For the second time less than a month, one of the game’s most respected head coaches stepped down due to health concerns. Three weeks after Minnesota‘s Jerry Kill took the podium in Minneapolis to officially announce his resignation, Missouri‘s Gary Pinkel has done the same and, as was the case during Kill’s departure speech, it was an emotional scene in Columbia.
Pinkel took over the program in 2001, arriving as an enthusiastic 49-year-old football junkie from Toledo, where he led the Rockets to 73 wins from 1991-2000, including a 11-0-1 mark in 1995. He entered 2015 as the fifth longest tenured coach in the FBS, with only Frank Beamer (1987), Bob Stoops (1999), Kirk Ferentz (1999) and Gary Patterson (2000) having arrived at their respective schools before Pinkel. The former Kent State tight end picked up his 118th career victory at Mizzou last Saturday, a 20-16 triumph over BYU in the first game since he announced his resignation.
Unlike Kill, who left his post immediately, Pinkel will finish out the season. It remains unclear if he will coach the Tigers in a bowl game, if they win one more game to reach six wins and become eligible. Despite two more games remaining on the regular season schedule, the athletic department opted for a press conference to officially announce his resignation and it was tough to watch.
Here is video of the press conference: