Mike Picetti is ready to tackle the challenge ahead.

A former assistant at Hilliard Bradley and Olentangy, Picetti was named coach of the Thomas Worthington football team Dec. 30, pending school board approval.

Picetti had served as Bradley’s defensive coordinator since 2017. He previously was an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Olentangy.

At both schools, he coached on staffs that led teams to the playoffs.

“It’s an honor to be given an opportunity to build a program and kind of building from the way I see other programs being successful,” said Picetti, an intervention specialist with the Olentangy Local School District. “I’ve been pretty blessed. I’ve been coaching under some great people the past five or 10 years, and I’ve seen the way they put their programs forward. And I know the right way to do it. It’s just about getting in there, rolling your sleeves up and making sure the kids understand the expectations.”

Picetti will take over a Thomas team that went 11-19 overall and 6-15 in the OCC-Cardinal Division the past three seasons under Matt Zingery, who resigned Nov. 29. The Cardinals finished 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the league last fall.

Thomas has not finished with a .500 record since 2009 and has not had a winning season since 1999, when it went 7-3. The Cardinals have made only two playoff appearances, with the last coming in 1986.

“Coach Picetti understands that results don’t come without a total investment in both our youth and middle school programs, and a year-round commitment in the weight room,” athletics director Jen Goebbel said in a statement. “One of the things that stood out to me most about coach Picetti is that he has a huge heart for kids and is old school in all the right ways. Coach Picetti has found a way to build and maintain relationships with his current and former players without compromising his high expectations for them on and off the football field.”