Westmont College graduate Cade Pierson has been selected to take over as associate head coach of the women’s tennis team this academic year.
Ms. Pierson will be continuing her tenure with the tennis team after spending five years as a player and team captain. She attended Westmont after graduating from Santa Barbara High in the fall of 2016, and while she had expected her collegiate career to end during the 2019-2020 school year, the COVID-19 pandemic provided her with an additional year of athletic eligibility.
During her athletic career, Ms. Pierson was twice named an NAIA All-American and was recently named NAIA Senior Player of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
“It is an exciting honor,” Ms. Pierson said of her new role in a statement. “I have invested so much time as a player and as a captain. I love Westmont and I love our team. To have the opportunity to continue my tennis career at Westmont is an awesome blessing. I feel grateful for the opportunity and really excited to continue to be a Warrior and represent Westmont and help our tennis program grow to an even higher potential.”
Looking ahead to the athletic season, Ms. Pierson said she wants to see the team leading their conference and advancing to nationals. She also hopes to incorporate more aspects of faith into the team.
In a statement, head coach Ellie Johnson reflected on the leadership role Ms. Pierson played during her time as an athlete, noting that she was also able to pinpoint areas of strength and weakness in order to help her teammates improve their skills. During her time on the team, Ms. Johnson said the player acted almost as an assistant coach.
“I am also excited about working with Ellie,” Ms. Pierson said in a statement. “We have always joked that we are the same year because her first year coaching was my freshman year. I feel really blessed to continue to have her mentorship as a coach. She has been one of the biggest mentors in my life in tennis and off the court. She has so much wisdom and is a good example of how successful a young coach can be.”
As a proud Westmont graduate, Ms. Pierson said she is extremely excited to begin her new role as a coach and encourage the athletes as someone with experience competing at the college.
“I will be speaking as someone who has been in their shoes,” Ms. Pierson said. “I’ve not just been a student-athlete, but I have been a student-athlete at Westmont. I have lived in the dorms and eaten in the D.C. I think I can speak accurately about the Westmont experience and can show that it is a great place to be. As a student-athlete, I would not have wanted to have spent my career anywhere else. I hope to communicate to incoming student-athletes that this is the best place they can be.”
She later added, “I am someone who has never been ready for my time at Westmont to end and I am grateful that it isn’t. It is awesome to see that the department and the school have faith in me as a coach. I think my time at Westmont has well equipped me for this. I am excited to stay in the community. There is no place I would rather be.”