Missouri Tigers football coach Gary Pinkel will resign after the 2015 season due to health reasons, the school announced on Friday.
Pinkel was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer of the blood in May, and returned to coach the Tigers this fall after doctors said his treatments would not interfere with his coaching.
“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 statement. “I felt great going into the season, but also knew that I would need to re-assess 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. 26th for reassessment, and then visited with my family and came to the decision on October 27th that this would be my last year coaching. I still feel good physically, but I decided that I want to focus on enjoying my remaining years with my family and friends, and also have proper time to battle the disease and give full attention to that.”
Pinkel will remain coach through Dec. 31, or until a new coach is found. He and Missouri athletic director Mack Rhoades are discussing a role that would keep him involved with the athletic department when he is finished coaching, the school said.
Pinkel has coached the Tigers since 2001, after coming over from Toledo, where he led the Rockets to a 73–37–3 record in ten years.
He is the winningest coach in Missouri history, with a 117–71 record in 15 seasons.
After I got good report at Mayo 3 weeks ago - I decided I wanted to embrace the good healthy times...— Coach Gary Pinkel (@GaryPinkel) November 13, 2015
As much as battle the tuff times. U can't do that working 6/7 days a week 9 months out of the year...— Coach Gary Pinkel (@GaryPinkel) November 13, 2015
Family and health first. Thx for thinking of me. GP— Coach Gary Pinkel (@GaryPinkel) November 13, 2015
Missouri will play BYU at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Saturday.
- Kenny Ducey