In Memoriam of Billy Pickard ’56

 

We are saddened to hear of the loss of longtime Aggie trainer, Billy Pickard.

Many have stories of Mr. Pickard and we’d like to be a place where people can share uplifting, funny or personal experiences with Mr. Pickard.  Here’s a great story he shared with us.

On Friday mornings, the field staff would paint the lines at Kyle Field before home football games.  After the lines were freshly marked, the Aggie Band would do a final run-through on Kyle Field before their halftime performance on the following day.

Fresh to College Station, Coach Jackie Sherrill, the first million dollar coach and athletic director in college football, had a bone to pick with the Aggie Band.  He didn’t want to paint the field twice and if the Aggie Band would simply stop doing a final practice on the actual field, he wouldn’t have to worry about that.

He went to his trusted friend and long time Aggie trainer, Mr. Pickard. “Pick, I need you to go over to the band practice tomorrow morning and tell them to stop practicing on Kyle Field before gameday,” Sherrill told him.

In typical Pickard fashion, he responded directly.  “I can’t do that, Coach.”

“Well, why not?” Sherrill responded.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Frustrated, Sherrill responded, “Well good grief, I’ll go over there and do it myself.”

True to his word, Sherrill loaded up in Pickard’s truck and the two went over the next morning to the Aggie Band practice.  The two sat down in the bleachers and watched the band practice for a few minutes. Before long, Sherrill said, “Come on Pick, let’s get out of here.”

Grinning, knowing what was going on, Mr. Pickard smartly said, “Coach, I thought you wanted to say something to them?”

Sherrill responded, “Pick, the day we’re as good as the Aggie Band, we’ll win a national championship. Let’s go.”

Mr. Pickard wasn’t only a confidant to Coach Sherrill, he was a trusted friend and advisor to every head football coach that came through Texas A&M from 1965-2015.  He was a legend and an example to football players, students, coaches and staff at Texas A&M for fifty years. Nobody loved Texas A&M more than him, and his life was an example of his passion.  He will be dearly missed by many.

Have a story of Mr. Pickard that you want to share?  We’d love to hear it… and so would others.   Share it in our comments.

 

One thought on “In Memoriam of Billy Pickard ’56

  1. I will never forget when I was a fish in the Corps- I had just run with my buds from Hart hall to the quad for air out and forgot – in my fish panic- to put shoes on. It was Uncle Billy who dressed and bandaged my feet in the training room at Kyle Field- the whole time growling about me being in the Corps. What I saw was my uncle who for as long as I can remember I have respected and often idolized because he was and will always be a living part of that stadium- of Aggieland that he loves so dear. It wasn’t the place but more the people that surrounded him that he so dearly loves. Thanks Uncle Billy for doing for me what you have done since the days of Bear Bryant- help an Aggie get back up on their feet and get back on the field of play …of life. Love you.

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