Jason Pierce: Beyond the Uniforms

Jason Pierce is known as the Athletic Facilitator at EHHS, but he does more for the community than people realize. Pierce, also referred to as JP Hollywood and Swaggy P, was born and raised in East Haven. Interestingly enough, he actually began his current job while attending EHHS in 1994, and has been here ever since.

In his junior year of high school, former Athletic Director, Buddy Amendola, and Coach Rusty Dunne approached Pierce and asked if he would be interested in washing athletic uniforms. He said yes, and has been holding the position ever since. However, the position is not the same as it was when he first started: “The job changed a lot over the years. When I first started I was just doing uniforms, and then it got to be uniforms and equipment. Years later, it became game setup, field setup, a lot of paperwork as far as equipment orders, and just the day to day operations of the department,” said Pierce. Every morning when he gets to work, he starts the washing machine, checks the daily game schedule, and figures out what events he needs to set up for. It gets tough, particularly when there are multiple games in one day. “You need to have good time management. Especially in this job if you don’t have good time management it could really play a big factor in how the day runs,” expressed Pierce.

Even though his job is stressful and demanding at times, he loves it because of the gratitude he receives from the athletes. Senior football and baseball captain Steve Mingione describes Pierce as a good guy and a hard worker. He said, “I don’t know what we would do [without Pierce]. He’s a cool guy. You can talk to him, and laugh and make jokes with him.” Pierce cleans the football team’s uniforms and equipment at least twice a week, so he is always around the boys. They like to have him around and appreciate everything he does for them. Senior soccer captain Ali Szwec said similar things: “Pierce does a lot of the behind the scenes work. My favorite thing about Pierce is definitely the sunglasses. ‘Nough said.” As mentioned by both Steve and Ali, Pierce does more than just wash uniforms; he brightens their day and puts a smile on everyone’s face.

Not only does Pierce work at EHHS, but he works at Forbes Premium Fuel off of North High Street as well. As the shift supervisor, he is responsible for taking inventory of cigarettes for one hour every day. However, he does more than that and is referred to as, “The father of Forbes” by coworker Alannah Doheny, who is also a senior athlete here at EHHS. She continued, “He’s always one to advise or look out for you. Anything you need ever Pierce is going to go out of his way to help you.” Cashiers at Forbes work long eight-hour shifts at a time, so Pierce is always there to lighten the mood and give everyone a good laugh. Alannah also said: “There have been multiple times where I have had a bad day and I just go to Pierce. He always lightens up the situation with his comments. He’s just one to make you laugh at any point. One of his famous sayings is, ‘That’s not how this works,’ and it gets me every time.” On a more serious note, she said, “Pierce is the most unselfish person I know. He’s devoted to the town and the kids. He’s one of the best people our town could not only employ but have as their own.”

In addition to his work in East Haven, Pierce also washes uniforms for the Southern Connecticut State University Club Hockey team and has been doing so since 2016. In all of his workplaces, Jason Pierce is respected because of his hardwork and dedication to his duties. Not only does he wash uniforms, carry equipment, and setup for athletic events, he offers physical, emotional, and mental support to those around him. He is more than just “the uniform guy;” he is a man who loves the East Haven community and does anything he can to give back. In the rare times when he is not working, Pierce loves to travel, especially to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. No wonder he wears his sunglasses all the time!