Missouri coach Gary Pinkel announced on Friday that he would step down following this season due to health reasons.
Pinkel took over Missouri on Nov. 30, 2000, and his 117 wins are the most in program history.
The impact that Pinkel had as a coach in both the Big 12 and SEC was not lost on those who have covered him or known him over the years.
Following Pinkel’s announcement, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement.
“Gary Pinkel has been a credit to the game of football and the kind of person we hold high as an example of how college athletics can make a difference in young people’s lives. He is a leader who coaches character with the same intensity he coaches football. Gary was an instrumental figure in transitioning Missouri into the Southeastern Conference and I thank him for his work, his dedication to student-athletes and his service to the SEC.”
Several members of the football community reacted on Twitter after the announcement, and their reactions are a testament to Pinkel’s character on and off the field.
Gary Pinkel forever changed way #Mizzou is viewed in college football and on recruiting trail. Has an eye for talent few in game can match.
— Jeremy Crabtree (@jeremycrabtree) November 13, 2015
Great identifier of talent, both players and assistants. https://t.co/KBpQEwme7k
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) November 13, 2015
No hyperbole: Gary Pinkel was greatest thing to ever happen to #Mizzou sports. Resurrected fb, made $, earned SEC bid. Did it right way.
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) November 13, 2015
My prayers go out to Gary Pinkel for his health. I wish him the best as he moves forward. Great Coach, and Great Colleague!
— Mark Richt (@MarkRicht) November 13, 2015
#GaryPinkel = 5 division titles in last 8 years. Tied for #1 in the country with Florida State and Alabama
— Mike Hall (@BTNMikeHall) November 13, 2015
Prayers to Gary Pinkel and his family for a full recovery. A good man…
— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) November 13, 2015
Thoughts and prayers to Gary Pinkel. First thought was sympathy. Second thought was to write check to @LLSusa (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) November 13, 2015
Not sure if there was a coach in the #SEC more "fatherly" than Gary Pinkel. Soft spoken yet respected by both players and media alike.
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) November 13, 2015
Pulling for you Coach! https://t.co/GS1m7C7mDR
— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) November 13, 2015
Nick Saban releases a statement on the retirement of Gary Pinkel: pic.twitter.com/TY2Rxr82E1
— Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) November 14, 2015