Pierce's hiring is pending approval from the UA Board of Trustees.
"I am very happy to welcome Sam to the Akron family," said Kest. "He was a successful AAU coach and assistant coach at the collegiate level for several years, and he is very passionate about what he does. Sam has great communication skills and will bring a lot of energy to our program – the players will enjoy being coached by him."
Pierce comes to Akron from the state of Pennsylvania, where he founded a basketball development program called PA Pride located in Altoona, Pa. He coached boys and girls for the last six years as a part of the program.
Prior to his work with the grassroots youth program, Pierce was the director of men's basketball operations at Robert Morris University, and also spent time as an assistant coach at Penn State Altoona.
"Coach Kest and I have known each other for the last few years, and I have admired the way she has worked to build up her program," Pierce said. "Akron has achieved so much recent success, and I am excited to be a part of the future of Zips basketball."
Pierce will serve as the defensive coordinator and work primarily with the point guards. He will also be in charge of junior college recruiting, player development and community outreach.
A 2002 graduate of Slippery Rock University, Pierce and his fiancé, Elizabeth Zerbee, have one son, Sam III.