ERHS Hires Russ Pickett as new Varsity Head Football Coach

Coach Pickett

Rustin “Russ” Pickett has been selected as the new Ernest Righetti High School Varsity Head Football Coach.

Pickett takes over for former Warrior Football Coach Tony Payne who led the Warriors program for the last five seasons.

Pickett has coached football for 14 years, including the last two years as a Position Coach at Fresno City College where he was the Receiver Coach and Recruiting Coordinator. Prior to that, he served as the Head Coach at Hoover High School and Associate Head Coach at Madera and Sunnyside High Schools. He is currently working as the Athletic Director at McClane High School in addition to his duties at Fresno City College.

“My family and I are grateful for the opportunity to lead the Righetti Football Program,’’ Pickett said. “We are excited to build relationships with all stakeholders invested in Warrior Football. My mission is to work relentlessly to establish a culture of competitive greatness by maximizing our student athletes academically, athletically, and mentally.’’

Pickett, who is credentialed through Fresno State University, will teach special education classes. He graduated from Bluffton University where he played football, baseball and ran track.

The comprehensive hiring process included visitations, zoom interviews, as well as in-person formal interviews, according to Warrior Principal Ted Lyon.

“We feel we have found the right Coach to lead our football program,’’ said Warrior Athletic Director Kevin Barbarick. “We couldn’t be more enthusiastic to announce Russ Pickett as our new Head Coach. He brings a unique combination of experience and youth. We believe Coach Pickett and his family will be a tremendous addition to our school and community. Our players will benefit from his knowledge guidance and youthful enthusiasm. They will love his approach and want to work hard for him.”

SMJUHSD Media Contact: Public Information Officer Kenny Klein 805-709-1454 or