Prepare a 9”x 13” casserole dish by lightly coating with butter (or cooking spray).
Cut French Bread into large cubes (about 1” square). Add about half of the bread to the pan, sprinkle some of the chopped pecans, and then add the remaining bread. Reserve the remaining pecans (about half).
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, canned pumpkin, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Blend until fully combined.
Pour the egg and milk mixture evenly over the pan of bread.
Add the remaining chopped pecans on top of the bread, and if desired, sprinkle just a bit more pumpkin pie spice over the top of the casserole.
Cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (up to overnight). Press the bread down into the milk mixture just a bit, so most of the bread is kept moist.
Bake, uncovered, in a preheated oven at 350°F. for 45-55 minutes or until the casserole is set, and the bread on top is golden brown.
While the casserole cools just a bit, prepare syrup by combining maple syrup, melted butter and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl and whisking well to combine.
Before serving casserole, pour syrup evenly over casserole, or serve the syrup on the side and guests can add it to their own serving.