Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel is resigning from his position at the end of the 2015 season due to health reasons.
Pinkel has made the tough decision to resign after being diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the blood according to the school website.
“I made the decision in May, after visiting with my family, that I wanted to keep coaching, as long as I felt good and had the energy I needed,” Pinkel said in the statement. “I still feel good physically, but I decided that I want to focus on enjoying my remaining years with my family and friends, and also have proper time to battle the disease and give full attention to that.”
Pinkel will remain as Missouri’s head coach through Dec. 31, 2015 unless another head coach is found. Missouri Athletic Director, Mark Rhoades and Pinkel have discussed ways to keep Pinkel involved with Missouri athletics after his resignation.
This news comes after a hectic week when Missouri’s president, Tim Wolfe, resigned due to protests on campus calling for his resignation. The protests were a result of a controversy saying that the school hadn’t done enough to take care of issues of racism on campus. The Missouri football team was also supportive of the efforts to oust Wolfe and refused to practice prior to the BYU game.
The Missouri football team will be playing BYU this Saturday so who knows what added emotional implications Pinkel’s resignation will have on the players.
Pinkel is currently 63-years old and is the most successful coach in the school’s history with a record of 117-71 over 15 seasons. He has helped lead his team to two SEC East titles