Northwest Florida State College head coach Butch Pierre resigns from Raiders post

Seth Stringer
Northwest Florida Daily News

NICEVILLE — Butch Pierre knew the lofty expectations at NWF State.

Panhandle Conference crowns. Region VIII titles. National championships.

But not even two years at the helm, following a 1-16 record in the Panhandle Conference and a 16-22 mark overall, the lauded D-1 recruiter has resigned effective immediately due to "family medical reasons."

Head coach Butch Pierre sets a defense during the Raiders home opener against South Georgia Technical College.

“We wish coach Pierre the best and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this time,” NWF State College President Dr. Devin Stephenson said.

More (2019):Marquee Hire: NWF State lands lauded D-I coach in Pierre

Pierre's replacement? For now that'll be Nate Laing, who is getting the promotion from assistant coach to interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

“We appreciate coach Pierre’s dedication and effort in leading our student-athletes,” said NWF State Athletic Director Ramsey Ross, who will immediately begin the national search for a permanent replacement. “I am confident that as we move forward, Northwest Florida State men’s basketball will be stronger than ever.”

Nate Laing coaches on the sideline earlier this season.

Pierre was viewed as an ace recruiter when he took over the job in 2019, the former Mississippi State starter shining in stints with LSU, Oklahoma State, N.C. State and Memphis and credited with building LSU's Final Four team in 2006.

NWF State men’s basketball coach Butch Pierre talks to his team during a timeout last year. [NWF STATE ATHLETICS]

When asked about his coaching style after the NWF State hire, Pierre said "it's a winning style."

But last year the Raiders went winless in Panhandle play, snapping five straight league crowns, and failed to qualify for the Region VIII tournament amid a 12-16 campaign. 

Following Wednesday's home loss to Pensacola State, the Raiders fell to 4-6 this season and a last-place 1-4 in the Panhandle. 

They'll travel to Gulf Coast State on Tuesday for Laing's debut as interim head coach.