The Darlington Athletics department is pleased to announce new head coaches for cross country, swimming, and softball for the 2019-2020 school year.
Bradley Pierson (‘05, LD ‘19) will serve as head coach of cross country. Pierson has been the assistant athletic director and head boys' basketball coach since 2017. He has four years of experience coaching cross country and eight years of experience coaching basketball at the collegiate level. As a Darlington student, Pierson played basketball for the Tigers and ran track and cross country.
"I am excited to lead the boys' and girls' cross country programs,” said Pierson. “Darlington has a long history of successful runners, and I look forward to working with and motivating our current student-athletes to achieve their personal best."
Pierson holds a B.A. in Economics from Sewanee: The University of the South and an M.Ed. from Berry College. He and his wife Carla live in Rome and have two sons, Gabe and Elijah.
“I am very excited about Bradley leading our cross country program,” said Eddie Guth, athletic director. “His wealth of knowledge and running experience will help lead our Tigers well. He is a great leader and motivator, and I hope the teams enjoy the experience.”
Anna Swafford (‘11) will serve as head softball coach, assistant track coach, and strength and speed assistant. Swafford was a four-year scholarship athlete starter for the University of Georgia softball team where she completed her collegiate career as seventh overall at UGA in homeruns, first overall in hit by pitches, and top 10 overall in stolen bases. Click here to see stats about Swafford’s softball career at UGA.
Since graduating from UGA, Swafford has served as a middle school PE teacher, varsity softball head coach, and middle school track and field head coach for Mount Pisgah Christian School. She continues to participate in coaching/leadership roles with several organizations in clinic settings, including Higher Ground Softball, Softball Factory, and NSTA along with numerous recreational, school, and club programs in order to continually refine and improve her coaching skills as well as developing and maintaining coaching and recruiting contacts in order to assist student athletes.
Swafford graduated in 2011 from Darlington, where she was a four-year starter for the varsity softball team as well as a member of the track and field team for four years and varsity basketball team for two years. She played travel softball for the Georgia Impact and Easton Elite. Swafford holds a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences and a Master of Science in Sports Management and Policy from the University of Georgia.
“We are very excited to have someone with Anna's experience and enthusiasm to lead our program,” said Guth. “She left an incredible mark at Darlington as a student athlete and I am excited what she will do as a leader and a coach.”
Leigh Hadaway will serve as head swim coach. A recent graduate of Berry College, Hadaway holds a B.A. in both Education and Visual Communication. While at Berry she served as swim team captain and competed in 11 collegiate swim meets and set seven personal records. She remained on the SAA Academic Honor Roll throughout her collegiate swim career and also served as student director for the Sports Information Department. Click here to see details about Hadaway’s swim career at Berry College. A leader on campus, Hadaway served as a First Year Mentor and was also communication coordinator for the Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship, of which she was a recipient. She received the N. Gordon Carper Scholarship, and the Noel and Todd Carper Award for the junior History major with the best overall academic record in history courses. When she joins the Darlington faculty in the fall, Hadaway will also serve as Upper School history teacher.
“I am delighted that Leigh will join our athletic department as our head swim coach,” said Guth. “She brings a positive energy and a wealth of experience as a swimmer and a leader. Her enthusiasm is exciting!”