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Gary Pinkel
Pinkel in September 2008
Pinkel in September 2008
Title Head coach
College Missouri
Sport Football
Conference Big 12
Team record 67-46 (.593)
Born April 27, 1952 (1952-04-27) (age 57)
Place of birth Akron, OH
Career highlights
Overall 140-83-3 (.628)
Bowls 4-3
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
1997 Kent Athletic Hall of Fame
Playing career
1970-1973 Kent State
Position TE
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Kent State (GA)
Washington (TE)
Bowling Green (WR)
Washington (WR)
Washington (OC)

Gary Robin Pinkel (born April 27, 1952) is the head college football coach of the University of Missouri. Pinkel, who has been coaching at Missouri since the 2001 season, previously coached at the University of Toledo, where he experienced success in the Mid-American Conference, winning a conference championship with the Rockets in 1995. Before becoming a head coach, he was an assistant at the University of Washington, where he served as Don James's offensive coordinator.


Early years

Pinkel graduated from Kenmore High School in Akron, Ohio, and received his bachelor of science degree in education from Kent State University in 1973, where he played tight end under James. His roommate at Kent was Pittsburgh Steelers great Jack Lambert. He did post-graduate studies at Kent and Bowling Green State University, and in 1997 was inducted into the Kent Athletic Hall of Fame.

Coaching career



Since arriving at Mizzou in December 2000, Pinkel has guided the Tigers to five bowl games in nine years, comprising a 3-2 record overall. The first was in 2003, a 27-14 loss to the University of Arkansas, and the second was a thrilling 38-31 come-from-behind win over the University of South Carolina on December 30, 2005. Missouri then lost to Oregon State, 39-38, in the Brut Sun Bowl. In 2007, a historic year for the Mizzou program, Pinkel led his team to a #1 AP ranking at the end of the regular season after finishing 11-1. They then fell to the Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 Championship game, and played in the Cotton Bowl against the University of Arkansas. The Tigers throttled the Razorbacks, strolling to an easy 38-7 victory and a final season ranking of #4 in the AP Poll.

Pinkel's other accomplishments while at Mizzou include ending the Tigers 24-year losing streak to the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2003 with a 41-24 win in Columbia, Missouri. Since this win, the two schools have had an intense rivalry, with the teams splitting the series at 3-3.

In 2006, Pinkel led the Tigers to a 6-0 start, the team's first 6-0 start since 1973. However, as the team entered the Big 12 portion of the schedule, things soon fell apart and the team finished 8-5.

Pinkel led teams have also struggled against ranked opponents. In his career at Missouri, Pinkel's teams are 7-23 against teams ranked in the AP top 25 and 2-12 against teams ranked in the top 15 (as of 11/11/09).[1] Additionally, only 3 of the ranked teams defeated finished the season in the rankings Nebraska (2003), Texas Tech (2007) and Kansas (2007).

Despite these successes, early on Gary Pinkel struggled against non-conference opponents from non-BCS conferences. In each of his first two seasons at Missouri, the team lost to Bowling Green State University. The next year, Missouri survived Middle Tennessee State University at home by one point. That was followed up the next year with a loss at Troy University on ESPN. In 2005 Pinkel's Tigers lost to the University of New Mexico at home.

During the 2007 season, Pinkel guided the Tigers to a 12-2 (7-2) season with an average of 40.0 points per game, a Big 12 North Co-Championship, and a 38-7 Cotton Bowl Classic victory over Arkansas. The season's most memorable moment came when Missouri defeated rival Kansas 36-28 on a nationally televised game at Arrowhead Stadium. The win propelled Missouri to the #1 ranking and ruined Kansas' previously unbeaten record. The only losses during the season were against the Oklahoma Sooners. The first loss was in Norman, Oklahoma and the second was in the Big 12 Championship. Pinkel’s Tigers were tied with the Sooners at half time but ended up losing. If the Tigers had won they might have retained their then number one BCS ranking and could have played for the BCS National Championship.

In 2008 Pinkel guided his Tigers to a second consecutive Big 12 North co-title and a chance to have back to back double digit win seasons. After their tremendous 2007 season, 2008 was considered a disappointment with four losses including one to rival Kansas and again to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game, but on December 29th Missouri helped redeem their season by defeating Northwestern 30-23 in an overtime win at the Alamo Bowl. During the 2008 season Missouri’s potent offensive averaged 43 points per game. Despite four tough losses, the 2008 campaign concluded with a Big 12 North Co-Championship, the first back to back 10 win season in Missouri history and an Alamo Bowl Championship.

On November 25, 2008, Pinkel signed a new seven-year contract that would bring him $2.3 million per year, from Jan. 1, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2015.[2]


Pinkel lives in Columbia with his wife and three children. An avid motorcyclist, he is often spotted on the Columbia streets riding his Harley-Davidson, given to him upon his hiring at Mizzou by the company's Kansas City plant.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Toledo Rockets (Mid-American Conference) (1991–2000)
1991 Toledo 5-5-1 4-3-1 T-3rd
1992 Toledo 8-3 5-3 T-3rd
1993 Toledo 4-7 3-5 T-7th
1994 Toledo 6-4-1 4-3-1 6th
1995 Toledo 11-0-1 7-0-1 1st W Las Vegas 24
1996 Toledo 7-4 6-2 T-2nd
1997 Toledo 9-3 7-1 1st (West)
1998 Toledo 7-5 6-2 1st (West)
1999 Toledo 6-5 5-3 T-2nd (West)
2000 Toledo 10-1 6-1 1st (West)
Toledo: 73-37-3 53-23-3
Missouri Tigers (Big 12 Conference) (2001–present)
2001 Missouri 4-7 3-5 5th (North)
2002 Missouri 5-7 2-6 5th (North)
2003 Missouri 8-5 4-4 3rd (North) L Independence
2004 Missouri 5-6 3-5 2nd (North)
2005 Missouri 7-5 4-4 2nd (North) W Independence
2006 Missouri 8-5 4-4 2nd (North) L Sun
2007 Missouri 12-2 7-1 1st (North) W Cotton 5 4
2008 Missouri 10-4 5-3 1st (North) W Alamo 16 19
2009 Missouri 8-5 4-4 2nd (North) L Texas
Missouri: 67-46 36-36
Total: 140-83-3
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches Poll.

See also

Preceded by
Larry Smith
University of Missouri Head Football Coach
Succeeded by


External links


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