Sources: Antonio Pierce to be next head coach at Long Beach Poly

Antonio Pierce will take over a Long Beach Poly team that went 11-2 in 2013.

After some deliberation and extending its previously reported deadline of Jan. 7, Long Beach Poly is making a splash in the hiring of its new head football coach.

Sources have confirmed to that Super Bowl XLII champion Antonio Pierce will be named the next head coach at Long Beach Poly. This information was first reported by the Long Beach Press Telegram. A formal announcement is expected Thursday or Friday, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Pierce has no head coaching experience and has recently worked as a national television analyst. He spent nine seasons in the NFL with the Washington Redskins and New York Giants, with whom he won a Super Bowl title (2007 season). He made the Pro Bowl in 2006 after recording a career-high 109 tackles.

"He always overachieved and I felt, personally, every player can look into that and draw inspiration from that," said a parent of a player in the Long Beach Poly football program. "This is an exciting time for Long Beach Poly."

The former NFL linebacker replaces Raul Lara, who resigned after the end of the 2013 season. Lara spent 13 years as the Jackrabbits head coach, winning five CIF Southern Section championships and making two state bowl appearances, while compiling a 142-30 record.

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Pierce, a Paramount High School alum, will take over a team that went 11-2 in 2013 falling short of a CIF repeat bid in a 30-0 loss to Mater Dei in the PAC-5 Division semifinals.

Some of the Jackrabbits’ top returnees include quarterback Josh Love, who split time with Tai Tiedemann last season. Love is expected to be the starter next fall.

Defensively, cornerback Iman Marshall, who’s considered one of the best in the nation at his position, will lead the way for Poly. Under Lara, it was expected that Marshall (a former quarterback) would have an increased role on offense in 2014, similar to what recent USC signee Juju Smith experienced last season.

It is uncertain if that plan will remain intact with the new coaching staff.