Football team wears Benny Pierce patches on helmets to honor the legendary coach who died earlier this year at 88

September 27, 2023 — by William Cao
Courtesy of Tristan Hoang
After the play, senior Tristan Hoang lines up with a distinctive "BP" sticker displayed on the back of his helmet.
Throughout this season, team members wear ‘BP’ stickers on their helmets. 

This season, following the death of beloved former football coach Benny Pierce at age 88 on Feb. 11, the football team has been wearing BP stickers on their helmets in remembrance of one of the most impactful coaches both on and off the field at SHS. They will wear the sticker for the whole season.

“Benny Pierce was one of the most caring, passionate and respected coaches at Saratoga High” assistant principal Matt Torrens said. “His legacy lasted long after his retirement as his players have gone on to be successful coaches at SHS and the rest of the country. When alumni come back to visit, they often ask about ‘Coach Pierce.’”

Pierce was an original teacher at Saratoga High when the school opened in 1959 and coached until 1994. With an overall win-loss record of 269-89-4 in 34 seasons here, Pierce’s coaching resulted in 16 league championships, four Central Coast Section playoff titles and three undefeated seasons. His record led local observers to call him as perhaps the greatest coach in the history of CCS.

For current head coach Stephen Matos, one of Pierce’s former players, the loss of Pierce was significant. During his time with Pierce, Matos noted that he learned more in 10 minutes than he did in a year under other coaches as a result of Pierce’s extensive knowledge and understanding of football, his players and staff.

“I miss coach deeply as does everyone else,” Matos said. “He was a beautiful person. He would take time out of his busy schedule to mentor anyone in any way possible. Coach Pierce is a legend and legends never die — I know he is watching down on Saratoga football and all of those lives he has impacted in such a positive way.”

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