Gary Pinkel's new contract seals the deal

April, 8, 2011
4/08/11
2:16
PM ET
Missouri announced a two-year extension for Gary Pinkel on Friday morning that will keep him in Columbia through 2017.

[+] EnlargeGary Pinkel
Denny Medley/US PresswireMissouri has won 40 games over the past four seasons under coach Gary Pinkel.
Pinkel's base salary stays the same with the extension, but his assistants can expect a raise. The pool for their salaries is up to $2.26 million from $2.1 million.

The job Pinkel has done to build his program over the past decade has been remarkable. It wasn't easy early, and even as late as 2005, at least a few were calling for his job.

Now, Missouri ranks among the Big 12's deepest teams and the Tigers, despite losing a handful of first-round draft picks in the past few years, look like a team that is far from susceptible to a down year. Missouri has won 40 games the past four seasons, enjoying three years with at least 10 wins.

Pinkel's latest extension, as well as his actions over the summer, make it clear he's at Missouri for the long haul. Since Pinkel first took the job back in 2001, the job most thought he could leave the Tigers for was Washington. He spent a total of 12 seasons coaching under Huskies legend Don James. Pinkel also played for James at Kent State.

But those years as an assistant, in Pinkel's mind it would seem, pale to the decade he's spent at Missouri. The coach, who is 77-49 in 10 seasons at Mizzou, spoke with Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune on Friday morning to talk about the extension.

"I don’t see too many retirement parties in my business. I want to coach at Missouri and keep building the program," Pinkel told the paper. "It’s really important to me to continue to build and make it a better place. My goal is to continue to do that. It’ll be fun and exciting to be a part of it."

This offseason, basketball coach Mike Anderson flirted with another school for the third consecutive year. This time, though, he took the leap back home to Arkansas.

Pinkel, meanwhile, eschewed even an interview from historical power Michigan.

"To have an opportunity like that is sort of a once-in-a-lifetime thing. For me it still boiled down to I just feel so much a part of Missouri now," he said. "The reason I didn’t pursue it was because I feel so much a part of Missouri. I’m so committed personally to continue to build the opportunity I was given."

That has to be music to Missouri fans' recently jilted ears. Pinkel now seems like exactly what Missouri needs in just about every way. He might not see many retirement parties, but from the looks of it, he'll get to have one of his own.

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