Feature Story

Basketball brings Pierces that much closer

How three generations of Pierces have fallen in love with the game of hoops


For the Pierce family, the sport of basketball is a little more than just a game. For three generations, it’s been a way of life. Crawfordsville JV coach and Varsity assistant Danny Pierce or as he’s known around Crawfordsville (OP), his son and current CHS boys basketball coach David Pierce, and David’s daughter Molly, a current sophomore for the Athenian girls, are all getting to still enjoy the game they’ve loved for their entire lives.

For Danny, this is his 44th season of coaching basketball and a majority of that time has been spent here in west-central Indiana. From the 1995-96 season, Danny led Western Boone to three straight sectional titles, and a Regional title in 1998. It never really was a thought that he might still be actively coaching, but as the saying says, time has just flown by.

“I remember when I was in my ninth year of coaching, I told myself I’m halfway to reaching the top of the pay scale,” Danny said. “I sit here today and now I’m in year 44 and it’s flown by. Getting to watch my son do what he’s done here at Crawfordsville is special. He was always a gym rat and got a taste of what the game was like from a very young age. Getting to see my grand-kids do the same thing now too keeps me going. I told my wife that we’re moving more now than we ever have. When I got here to Crawfordsville I wanted to still help in whatever way I could. That just happened to be being the JV coach and working with the younger guys that are going to be playing for him one day.”

For David who is now in year 14 at the helm of the Athenian program, he’s seen plenty of other families go through the program and get to experience what that family atmosphere is like. Now he’s getting to experience it first hand with having his dad and his daughter right beside him.

“It’s just a family affair and for dad, Molly and I, we’re blessed that we get to do this together,” he said. “The game has taught all of us so many valuable life lessons that’s bigger than any game any of us will play or coach in. We all do enjoy competition, whether that be at home when we’re doing things together as a family or of course here at school in athletics. The sport of basketball allows us to fill the niche in our lives that we need. I was a coaches kid watching dad when I was young and now Molly has followed that same path. It’s a really cool thing to get to be a part of and I know we’re taking advantage of every chance we get.”

It’s not just the sport of basketball that Molly is involved with at CHS. Pierce is a three-sport athlete with playing soccer this past fall and playing softball in the spring. Basketball however is where she is able to have the help of both her dad and grand-dad. She talks about how having both of them in her corner every step of the way has been a big blessing.

“When you have both of them who are coaches and them loving the sport as much as I do makes things more natural for me,” Molly said. “I was obviously in the gym a ton growing up with my dad and that has just helped me love the sport even more. The gym is basically our second home. I remember when my dad would have late practices or be in the coaches office after games, we’d just be out here playing with a basketball. It’s been a fun experience the entire time.”

Watching his daughter grow up and being around athletics, it was likely that Molly would become invested into sports. However it was never pushed on her by and she never felt pressured to have to play basketball or any sport for that matter. It simply came from the love of being an athlete.

“We didn’t want to be those parents who forced athletics on to their kids,” David said. “We told Molly that she could do whatever she wanted, but whatever she chose to do, she was going to be great at it. Molly has always been feisty person and that comes from being around us all the time. She likes the fact that in basketball she can be physical and compete. That’s why she enjoyed soccer so much this year too. As a parent there’s not many better feelings than watching your son or daughter do what they love.”

As stated earlier, Danny had his great run with the Stars back when he was leading the way. In those 44 years he’s been a coach, there’s been a few memories here and there. However none come close to one that will forever hold a special place in his life in watching his son getting to do something that he did back when he was winning sectional championships at WeBo.

“Getting to watch David cut down the nets when they won the sectional back in 2013-14, there is no greater feeling than that,” Danny said. “Then you have of course watching his kids and all of our grandkids getting to accomplish what they have so far. That makes you feel like you’ve done something right. I have to give my wife Lisa a ton of credit in doing a tremendous job in raising our kids. I wasn’t at home after school a lot so she would take care of them while I was at practice.”

For Molly, David, and Danny getting to have this experience together has only brought them closer as a family. With David also having more kids coming up through the ranks at CHS, it’s fair to say we might see a few more Pierces here in the near future.