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Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Ex-UMass football coach Pickett dies

Associated Press

AMHERST, Mass. -- Bob Pickett, a former football coach at Massachusetts who led the Minutemen to four Yankee Conference championships, has died. He was 75.

The school said in a statement Wednesday that Pickett died Tuesday in Florida. UMass associate athletic director Jason Yellin said Pickett's family informed the university of his death. Yellin said he did not have details about the cause of death.

Pickett, a native of Augusta, Maine, joined UMass as defensive coordinator in 1971. He became head coach in 1978 and led UMass to the first NCAA Division I-AA championship game that year. Massachusetts lost 35-28 to Florida A&M, but Pickett was honored as coach of the year by the Eastern College Athletic Conference.

Pickett coached the Minutemen until 1983, compiling a 36-28 record. He was associate athletic director until he retired in 1997.

He is survived by his wife, Sylvia, and three children.