FHS announces Kris Pickle as new head football coach

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

The Forest High School Bearcats have a new football coach. FHS announced Kris Pickle as their new head coach on May 2 while introducing the new coach to his football team. 

Pickle comes to the Bearcats from Columbus where he was the head coach at New Hope High School from 2014 through 2017 before stepping down to spend more time with this family early in 2018. However, the desire to be on the sideline never left the high energy coach, and when the FHS coaching job came along he knew it was the right fit for both him and his family. 

Pickle’s name may be familiar to many Scott Countians. He was the head coach of the Morton Panthers for two seasons prior to accepting the NHS job in 2014.  

“My wife, my 3-year-old boy and 11-year-old daughter all love the community here in Forest and we can’t wait to get to know everyone,” Pickle said. “I’m excited to get started with this team and get to work. I don’t know how to do anything other than all in and we have some work to do getting to know each other and getting ready for next season.”

During the introduction ceremony FHS Athletic Director Allan Atkinson said that one of the things that led to the FHS hiring Pickle was his offensive mind set. 

“This is a coach that we have seen put up some big offensive numbers at every stop he has made as an offensive coordinator and head coach,” Atkinson said. “We know we have great coaching and players on the defensive side of the ball so we believe that Coach Pickle’s offensive mind set is a great fit for our Bearcats.” 

“I think the Good Lord puts you in places for a reason,” said Pickle, “I remember coaching against some of the teams here at Forest and I remember recognizing the apparent talent and athletic ability of the players here. When this opportunity was presented, I remembered those times on the opposing sidelines on Friday nights and knew this was the right place for me and my family.” 

Atkinson said he is excited about the future of FHS football with Pickle leading the team. “We are very excited for the future with Coach Pickle here at Forest,” Atkinson said. “He is a good family man, a true football guy that can build a program. He is also a tremendous builder of great young men so we are excited to have him leading our kids.”

Pickle took over the New Hope High School football team in 2014. Pickle went 24-23 in four seasons at NHHS and led New Hope to the second round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 5A playoffs.   

During his time at Morton High School Pickle led the Panthers to a 6-5 record and a trip to the first round of the MHSAA Class 3A playoffs. Morton went 5-0 in Region 6 to win the title after only winning three games in 2012. 

Prior to taking his first job as a head football coach, Pickle spent three seasons as offensive coordinator at Northeast Jones High School in Laurel. He also worked as offensive coordinator at Aberdeen High. 

Pickle also spent two years as wide receivers/defensive backs coach at Nettleton. He graduated from Hatley High in 1996 and went on to play wide receiver for four years at Mississippi College. He credits coaches Dana Holgorsen, who was offensive coordinator at MC for two years and is now the head coach at West Virginia, and Brad Griffin for teaching him the basis of his offensive philosophy. 

Pickle replaces former head coach Jonathan Worrell who accepted the head coaching position at East Rankin Academy in Pelahatchie. After taking over in 2015 Worrell guided the Bearcats’football team to a record of 35-16 and four straight Class-3A playoff appearances during his four seasons as head coach.