McCall, Pickett join Gulf Coast staff
Published 2:51 pm Saturday, January 14, 2023
PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast head baseball coach Bob Keller has added two experienced members to his coaching staff for the 2023 season. Andy McCall comes over from NCAA Division II Spring Hill College in Mobile, and Robert Pickett joins from Sumrall High School and has experience at Southern Mississippi.
Gulf Coast starts its 2023 season on Feb. 3 when Nunez visits Ken “Curly” Farris Field. Season tickets are on sale at http://mgcccbulldogs.com/tickets, and the full schedule can be found at https://mgcccbulldogs.com/sports/bsb/2022-23/schedule.
McCall spent the last 10 years coaching at Spring Hill, his alma mater. He played and coached for the legendary Frank Sims.
“It was an easy selection to be able to go with Coach McCall and to bring him over to Perk because of his years of experience,” Keller said. “As a recruiter and a coach, he’s a tireless worker on the recruiting trail and does a great job with the players he’s coaching. He has a great history of being able to find jewels under rocks and get it done on the recruiting trail. We think that’s going to be a real boost for the recruiting program.”
He was a graduate assistant for three years before becoming a full-time assistant in 2014. McCall helped the program transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II. He coached one NAIA All-American and one NCAA Division II SIAC Player of the Year at SHC.
He has also coached in collegiate summer ball, starting as an assistant with Laramie of the Mountain Collegiate Baseball League in 2012. The next year, he was the head coach of the Socastee Sharks in Myrtle Beach, S.C., part of the Beach Collegiate League. The Sharks won the regular-season title with a 21-7 record, and he coached the Mobile Pirates in the Deep South Collegiate League in 2014.
“The first thing that comes to mind is being able to win a championship here,” McCall said. “Start with winning the state of Mississippi, and then going from there. We have the facilities here to do it, the backing of the administration is here to do it, and I think the coaching staff with Coach Keller, Coach (Zach) Allen and Coach Pickett is a good group to do it with. Everything is here to be able to win.”
McCall had an outstanding playing career as a Spring Hill outfielder. He hit .335 from 2007-10 and still holds the school’s single-season record for triples (6). He did that in his senior season when he hit .353 with 44 RBI. A two-year starter, he finished with 81 RBI.
McCall played at De Smet Jesuit in St. Louis, Mo., and in 2005 helped lead his team to the state finals.
McCall has two sons, Jackson, 6, and Sawyer, 4.
Pickett starts his college coaching career at Gulf Coast with an impressive resume from helping run a state championship-winning program.
“Coach Pickett comes to us with a variety of skillsets,” Keller said. “He was a pitcher in high school, so he’ll be able to assist in that area. He’ll be able to help us with recruiting in the office and from an operations standpoint. He’s come alongside me and been able to dive into some of the analytics side of things. He’ll wear a multitude of hats with us and is a super valuable piece of our program.”
He has been an assistant at Sumrall High School the last two seasons, helping the team to the Class 4A state championship last season and the finals the previous year. The Bobcats went 35-1 in 2022 and 31-5 in 2021. He helped develop the Class 4A Player of the Year. Pickett has also worked at D-Bat in Hattiesburg.
He pointed to Keller and the rest of his staff as a key reason he’s at Gulf Coast.
“His experience spoke to me,” Pickett said. “I figured I’d be able to learn a lot from him and be able to upgrade what I know as far as baseball and pitching goes. The facilities obviously are being upgraded even more, and I felt like it was a spot that I could help with the improvements. I thought the coaching staff was one I could learn from all the way around.”
This won’t be Pickett’s first experience with a college baseball team, however. He was the head equipment manager at Southern Miss from 2017-20. The Golden Eagles won two C-USA Tournament titles and one regular-season championship. While working with the baseball team, he was getting a bachelor’s in sports coaching and education. While coaching at Sumrall, he completed a master’s in sports management from USM.
Previously, Pickett was head equipment manager at Southwest Mississippi, where he completed an associate’s degree in physical education.
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