Where Are They Now?: Bob Pickard
By David Driver
Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the end of Xavier football. It was a turning point in the history of the University. Agree with it or not, one thing can’t be argued: Xavier produced some quality players—and people. We tracked down some of them to see what they’ve been doing in the years since they left campus.
Bob Pickard ’74
Bob Pickard wants to set the record straight. He has heard and read that he scored the first touchdown in the history of the Pontiac Silverdome as a member of the Detroit Lions in 1974. Pickard shakes his head. Nope. His claim to fame was that he caught the first pass in the first exhibition played in the domed stadium. Pickard played in 14 games for the Lions and caught eight passes for 88 yards and one touchdown in 1974, his lone season in the National Football League.
But Pickard said it was providential that in his only season in the NFL, his wide receiver coach was Raymond Berry, who was a Hall of Fame wide receiver for the Baltimore Colts. “He was my boyhood idol,” says Pickard. “It was the highlight of my life. He is such a quality person.”
Berry, a committed Christian, would give note cards to Pickard with Bible verses and other motivational sayings. “He wrote some of them when he was playing. I still have those cards to this day,” he says.
Years later, Pickard’s son, Brian, was an all-state wide receiver at Dublin [Ohio] High School and went on to play at the University of Kentucky under head coach Guy Morriss, who, ironically, played on the offensive line for the New England Patriots when Berry was the team’s head coach. Apparently the Berry doesn’t fall far from the tree either.
Off the field, Pickard has built a life as president of Interior Supply Inc., a business he started in the late 1980s that now has locations in seven cities in Ohio. The company sells building material such as drywall and ceiling supplies—materials that weren’t in high demand when the real estate bubble burst. But, as any good wide receiver would, Pickard knew where to find the openings.
“We have been able to weather the tough times,” he says. “We have done pretty well.”
Tim Dydo '74
John Shinners '69
Bill Howe ‘74
Mark Pfeiffer ‘73
Mike Dennis ‘73
Herman “Buck” Moss ‘54
Steve Bailey ‘68
Carroll Williams ‘69
More Players from the Past
The Next Generation
Did You Know?
Why the Program was Dropped
The Silver Years
The Three Musketeers