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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Conversation with Coach Butch Pierre

Today we are going to talk a little basketball. I have mentioned, in the past, that I cover the athletic program of a Baton Rouge high school, Madison Prep Academy. In doing so, I have had the opportunity to meet some coaches in college basketball. The Hat Trick shared an earlier interview with LSU Men's Basketball Head Coach Trent Johnson and USC Associate Head Coach Bob Cantu.

Last month, Madison Prep faced Port Allen High School in the championship game of the Madison Prep Classic tournament. I had an opportunity to catch up with former LSU assistant coach and current Oklahoma State University Associate Head coach Butch Pierre. 

Coach Pierre 1
TDHT: We’re here with a very special guest in attendance tonight, former LSU assistant and current Oklahoma State Associate Head Coach Butch Pierre. Coach, how are things at OSU? The football team may be getting most of the attention, but basketball is pretty hot there, too, is it not?

Pierre: Basketball is doing well. We have a young team right now and obviously we’ve got two kids from Louisiana, Brian Williams and Markel Brown from Peabody High School and the other kid (Williams) from Glen Oaks. So I’m down here watching the area talent tonight.

Brian Williams 2
TDHT: I’m an LSU alum. I watched you, for years, working with Coach (John) Brady, getting all of this fine talent in (to the LSU program). I am happy to see you having success, but I am sorry to have seen you go because I know you are going to be taking some of these kids with you up there to OSU.

Pierre: I eat and breathe Louisiana guys and that’s been the backbone of my recruiting success. Obviously,  at LSU, at times, we had a lot of great players there and we had some other guys from other areas that took us to another level. I was so very fortunate, that time, to be part of a Final Four team and it was very special winning the SEC Championships and division championships. It’s something that they can never take away from me and my family, being part of a Final Four team.

TDHT: Coach, how are the (Oklahoma State) Cowboys this year and how do you think they’re going to fare in Big XII play?

Pierre: Well obviously we have a bunch of young kids on our team. Le’Bryan Nash was a top five player in America last year, McDonald’s All American. He’s trying to find his way right now. We signed another kid…from Dallas, I think, probably, one of the best kids in the country. He’s top five in America, Marcus Smart. He’s coming in next year. So I think we’ll be pretty good. If I’ve got anything to do with it, over the course of the years, we’re going to be pretty successful; I hope.

Marcus Smart 3

TDHT: Who are some of your heavy swingers that you are going to face in conference play?

Pierre: Well, obviously, the Big XII is tough. Baylor is a top five team and Kansas, with so much tradition, also Texas and Kansas State and Missouri, who’s a top ten team right now. So you’ll have six or seven teams that will be anywhere in the top 25 throughout the year and also those teams will be representing us in the NCAA Tournament. Hopefully, we’ll be right there with the pack.

TDHT: You’ve got to have your eye on that Head Coaching spot one day, at some point or another. Any prospect for that in the distant future? Or the not-so-distant future?

Pierre: Well, there’s always “prospects” every year. I turned down head coaching jobs every year. It would just have to be something that I think is a fit for me, a fit for my family. At this present time I’m in such a great situation…financially. It’s just one of those things, I know a lot of times, people always say, “Why (are) you…not a head coach right now?” I could be a Head Coach, at the end of the year, every year. At this time…I’m at the age right now where I enjoy being with my family and my daughter is a junior at LSU and I’m in such a great situation where I get to do a lot of things that I like to do, as far as coaching on the floor and being able to recruit. So I’m pretty much satisfied. And I think the day will come, but it’s got to be at a school that I think will be special and I’ll have a chance to win.

TDHT: Thank you very much. I know that you are missed here in Tiger Town!

Pierre: I miss the food, man!

The Daily Hat Trick would like to, again, thank Coach Pierre for his time and commentary.

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