Irvington HS football coach ‘Smoke’ Pierre selected for All-American Bowl, joining IHS senior safety Adon Shuler

Irvington head coach Ashley ‘Smoke’ Pierre is shown on the sideline.

IRVINGTON, NJ — When Irvington High School senior football player Adon Shuler heads to San Antonio, Texas, to participate in the All-American Bowl in January, he will have a familiar face joining him.

IHS head coach Ashley “Smoke” Pierre has been selected to serve as an assistant coach in the game, which will take place on Saturday, Jan. 7, at the Alamodome.

The All-American Bowl features 100 of the best players and 16 of the most respected high school coaches in the nation. The game will be televised on NBC at 1 p.m.

Shuler, a 6-foot, 207-pound safety, has been committed to the University of Notre Dame since August 2021. He is ranked No. 5 overall in the state by 247sports.

Pierre, an Irvington native, completed his seventh season as the Blue Knights’ coach. In his third season, in 2018, the Blue Knights advanced to the North 2, Group 4 state championship game for their second-ever state sectional final. Their first sectional final was in 2006.

Irvington senior safety Adon shuler leaps tomake the catch during the win over Columbia this season.

In 2021, the top-seeded Blue Knights defeated Middletown South to win the North 2, Group 4 state sectional title for the first sectional championship in program history. They then defeated North Jersey, Section 1 champion Northern Highlands, 19-14, in the Group 4 state regional championship game at Rutgers University. In the regional final, Shuler returned a punt for a touchdown. IHS finished the 2021 season 11-2. Pierre was named the state coach of the year by the Star-Ledger.

This past season, the Blue Knights were the top seed in the North 1, Group 4 state sectional playoffs, beating eighth-seeded Somerville in the first round. They had a rematch with fourth-seeded Northern Highlands — which moved from North 1 to North 2 — in the sectional semifinals. Northern Highlands won, 17-13, to end Irvington’s 8-3 season.

Under Pierre, the Blue Knights have won Super Football Conference divisional titles in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. They won 21 straight divisional games, a win streak that ended with a 19-15 road loss to Union City this season. Pierre’s career record at IHS is 57-20.

Photos Courtesy of Felicia Laguerre Owens