Missouri Tigers head football coach Gary Pinkel has lymphoma and will retire at the end of the season. Pinkel was diagnosed in May, 2015, the school announced today.
Pinkel said in a statement he wanted to continue coaching, but stated, "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."
The sad news comes at the end of a tumultuous week for the university. On Nov. 8, 30 black members of the Tigers' football team agreed not to participate in any team activities in support of campus protests of racism at the university. In support of his players, Pinkel tweeted, "The Mizzou Family stands as one." While coaches standing with players to fight injustices on campus is certainly not new, a coach willing to put his record — and potentially his job — on the line is undeniably powerful. Wolfe ultimately resigned.
In his 15 years as the head coach of Mizzou, Pinkel has lead the Tigers to 117 wins, 10 bowl games and 2 Top 5 national ranking seasons. Pinkel's previous coaching stops include 10 years as the head coach at Toledo (1991-2000) and 12 years as an assistant coach at the University of Washington (1979-1990).