Talk about a Hollywood ending.
Fred Pickett concluded his 13th and final season as Chester boys' basketball coach with one more Class AAAA state championship title.
"That's super" to leave as a champion, Pickett said after Chester defeated Norristown, 81-77, in the state final Saturday night at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center. "Win or lose, I was going to do it. I made up my mind that I was going to do it. "
The 54-year-old said he had thought about retiring for the last three seasons.
"But this year, I sat down with my coaches, and I just [told them] this was where my head was at," said Pickett, who believes it is time for someone else to get an opportunity to coach.
He informed his players in the locker room after the game.
Pickett leaves as the program's most successful coach, with a career record of 331-80.
He has guided Chester to three Class AAAA state titles and five championship appearances. Pickett also has won eight District 1 crowns.
This season, the Clippers (33-1) set the school's single-season victory record. Chester is ranked third in the nation by USA Today.
"I don't even believe in saying this is it for me, because I love it so much," Pickett said. "But like I said, I got an opportunity when coach [Alonzo] Lewis moved on.
"I think these guys," he said, referring to assistant coaches Larry Yarbray and Keith Taylor, "can give us some good years. "
Yarbray and Taylor are candidates to replace Pickett.
Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or firstname.lastname@example.org.