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Pierce takes over Collins Hill softball

Collins Hill High School head baseball coach Paul Pierce.

Collins Hill High School head baseball coach Paul Pierce.

Collins Hill turned to a proven commodity to lead its fastpitch softball program, hiring longtime head baseball coach Paul Pierce for the position.

Pierce, who still will head up the baseball program, was announced this week as the Eagles' new head softball coach, replacing good friend Billy Dooley. Dooley, who recently took the head softball position at North Oconee, and Pierce have worked together as assistants in the baseball program for years.

They also were on the same softball staff for the first time last season, Dooley as head coach and Pierce as an assistant. Pierce joined the softball program last year after years of coaching in the Eagles' football program.

"It's not like we're bringing in someone (the girls) don't know," Pierce said. "So a lot of things will go the way they've been going. We won't change a lot. Billy's done a great job and hopefully we can keep it going. ... I'm ecstatic about the situation. I'm stepping into a great program and a great situation. But we're going to miss Coach Dooley."

Pierce takes over a program that has won three state championships, including the last two in Class AAAAA. Dooley had a 105-31-2 in four seasons as head coach.

The Eagles graduated a considerable amount of talent off the most recent title team, though one of the returning players is rising senior Kayla Floor, the two-time reigning Daily Post pitcher of the year.

"The expectations will still be high," Pierce said. "We graduated a lot of good girls but we have a lot of good girls coming back. I look forward to watching them grow and hopefully having a great season."

Pierce will have a team meeting with his softball players on Tuesday to prepare them for the summer schedule. He will balance those duties with his role as head baseball coach, a job he's held since the 2004 season.