Pierce Greenberg was a track and field athlete for Belmont from 2007-2011. He specialized in the hammer throw, shot put, and weight throw. During his career as a Bruin, he posted 21 top-10 finishes in indoor track and 24 during the outdoor season. The Raleigh, North Carolina native also was a four-time Atlantic Sun All-Academic selection.
Greenberg recently spoke with BelmontBruins.com about his Belmont career on and off the track and current role as a professor at Creighton University in Nebraska.
Why did you choose Belmont?
I chose Belmont because I liked the idea of going to college in Nashville, I was drawn to the journalism program, and I wanted the opportunity to walk-on to the track team.
What is your fondest athletic memory at Belmont?
Off the field: My fondest memory was the time spent with the throws team on long road trips to Southern Illinois, East Tennessee, Clemson, and even Jacksonville. The other throwers--Tyler Howell and Joe Frye--were both musically and comically inclined. So, they would keep things interesting by belting songs and cracking jokes, sometimes at the expense of coach "Team" McMillian. At the same time, they were serious about their sport and it was fun competing alongside them.
On the field: I placed fourth in the weight throw at the Atlantic Sun indoor track championships with a big personal record.
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Belmont and how?
Coach Josh McMillian, both the strength coach and throws coach at the time, certainly had the biggest influence on my athletic career. He pushed us in the weight room and in the throwing ring. At the time, Belmont didn't have a track and field facility, so he often had to shuttle us to TSU or even local high schools to throw. He cared a lot about our success—and it showed!
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Belmont?
Being a college athlete was a lesson in time management. Between practice, class, track meets, jobs, or other extracurricular activities, there wasn't much room for error.
In the classroom, it was valuable to be exposed to so many different fields in a liberal arts education. Even though I was a journalism major, I found myself reflecting on classes I took years later—which inspired me to change careers.
What advice would you give to current members of the track and field teams?
I would advise the current athletes to take advantage of all the opportunities that Belmont has to offer across the academic, athletic, and professional spectrum. It helps to have a diverse and well-rounded college experience, as much as possible!
Who was your favorite professor and why?
This is like having to choose a favorite child—it's not possible! From the journalism department, Thom Storey (who sadly passed away in 2018), Dr. Syb, Dorren Robinson, and Stephan Foust were all fountains of knowledge and support. Drs. Ken Spring and Andi Stepnick introduced me to my eventual passion and career path: sociology.
Where do you live now?
I currently live in Omaha, Nebraska.
What is your occupation?
I'm an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Cultural and Social Studies at Creighton University. My position involves teaching, research, and service to the campus and broader community. I teach classes on social science statistics, geographic information systems, and sports in American society.
Tell us about your family.
I married my wife, Jenny, in Spokane, Washington in 2017, while I was studying for my PhD at Washington State University. We are proud pet-parents to Scout, who we adopted after moving to Nebraska in 2018!