Gary Pinkel, the Kenmore High School-KSU alum and one of college football's most successful coaches, is ending his distinguished gridiron career after the current season at the University of Missouri. He announced his resignation following the chaotic week at the school in which he defended the successful decision by black members of the Tigers football team to boycott this week's game unless the school president resigned.
Pinkel, 63, has been treated for non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and said he had been cleared by doctors to continue his long coaching career. Still, although the treatment would not interfere with his coaching job, he said he wanted to spend more time with his family.
During his 15 years at Missouri, he was the winningest coach in that school's history. (117-71) His teams went to bowls in ten of those years. He was equally successful as the coach at Toledo University. In 1995, the Rockets were undefeated (one tie), and won the Las Vegas bowl.
He added to his laurels off the field when he stepped up to support his players in the racial protests.
No better time to wind up a career than when you are ahead - way ahead. During the game, and otherwise.