Buck Pierce

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Buck Pierce
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Buck Pierce.jpg
Pierce playing for the BC Lions in 2007
Date of birth: (1981-11-15) November 15, 1981 (age 33)
Place of birth: Hutchinson, Kansas
Career information
Status: Retired
CFL status: International
Position(s): QB
Height: 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
College: New Mexico State
High school: Del Norte
Hand: Right
Organizations
As player:
20052009
20102013
2013
BC Lions
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
BC Lions
Career stats
Playing stats at CFL.ca

Buck James Pierce (born November 15, 1981 in Hutchinson, Kansas) is the Running-Backs Coach 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 again, after the Blue Bombers traded him for Akeem Foster.[1] He played in two Grey Cup games, winning a championship in 2006. He played college football at New Mexico State from 2001–2004, starting at quarterback for most of his senior year.

Pierce and his wife live in Winnipeg where he also owns a barbeque restaurant.

High school[edit]

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 TD’s in 1999. Buck threw for 2,010 yards and 19 TD’s as a junior in 1998 and 1,180 yards and 10 TD’s 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[edit]

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[edit]

BC Lions[edit]

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).[1]. 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[edit]

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 optimsim as the team hoped to make the playoffs after failing to qualify the last two seasons. One of the major questions regarding the teams 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 teams 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[edit]

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[edit]

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 season with the Bombers from 2010 through 2013.

Statistics[edit]

  Passing   Rushing
Year Team Games Started Att Comp Pct Yards Long TD Int Rating Att Yards Avg Long TD Fumb
2005 BC 18 1 71 43 60.6 679 54 3 1 100.6 15 104 6.9 17 2 0
2006 BC 18 6 186 137 73.7 1,752 67 11 6 109.0 31 294 9.5 39 3 2
2007 BC 15 4 127 81 63.8 1,013 35 5 3 91.7 22 164 7.5 20 1 0
2008 BC 18 11 362 232 64.1 3,018 79 19 9 97.4 29 177 6.1 16 1 6
2009 BC 17 12 315 199 63.2 2,272 62 10 12 79.5 39 276 7.1 23 1 6
2010 WPG 5 5 120 80 66.7 1,080 90 6 4 97.9 22 237 10.8 43 2 2
2011 WPG 16 16 411 261 63.5 3,348 92 14 18 82.0 51 324 6.4 48 2 1
2012 WPG 7 7 113 68 60.2 951 57 3 3 85.1 12 60 5.0 12 0 4
2013 WPG 6 4 128 78 60.9 946 65 2 6 69.3 8 30 3.8 8 0 1
2013 BC 5 1 36 21 58.3 230 43 3 1 93.5 4 18 4.5 15 1 0
CFL totals 125 67 1,869 1,200 64.2 15,289 92 76 63 89.2 233 1,684 7.2 48 14 18

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bombers trade Pierce to Lions in exchange for Foster
  2. ^ "Buck Pierce". Official Website of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Lions 39, Tiger-Cats 15". CFL. 20 August 2005. Retrieved 2010-04-12. 
  4. ^ "Blue Bombers 44, Lions 23". CFL. 10 October 2005. Retrieved 2010-04-12. 
  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. ^ http://www.cfl.ca/article/jumping-ship-argos-get-jyles-from-bombers Jumping ship: Argos get Jyles from Bombers
  12. ^ Over and out: Pierce announces retirement

External links[edit]