By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
It’s not a head coaching move, but it’s a move that will turn heads in coaching circles.
Aberdeen offensive coordinator Kris Pickle has accepted the same job at Northeast Jones.
Pickle, who came to Class 3A Aberdeen from Nettleton three seasons ago, turned a sputtering and scheme-less Bulldog offense into one of the state’s best.
With a reputation as one of the state’s sharpest offensive minds, Pickle has been mentioned in several coaching vacancies over the past two years. He came in with head coach Chris Duncan and defensive coordinator Patrick Schoolar prior to the 2007 season at Aberdeen.
Aberdeen had one win in 20 games the two previous seasons, then went 33-10 over the past three, with a spread-happy attack led offensively by guys like quarterbacks Marcus Hinton and Aaron Andrew, Mississippi State-committed back Jamerson Love and a bevy of skilled receivers.
The Bulldogs were a game short of a state title berth in 2008 and lost to Tylertown, 34-20, in the title game last December, the school’s first appearance there.
Pickle will work with new NEJ head coach Keith Braddock, a Jones graduate, who worked as Louisville’s defensive coordinator during the Wildcats Class 3A title years in 2007 and 2008. In 2008, Louisville beat Aberdeen in the North finals to advance.
Braddock was hired in March to replace Robert Hathorn, who guided NEJ to a 1-9 mark last season.
Most recently, Pickle interviewed for the head coaching job at Amory and was later believed to have been offered a job as the Panthers’ offensive coordinator. The deal reportedly fell through just short of being done.