Butch Pierre Joins Tubby Smith’s Memphis Basketball Staff

University of Memphis head men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith has announced that long-time assistant coach Butch Pierre has joined the men’s basketball staff as the director of player personnel.

“I am excited to have Butch Pierre join our staff,” said Smith. “He is someone that I have known of for many years, having coached against him at almost every one of his stops. He has a deep knowledge of how major basketball programs are run, and will be able to add a lot to our program. He comes in with great credentials and integrity, and I am glad to welcome him and his wife Clemmie to the city.”

He was most recently an assistant head coach at N.C. State during the 2016-17 season. At N.C. State, he helped coach recent NBA lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr., who was drafted with the No. 9 overall selection by the Dallas Mavericks.

“I’m excited to be here,” said Pierre. “I know about the program’s rich tradition, and what the people around the city and the country think of the program. The program has always been special to the Memphis fans, and that electricity is why we can do something special at this University. My relationship with Coach Smith, and knowing the type of coach and person that he is, is what drew me to the school.”

Before his season with the Wolfpack, Pierre spent eight seasons on the staff at Oklahoma State, where he was the associate head coach. The Cowboys made five NCAA Tournament appearances with Pierre on staff. During his time with Oklahoma State, the Cowboys had two Big 12 Players of the Year (Marcus Smart and James Anderson) and two Big 12 Freshman of the Year award winners (Smart, Jawun Evans, LeBryan Nash).

“After just the first few days in the city, and spending time with Coach Smith and the players, I am excited to see what we can do this season,” said Pierre. “Not only does Coach Smith develop players for the next level on the basketball court, he makes them men and prepares them for life in the real world. He knows how to win, and does everything the right way, on and off of the court.”

Prior to his eight seasons with the Cowboys, he spent 11 seasons at LSU, first as assistant coach and later associate head coach with the Tigers. Among his time at LSU, he helped lead the program to the NCAA Final Four following a Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championship in 2005-06, and the program had four NCAA Tournament berths in his time there. He was the interim head coach at LSU for the final 10 games of the 2007-08 season, leading the Tigers to a 5-5 record during his brief stint. While at LSU he coached two All-Americans (Stromile Swift and Glen Davis), three SEC Players of the Year (Swift, Davis, and Brandon Bass), and four SEC Freshman of the Year honorees (Davis, Bass, Tyus Thomas, and Torris Bright).

He has also worked as an assistant coach at Charlotte (1996-97) and led the program to the NCAA tournament and a Conference USA title. At Louisiana-Lafayette (1989-96), he spent his final six seasons with the Ragin’ Cajuns as the associate head coach. While at Louisiana, the school won its first-ever still recognized NCAA Tournament game, while winning the Sun Belt Conference. He made his assistant coaching debut in 1984-85 as a graduate assistant at his alma mater of Mississippi State before accepting his first full-time coaching position in 1986 with Kentucky State, where he stayed for two seasons.

Pierre is a native of Darrow, Louisiana, and was a prep All-American at St. Amant High School. He earned both his undergraduate (1984) and master’s degrees (1986) in Education from Mississippi State, where he was a four-year starter at point guard for the Bulldogs.


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