Gov. Nixon, UM Curators, UM President react to Pinkel's resignation
COLUMBIA - Gov. Jay Nixon and UM Board of Curators Chair Donald Chupps issued statements on the resignation of University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel.
Nixon released the following statement:
“Coach Pinkel’s decision to step down due to his diagnosis of lymphoma is sad news for the Tigers and the entire Mizzou family. My friend Gary Pinkel is an outstanding coach and educator. Through his leadership and commitment, Gary has made a positive and lasting impact on the lives of thousands of students and the university as a whole. Gary inspires respect and admiration for all the right reasons – not only for being the winningest coach in Mizzou history, but also for his dedication to the wellbeing of his players, both on and off the field. The First Lady and I wish Gary and his wife Missy all the best in the future,” Nixon said.
Chupps said he was shocked by Pinkel's resignation.
"I was surprised and saddened when I received the news of Gary Pinkel’s resignation, especially as he battles for his health. I learned of Gary’s health condition and his decision to resign Tuesday evening. Due to the nature of the conversation, the Board wished to respect Gary’s wishes and did not divulge this information, in order to allow him to tell his team and staff of the news before the announcement was made. MU’s football team has earned tremendous accolades and victories under Gary’s leadership. The Board asks that you keep Gary and his family in your thoughts and prayers," Chupps said.
New interim UM System President Mike Middleton also released his statement:
"Coach Pinkel has worked tirelessly to elevate the prominence of the MU football program and in the process was an extraordinary role model to the student athletes he coached and to those around him. We commend him on his years of service and for the winning football program he built that elevated the university with national recognition. His commitment to his players and the University of Missouri will be recalled for generations to come. Just as he has always supported his players, the University of Missouri community stands by him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Pinkel and his family," Middleton said.
Interim Chancellor Hank Foley joined the rest of the University of Missouri leadership by releasing a statement as well.
“Like all Mizzou fans, I am sorry to hear that Coach Pinkel’s health is preventing him from continuing as our head football coach after this season,” said Foley. “His leadership of the Mizzou program has a track record that speaks for itself on the field, but also in the success of former student-athletes after graduation. We send our thoughts and prayers for his full recovery.”
Pinkel was diagnosed with lymphoma in May of 2015.
Pinkel will continue to coach the Missouri Tigers for the rest of the 2015 football season.