Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
Mike Alden’s most celebrated move in his 17 years as Missouri’s director of athletics was hiring Gary Pinkel, the school’s all-time winningest football coach. Alden, whose last day in office was Friday, made sure that move stuck.
Pinkel was given a contract extension Friday that keeps him on the Faurot Field sidelines through 2021 and an increase in salary to $4.02 million per year.
“With the tremendous academic and competitive successes of our football program, including winning the last two SEC East championships, Gary is well-deserving of this extension,” Alden said in a press release. “His impact on our students, athletic department and university are immeasurable, and he represents what is great about Mizzou. I know the Tigers are in great hands for a long time to come.”
Pinkel’s salary was previously $3.2 million per year, and his new figure places him sixth in the Southeastern Conference in guaranteed compensation. He trails Alabama’s Nick Saban, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin, LSU’s Les Miles, Mississippi’s Hugh Freeze and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and earns more than Arkansas’ Bret Bielema, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, Florida’s Jim McElwain, Georgia’s Mark Richt, Kentucky’s Mark Stoops and Tennessee’s Butch Jones. Vanderbilt, a private institution, does not publicize its coaches’ salaries.
The maximum amount of incentives Pinkel can earn drops from $1.825 million to $725,000 under the new contract.
“I want to thank chancellor (R. Bowen) Loftin and Mike Alden for their continuing commitment and belief in what we are doing at Mizzou,” Pinkel said in the release. “We’ve shared some pretty amazing success together over the years, and as competitors we all know there’s more to be done. I’ve never been more excited to be here and to pursue excellence with such a great leadership team, and such an amazing and dedicated coaching staff. We’re excited to partner with (incoming A.D.) Mack Rhoades going forward and continue to build a program that Mizzou fans will be proud of.”
Pinkel’s 186 career victories have made him the winningest coach at both Toledo and Missouri and put him at 25th all-time among FBS coaches. Just four active coaches have more wins.
He earned the SEC Coach of the Year award last season when the Tigers reached the SEC Championship for the second consecutive season and finished 11-3 with a Citrus Bowl victory.