Traditional Southern California powerhouse Long Beach Poly traveled to Arizona for week one of their high school football season. They received all they could handle from the defending division II state champion Centennial Coyotes in a 13-12 win on Friday night.
Making the trip to to Peoria for the game was someone very familiar to football in the state of Arizona. Long Beach Poly’s linebackers coach is former Arizona Wildcat and NFL linebacker Antonio Pierce.
“I forgot about how those hit days and dog days were,” he joked to SPorts360AZ about being back in Arizona. “100 degree weather, playing under the lights. Good support from Centennial. Hats off to them. The hospitality and everything they’ve done for Long Beach Poly was first class.”
Pierce since retiring from the NFL has stayed involved with the game. First as a TV analyst and now as a coach. He explained there are many coaches he has had along the way that make up the kind of coach he is today for his Jackrabbits.
“I’ve had a lot of coaches so that is kind of had but obviously Coach (Tom) Coughlin,” mentioned Pierce. “My head coach with the Giants. Greg Williams my defensive coordinator and Steve Spagnuolo. I am a little mixture of everything. (With Long Beach Poly) We’ve got five head coaches about about ten defensive coordinators.”
When Pierce thinks back to his time while in Arizona as a Wildcat, there is one memory that quickly jumps off the page.
“Beating Arizona State,” he said with a grin. “Bear Down!”