David Pierce, in his first season at the helm of the Sam Houston State baseball program, is the 2012 Southland Conference Baseball "Coach of the Year."

The Southland Conference announced the honor for Pierce as well as the list of All-Southland Conference honorees Monday.

Pierce is the first Southland coach-of-the-year from Sam Houston State since 1989 when John Skeeters led the Bearkats to their only other regular-season title in just their second year in the conference.

Under Pierce, the Bearkats finished 36-18 and won the conference by four games with a 24-9 record to lock up the top seed in the conference tournament.

 The conference win total tied the conference record for most league victories in a 33-game season. Sam Houston won 10 of its 11 weekend series, including three by sweeps.

At one point during the season, the Kats rode a 13-game win streak that included a win over No. 5 Rice, where Pierce had spent the previous nine years as an assistant coach. The win streak was the longest in the program's 26 seasons at the Division I level.

The Bearkats climbed as high as No. 20 in the national polls and posted wins over Rice, San Diego, Houston and Dallas Baptist, as well as a three-game sweep of nationally ranked Texas State.

Pierce was the pitching coach for nine seasons at Rice University before joining the Bearkat baseball program.

Eight Sam Houston State players were named All-Southland Conference this year. Sam Houston is the No. 1 seed at the post-season tournament this week in San Marcos, the program's highest seed ever at the event.

Free audio streaming of each of the Bearkat games during the Southland tournament will be available live on www.gobearkats.com.