers left for the NFL in 2006, Pierce was elevated to the backup quarterback position behind Dave Dickenson. Once Dickenson was injured in week 8 against the Edmonton Eskimos, Buck was again elevated to starter status, this time for two straight games and earned his first CFL win as a starter as the team won both games. Dickenson returned only to leave the Sept 24 game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders with post-concussion symptoms, leaving Pierce to start the next game against the Tiger-Cats, also a win. He started each of the next three games until playing poorly in the third game against Hamilton where Dickenson reclaimed his starter's position. Pierce went 5-1 as a starter as he led the CFL in completion percentage (73.7%) and had the second highest quarterback rating (109.0).. At the conclusion of the season, Pierce shared in the Lions championship, playing for a few snaps in the 94th Grey Cup.

In 2007, then-starter Dave Dickenson suffered yet another concussion, in week 3, and Pierce stepped up to assume the role of starting quarterback. By mid-August, Pierce was hobbled by injuries to his ribs, toe, hand, and shoulder, but he persevered in the starting role until finally relinquishing the role to third-stringer Jarious Jackson, who performed well himself. The Lions finished a team record 14-3-1, but succumbed to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the West Final. Due to his frequent injuries, Pierce has been referred to as the Lions' "walking bruise". [5] As of the end of 2007, he had started 11 games as a Lion, compiling a mark of 7-3-1.

With Dave Dickenson being released in the off-season, the starting quarterback's position was up for grabs for the 2008 season. Following the 2008 pre-season and a tough competition with back-up Jarious Jackson, Pierce was named the BC Lions starting quarterback. Because of an injury in the regular season opener, he acted as the back-up until Jackson's ineffective play led to Pierce returning as the starter against Montreal on Labour Day Weekend. After manhandling the Roughriders in the West Semi-Final, he led the Lions to the West Final against Calgary where they were defeated for the fourth time that season.

The 2009 season saw Pierce struggle with concussions and shoulder injuries. He was sidelined with the former in week 7 on August 14 in a game against Toronto. [6] He returned to play for the first time in week 12 on September 19, starting again against Toronto, after Jarious Jackson was injured in the previous game against Montreal. But again, Pierce was besieged with injuries and left the week 16 match-up with Winnipeg, leaving third stringer Travis Lulay to carry out a victory.

With Jackson sitting out the rest of the season, head coach Wally Buono opted to sign former CFL MOP Casey Printers. In the Winnipeg game, Lulay had also injured himself towards the end of the game, forcing Buono to start Printers for the final three games of the regular season. When Printers was knocked out of the finale against Edmonton on November 6, Pierce came in, in relief, and was again knocked out with a shoulder injury. At season end Buono stated that not all five quarterbacks would be back in 2010. [7] [8]

On March 9, 2010, Buck Pierce was released by the BC Lions making him a free agent. [9]

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Pierce signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League on April 12, 2010. [10] He started Winnipeg's opening game of the 2010 CFL season against Hamilton on July 2, 2010. Pierce fought through an injury-plagued season, making only five starts with only three of those coming consecutively. Despite backup Steven Jyles playing well in his absence, the Blue Bombers showed their confidence in his progress in the off-season by trading Jyles to the Toronto Argonauts in May 2011, leaving Pierce the undisputed starter. [11]

The 2011 Winnipeg Blue Bombers season began with significant optimism as the team hoped to make the playoffs after failing to qualify the last two seasons. One of the major questions regarding the team's potential was the health of their starting quarterback Buck Pierce, who had missed 13 games the previous year due to injury. Throughout the season Buck Pierce's health would prove to be a minor concern despite taking some viscous hits by defenders. The Blue Bombers jumped out to a 7-1 record to start the season, leading the Eastern Conference. After Labour Day Weekend the Bombers began to struggle losing 6 of 9 games entering the final game of the season with a record of 10-7. Statistically Pierce did not have a great season, but he proved that he was a sufficiently healthy quarterback who could win games.

The 2012 Winnipeg Blue Bombers season began with a great deal of optimism following the team's trip to the 99th Grey Cup in the previous season. Pierce sustained a leg injury in July which caused him to miss multiple games. In only his second game (Sep 29, 2012) back from injury Pierce took a violent hit to his head, from which he received a concussion. By the conclusion of the season Pierce had only played in 7 of the 18 regular season games. The Blue Bombers finished the year 6-12 and missed the playoffs.

Heading into the 2013 season the Bombers released Joey Elliott and Alex Brink leaving Pierce as the only QB on the roster with any CFL experience.

After Week 5, Pierce lost his starting job to Justin Goltz, and fell to No.3 in the depth chart behind Max Hall.

Return to BC

With the rise of young quarterbacks, Justin Goltz and Max Hall in Winnipeg, Joey Elliott being released in BC, and Pierce's inability to stay healthy, he was traded to BC on September 8, 2013 for non-import receiver Akeem Foster. [1] He played in five games for the Lions and started their last regular season game of 2013. Following a nine-year career, Pierce announced his retirement on March 4, 2014. [12]

Coaching career

On March 7, 2014, only three days after announcing his retirement, Pierce was announced as the running backs coach for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Pierce played 4 seasons with the Bombers from 2010 through 2013. [13]

Personal life

Pierce and his wife live in Winnipeg, where he once owned a barbeque restaurant which closed in 2015. They have a daughter born in 2015.

Statistics

 Passing Rushing
YearTeamGamesStartedAttCompPctYardsLongTDIntRatingAttYardsAvgLongTDFumb
2005 BC 181714360.66795431100.6151046.91720
2006 BC 18618613773.71,75267116109.0312949.53932
2007 BC 1541278163.81,013355391.7221647.52010
2008 BC 181136223264.13,0187919997.4291776.11616
2009 BC 171231519963.22,27262101279.5392767.12316
2010 WPG 551208066.71,080906497.92223710.84322
2011 WPG 161641126163.53,34892141882.0513246.44821
2012 WPG 771136860.2951573385.112605.01204
2013 WPG 641287860.9946652669.38303.8801
2013 BC 51362158.3230433193.54184.51510
CFL totals125671,8691,20064.215,28992766389.22331,6847.2481418

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References

  1. 1 2 "Bombers trade Pierce to Lions in exchange for Foster". Archived from the original on 2013-09-10. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
  2. "Buck Pierce". Official Website of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  3. "Lions 39, Tiger-Cats 15". CFL. 20 August 2005. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  4. "Blue Bombers 44, Lions 23". CFL. 10 October 2005. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  5. Beamish, Mike (16 August 2007). "Q&A with Buck Pierce". Vancouver Sun.
  6. "Concussions won't change how Buck plays". Canadian Press. 19 September 2007. Retrieved 2010-04-12.
  7. Kent Gilchrist (12 January 2010). "Wally's back with Printers in sights". The Province . Retrieved 2010-04-12.
  8. Lowell Ullrich (6 February 2010). "Pierce's role with Lions still up in the air". National Post . Retrieved 2010-04-12.[ dead link ]
  9. "Lions Release Former Starting Quarterback". TSN. 9 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-12.
  10. "Bombers sign QB Buck Pierce". CBC News. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-12.
  11. https://www.cfl.ca/article/jumping-ship-argos-get-jyles-from-bombers Archived 2015-09-23 at the Wayback Machine Jumping ship: Argos get Jyles from Bombers
  12. "Over and out: Pierce announces retirement". Archived from the original on 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
  13. "Winnipeg Blue Bombers Coaching Staff Roster" . Retrieved 20 April 2015.