SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Eliza Pierre, a former standout guard, operations staff member, and coach at Cal, has been hired as an assistant coach with the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball program, head coach Bonnie Henrickson announced Thursday.
Pierre, a Pasadena native, helped the Golden Bears both on the court and on the sidelines. As a player, she was a four-time Pac 12 All-Defensive Team selection and captained her team to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Final Four berth in 2013. In her one season on the bench, Cal went 20-14 and advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.
"Eliza was an integral part of Cal's Final Four team, and she has translated her knowledge of the game, tireless work ethic, and engaging personality into a promising coaching career," said Henrickson. "She is very well thought of by club and high school coaches around the state, and her ability to build relationships will be a vital piece of our recruiting efforts."
"It's an amazing opportunity to work with Bonnie and her team," said Pierre. "UCSB is a great program and the move will be a great one. I'm excited to connect with the players and help develop them into exceptional young women on and off the court."
Pierre joined the Cal staff for the 2016-17 season as assistant director of basketball operations intern and earned a promotion to interim assistant coach by the end of the year. In her positions, she developed daily practicing and conditioning plans, assisted in identifying recruits and hosting official visits, and performed daily administrative tasks for the women's basketball program. She specifically worked with the team's backcourt players, helping a trio of Bears' guards to All-Pac 12 honors.
At Cal, Pierre played for and coached with Lindsay Gottlieb, UCSB's head coach from 2008-11.
Prior to joining the staff in Berkeley, Pierre served a one-year Sports Management Fellowship with the Pac-12 Conference, working with coaches and administrators across the league and helping plan over a dozen championship events.
She got her start in the professional world at the Lake Avenue Community Foundation, where she managed the annual budget and created a Sports Mentoring program.
During her playing days, Pierre was known as a tenacious defender and strong leader. She suited up for 140 games and recorded 243 steals over her four-year career, both of which rank in the top-five all-time in program history. Her senior season of 2013 was arguably the most successful in program history, with Cal winning its first-ever regular season Pac-12 Championship and reaching its first Final Four. The Golden Bears also went dancing in her junior season of 2012.
Born in Los Angeles, Pierre was a McDonald's All-American at John Muir High School in Pasadena, Calif. She earned her B.A. in African American Studies from Cal in 2013.