BYU men’s tennis coach Brad Pearce has had either his son John or Matthew on the roster for years, but this season he’ll have both for the first time.
Junior John Pearce played during the 2012-13 season before leaving on a mission to Peru. He returned in time for the 2015-16 season.
Sophomore Matthew Pearce left on a mission to Taiwan after the 2013-14 season and returned last August. The Pearce brothers have been looking forward to playing together after both spent two years on opposite sides of the globe.
Tennis is a huge part of the Pearce family. While John and Matthew are at BYU playing for the Cougars, they also have four younger siblings who play.
The Pearce brothers recall growing up practicing with each other before and after school.
Brad takes pride in his role, helping Matthew and John fall in love with the sport at an early age.
“To have two sons that are capable of becoming a Division-I tennis player on the same team, as a family, we all have a certain amount of pride,” Brad said. “To be good enough to get to this level, it’s a big family effort.”
John said while their styles of tennis are completely different, anyone would be able to tell the two are each others’ biggest fans.
“We are roommates. We get along super well and we have never really fought,” John said.
John is quick to point out Matthew’s talent and how tennis has always come more naturally to him.
On the other hand, Matthew recognized John’s good example to him on and off the court.
“He’s a great student. He’s an economics major with a 3.9 GPA,” Matthew said. “He has been a good example of balancing tennis and school. I think he’s helped me set my goals high.”
What the Pearce family has is rare in the world of college sports. And it’s a blessing they’re well aware of, according to Matthew.
“It is not very often that you’re playing with your brother,” Matthew said. “I have a different connection with him than any other guy on the team.”
Brad echoed the sentiments of his sons, who both prefer to call him “dad” instead of “coach.”
“I feel really fortunate to be able to still be a part of their lives,” Brad said. “They are always making me laugh, so it makes the job fun and satisfying at the same time.”