By Marty Gordon
Blacksburg High School has named former junior varsity soccer coach Matthew Pickett as the new head coach of the school’s girls’ soccer program.
“Soccer in Blacksburg and Montgomery County was a large part of my personal development,” Pickett said. “As a former player and lifelong resident of the area, I felt that it was important to step up to ensure consistency in the program, to continue the positive team environment and the strong soccer culture established by the previous varsity coaching staff.”
Pickett’s playing experience of more than 12 years included New River United and Roanoke Star. He captained the club team for three years, competing against some of the best players the area had to offer.
Pickett graduated from Blacksburg in 2010 and attended college at the Rochester Institute of Technology before coming back to Montgomery County and working both in and out of state as a film/TV production coordinator, manager, and production company owner for local, national, and international clients.
Pickett started coaching as a player/coach for multiple indoor leagues, and then, after getting his United States Soccer Federation E coaching license, he coached youth summer camps in the New River Valley for several years while in high school.
After a hiatus from soccer to focus on his career in film and TV, Pickett came back to coaching in the spring of 202, and coached the BHS Junior Varsity Girls soccer team to a 12-1 record. He is also currently a girls youth coach for New River United/Virginia United FC for the fall 2022 season.
“The Blacksburg High School’s boys and girls soccer programs have a long history of success,” the new head coach said. “In fact, the Blacksburg, Virginia Wikipedia page mentions the BHS soccer program (along with other programs) as being among the top in the state.
“It is my hope and my goal to continue and build upon the past regional and state successes of BHS girls soccer in the coming years while also maintaining a team culture that allows for every player to develop to their highest potential,” Pickett said.
The new head coach has seen the amount of support and camaraderie between players and the universal understanding that everything revolves around the team, not the individual.
“This is a testament to the quality of the previous coaching staff and the players themselves,” he said. “It is my hope that I can help grow the excitement around girls soccer in our community, and that our team can be role models for the next generation who are watching and hoping to one day wear the jersey of the Blacksburg Bruins.”