Brian Pearison of Elkhart has been named the athletic director at Ancilla College. He replaces Gene Reese who had been the program’s athletic director for the past 23 years. Reese just retired as the athletic department has reached its pinnacle with several sports vying for conference, regional and national titles. Pearison has been present for this rise as he has been the associate director for the past three years and has handled some of the official duties of the athletic director during that time.
“The retirement of Gene Reese leaves some awfully big shoes to fill. However, in preparation for this time, Gene has had the foresight to mentor and prepare someone to do just this. I am pleased to announce that Brian Pearson has agreed to assume this position and take on these important responsibilities,” said Dr. Ken Zirkle, President of Ancilla College. “Brian brings a wealth of experience to the position and is very dedicated to Ancilla College, as well as determined to build on the strong foundation established by Gene. I am confident that, under Brian’s leadership, the Ancilla intercollegiate athletic program will continue to flourish by bringing in good students who also happen to be good athletes.”
Pearison has been involved in college athletics since 2004 when he accepted an assistant coaching position at Indiana University South Bend. He was there for five years and served for a bit as the interim head coach. From 2009 to 2013, he helped in many areas at Holy Cross College. He assisted in both the men’s and women’s basketball programs, he was the head coach for the men’s and women’s cross country teams for two years and he helped guide the intramural program. From 2010 to 2013, he acted as an athletic administrator and oversaw home game administration, facilities, and the sports banquets.
He has been assistant men’s basketball coach at Ancilla for the past five years and assistant athletic director for the last three years. He also served as the cross country coach. Consequently, he has firsthand knowledge how the program has been run from both a coach’s perspective and an administrator’s view.
“Brian will bring in a new era in Ancilla athletics,” Gene Reese said. “His experience at IUSB, Holy Cross and Ancilla uniquely prepares him for this new challenge. I wish him the best and will continue to support his efforts from the sidelines.”
Pearison got his start in athletics in Elkhart County. He was an assistant coach for several years at Jimtown High School in the early 2000’s and he was director of basketball operations at EastLake Athletic Club prior to that.
“I am extremely humbled, and honored to take over the athletic department at Ancilla College from Gene Reese. Gene has, over the past 23 years, put together the finest NJCAA athletic department in the country, in my opinion,” Pearison said. “I will work tirelessly to make sure I keep what Gene has built and try to make it better over time. This has been something I have been working towards for about 10 years. I would like to say thanks to my wife Renee, and my son Austin and daughter Audrey for all the sacrifices they have made over the past ten or so years while I have been on this journey to become an athletic director.”
Ancilla currently offers 12 sports. The men’s and women’s basketball teams and the men’s and women’s bowling teams have had tremendous seasons this year. The baseball and softball teams just returned from their spring trips. Men’s and women’s golf have been very competitive and the men’s soccer program finished third in the country three years ago. The women’s soccer team will be entering its third season. Volleyball continues to be competitive and wrestling has had a wrestler qualify for nationals in each of its first two seasons.
Pearison’s first duty was to attend a conference athletic director’s meeting earlier this week and now he will turn his attention to the women’s basketball team as they head to nationals next week and the four spring sports who are starting their seasons.