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Contributed | BDN
Contributed | BDN

PORTLAND – Robert A. “Bob” Pickett, 77, former University of Massachusetts football coach, administrator and broadcaster, died Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2010, at Halifax Health Medical Center, Daytona Beach, Fla., from injuries he sustained after being struck by a vehicle while walking. Bob was born in Bangor, son of Arthur and Gertrude Rice Pickett. He attended schools in Augusta, graduating from Cony High School, Class of 1952. He also attended Maine Central Institute in 1953. He served with the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956 in Europe. Bob then returned to graduate from the University of Maine, Orono, in 1959. Bob began his sterling career as a coach, which took him to Laconia (N.H.) High School in 1959 with a state championship that year and again in 1961. He also took Portsmouth (N.H.) High School, as head coach, to state champions in 1962 and 1964. Bob was named New Hampshire Coach of the Year in 1961, 1962 and 1964. Coach Pickett won four Yankee Conference championships and compiled a 36-28 record in six seasons as the UMass head coach from 1978 to 1983. He led the Minutemen to its first ever Division 1-AA National Championship Pioneer Bowl title game in 1978. UMass lost to Florida A&M 35-28, but Bob was honored as Coach of the Year by Eastern College Athletic Conference. The team also won the prestigious Lambert Cup for being the top football team in the East. After he finished coaching, Coach Pickett worked as an associate athletic director at UMass until he retired in 1997. He then became a color commentator on radio coverage of UMass football games from 1998 to 2003. Even after retiring from that radio job, he was still a regular at UMass home games. Bob was named Coach of the Year several times by different organizations, most prominently in 1979 from the New York Football Writers, and was inducted into the Football Halls of Fame in New England. He is published and part of many committees and associations where he had been president and chairman. He is currently the president of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame and was past president of Grid Iron Club of Greater Boston. Bob was a communicant of St. Pius X Catholic Church. In addition to his loving wife, Sylvia (Amadei) Pickett of Portland, he leaves three daughters, Robin and her husband, Bill Podolak, of Littleton, N.H., Deborah Pickett of Marlborough, Mass., and Judith Pickett and Jerrard Whitten of Newburyport, Mass.; three grandchildren, Paul, Alyssa and Jessica; several nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a time of visitation 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, at Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St., Portland, where prayers will be recited 9:15 a.m. Friday, Feb. 12. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. Friday at St. Pius X Catholic Church, Ocean Avenue, Portland. Interment will be afterward at New Calvary Cemetery, South Portland. In lieu of flowers, the Pickett family requests that contributions be made to a scholarship fund they are establishing at UMass. Contributions may be made to Coach Bob Pickett Football Scholarship Fund, care of University of Massachusetts, 308 Mullins Center, Amherst, MA 01003 or (413)-577-4290. You are invited to share your thoughts, condolences and fond memories with the Pickett family by visiting Bob’s guest book at

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