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Pierce's passion
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Ceres High School has had some great coaches during its 100-year history.

Pierce Butler entered the Bulldogs' Athletic Hall of Fame along with Art McRae on Sunday at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"It's really nice to be recognized," he said. "I put a lot of time and effort into it and I believe the kids got a lot in return."

Butler, 80, spent 24 years as a basketball coach. He taught typing and bookkeeping, and physical education for 11 years (1956-1967).

"I enjoyed working with the kids and watching them succeed," he said. "I had some really fine players."

Pierce was the varsity boys coach from 1958-1967. He was promoted to the position after directing the B-team for two seasons (1956-58). Ceres High captured a league title and amassed an impressive 16-4 record in 1961-62.

Butler's second stint as a Bulldog coach was with the varsity girls team (1980-1993). The Ceres High won six league titles and qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs six times.

"I was only going to help out for a couple of years, but it turned out to be 13," he said.

Pierce coached Denise, the youngest of his six children, for two seasons (1980-82).

"That was nice," he said.

Butler moved from Minnesota to Ceres in 1956. He's lived here ever since, serving as a Ceres School Board member for 24 years (1973-1997).

"I've enjoyed Ceres," said Pierce, who owns a home on Rosewood Avenue.