Chad Pickett came to Forsyth County in 2018, when Denmark opened. He's spent the ensuing five football seasons working for the Danes, including time spent serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Now, Pickett will take on a new challenge, taking over as the next head coach at Forsyth Central following approval during a Jan. 17 Forsyth County Schools board meeting. The first-time head coach replaces David Rooney who stepped down in November after finishing 2-8 in both of his seasons leading the Bulldogs.
“It is a great honor and privilege to be named Forsyth Central’s head football coach,” Pickett said in a press release. “I am immensely grateful to Dr. [Josh] Lowe and coach [Dan] Kaplan for giving me this opportunity."
During his time at Denmark, the Danes never had a losing record and made the playoffs each of the past four years. Denmark averaged 20 points per game this past fall, despite having starting quarterback Jacob Nelson miss half of the season due to injury.
"Three qualities Chad possesses continued to shine in the interview process," said Bulldogs athletic director Dan Kaplan. "He has an energetic personality, a love and deep understanding of the game of football, and a passion that all players within his program have a positive lifetime experience in their four years of high school."
A math and physical education teacher at Denmark, Pickett previously coached at Brookwood and Archer, serving as OC and strength coach at all three schools. According to his bio on Denmark football's website, he also spent time as a graduate assistant at Alabama-Birmingham and West Georgia — in addition to a brief stop at Mill Creek — prior to his more recent exploits.
“We are excited to welcome coach Chad Pickett as the new head football coach at Forsyth Central HS,” said FCHS principal Josh Lowe. “Coach Pickett brings with him a variety of experiences while maintaining a reputation for success on the field and in the classroom. He has been part of numerous trips to the state playoffs and has a vision that we believe will lead Forsyth Central HS football towards a bright future.
"I have no doubt that he will energize our program in a positive manner as he works to mold our student-athletes into healthy and productive representatives of our school and community.”
A Brookwood Class of 2001 graduate, Pickett earned a bachelor's in mathematics from Presbyterian College. He followed that up with a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Georgia Southern.
"When you walk on Forsyth Central’s campus, you can immediately feel there’s something special about the place," Pickett said. "It is rich with tradition, history and culture. I am humbled to be entrusted to embrace those traditions while continuing to grow the culture in a way that makes our faculty, students and community proud. Our program will be founded on hard work and character. We will attack each day with relentless energy and passion.
"We are going to build better football players, but more importantly, we will strive to groom our student-athletes to communicate effectively, solve problems and serve selflessly within our community. We will prepare them not only for Friday nights, but also for what life brings them after graduation. I am excited to get to work with the players, parents and community so that our program embodies the beliefs of the City of Cumming and Forsyth County.”