Pickard served as the Pacers' head football coach from 1982-85. After the 1981 season, several members of the football team approached athletic director Ray Mears and suggest Pickard be promoted to head coach. In his first season as head coach, Pickard's team went 5-6, the best mark for the Pacers in three years. The team opened the season 4-1, the best start for a Pacer football team since the 1967 team. Pickard came to UT Martin in 1975 as a linebacker coach under George MacIntyre. He served seven years as an assistant. He also served as defensive coordinator and offensive backs coach.