After serving as associate head coach for the Westmont Women’s Tennis team this season, Cade Pierson has been promoted to be the team’s head coach ahead of the 2022-2023 school year.
Pierson, a 2021 graduate of Westmont College, takes over for Ellie Johnson, who Pierson played under for five years.
“When I consider Ellie’s tenure as Westmont,” began Westmont Executive Director of Athletics Dave Odell, “I think not only of her team’s successes on the court, but more so her leadership in the area of culture, faith and character development.
“One of those great successes was the transformational role that the tennis program and the greater Westmont community had on Cade Pierson. Cade embraced everything about the culture that Ellie led and became a person that we are excited to have lead the program in the future.”
Pierson, a two-time NAIA All-American and four time All-GSAC star for the Warriors, helped guide the club through a successful 2022 campaign less than a year after receiving her Westmont diploma. This season, the Warriors finished tied for the third-best record in the GSAC at 6-2 and returned to the GSAC tournament for the ninth consecutive season.
In her first year on the staff, Pierson was honored as GSAC Coach of the Year.
“It’s been really rewarding to grow with the program,” said Pierson, “and now it’s really exciting to fully assume this new role. From getting to go through this program as a player, to having last year as a transition, and now moving into this role, I feel really fortunate regarding the opportunity I’ve been given.
“I believe I’ve been well-trained and am prepared for this opportunity thanks to the mentors I’ve had up to this point.”
Among those mentors for Pierson was Johnson herself, who earned GSAC Coach of the Year honors in 2021 as well as 2019.
“Ellie has been a key mentor for me since I played for her my freshman year,” reflected Pierson. “Obviously Ellie was a great mentor for tennis, but it really went beyond that. In terms of faith, life and everything in general, she’s always been someone I’ve looked up to.
“Ellie is someone who is always going to be a mentor to me. I know I have big shoes to fill, but I think she’s trained me well to fill them.”
Pierson’s Warriors will return to action with the ITA NAIA Regionals this fall, before returning to regular season and GSAC play in early 2023.
“I see us building our program toward being a consistent top-of-the-conference team,” said Pierson. “There is a lot of opportunity for us to build strength and consistency in our program and I’m excited that we have such a young team to build off of. I feel strongly connected to the team we have right now and I am so excited to experience this transition with them.”
Jacob Norling is the sports information assistant at Westmont College.