Monday, November 16, 2015

Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel stepping down

University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel announced on Monday that he stepping down at the end of this season for health reasons.

"I made the decision in May, after visiting with my family, that I wanted to keep coaching, as long as I felt good and had the energy I needed," Pinkel said in a news release. "I felt great going into the season, but also knew that I would need to reassess things at some point, and I set our bye week as the time when I would take stock of the future.”

“After we played Vanderbilt (Oct. 24), I had a scheduled PET scan on Oct. 26 for reassessment, and then visited with my family and came to the decision on Oct. 27 that this would be my last year coaching.”

"Words can't express how grateful I am to the University of Missouri and all of the amazing people who make it up, from the administration to the students and our fans,” Pinkel said. “Obviously, I'm so appreciative to all of my coaches and athletes. Leaving them makes this decision so tough, but I do so feeling good that the Mizzou football program is in a better place than it was when we came in 15 years ago.”

"Coach Pinkel has worked tirelessly to elevate the prominence of the MU football program and in the process was an extraordinary role model to the student athletes he coached and to those around him," said Mike Middleton, interim president of the University of Missouri system. "We commend him on his years of service and for the winning football program he built that elevated the university with national recognition. His commitment to his players and the University of Missouri will be recalled for generations to come. Just as he has always supported his players, the University of Missouri community stands by him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Pinkel and his family."

“Gary Pinkel has been a credit to the game of football and the kind of person we hold high as an example of how college athletics can make a difference in young people’s lives," said SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. "He is a leader who coaches character with the same intensity he coaches football. Gary was an instrumental figure in transitioning Missouri into the Southeastern Conference and I thank him for his work, his dedication to student-athletes and his service to the SEC.”

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