Pinkel gets contract extension

By getting the Tigers to 7-3, bowl eligible and in the hunt for the division title, Gary Pinkel has clearly improved Missouri since he took over in December 2000. On Friday, Missouri rewarded him with a contract extension that goes through 2008.

After leading the Tigers to only its third bowl game in 20 years, Missouri coach received quite a reward Friday.

Missouri extended Pinkel's contract an extra year to 2008, and he received a pay raise. The exact terms of the agreement haven't yet been released, but Missouri is expected to raise Pinkel's base salary from $192,000 to $250,000.

"Quite obviously, I'm very grateful to the entire university community for its support," Pinkel said in a statement. "We came here with a vision of building a first-class national program, and while this is still a work in progress, I do believe we are making strides."

Pinkel, who ranks 20th among active Division I-A coaches with a .620 winning percentage, has led the Tigers to a 7-3 record and to bowl eligibility for the first time since 1998. With a win Saturday at Kansas State, Pinkel and the Tigers would only be a win against Iowa State away from their first-ever appearance in the Big 12 championship game.

"Gary Pinkel is well on his way to building a top-notch program," Athletic Director Mike Alden said, "and I'm pleased that we are able to show that our institution believes in the work that he and his staff are doing.

"The progress shown on the field speaks for itself, and then when you consider the inroads Gary has made in recruiting, and the fact that this year we are playing a record number of times on television, those are just a few other tangible measurements that show we have the right guy for the job."

Missouri extended Pinkel's contract, originally through 2005, to 2007 in August 2002.


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