Gary Pinkel has the Tigers in the SEC Championship Game in their second year in the conference. (L.G. Patterson/AP)
The Washington job is open, and as he's a former Huskies assistant under Don James, it was only natural Gary Pinkel's name would get mentioned. The Missouri coach spent 11 seasons in Seattle before taking the Toledo job in 1991, and he has always had nice things to say about the university and especially James.
That said, Pinkel has seemed happy at Missouri and has the Tigers playing for the SEC championship on Saturday. He didn't have to address the rumors, but he must have thought it prudent to stop the talk at the source, putting to rest any doubts he'll stay in Columbia on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike on Thursday.
Via CoachingSearch.com, which transcribed Pinkel's comments:
“That’s because I coached there for 12 years and Don James is my mentor and all those things,” Pinkel said about his name being out there. “I’ll be quite frank, I’m staying at the University of Missouri.
“I, with the administration’s help, can continue to build a national program and a quest for national championships. I’m a Missouri Tiger, and I’m going to stay a Missouri Tiger.”
Pinkel is 101-62 at Missouri, and the Tigers are 11-1 this season with the lone loss coming in the second overtime against South Carolina thanks in part to one of the more memorable missed field goals this year.