COLUMBIA — After a disappointing end to the season, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel was finally ready to talk about the future on Monday night.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
During his weekly Tiger Talk radio show, Pinkel voiced displeasure with his team’s 5-7 record but was decidedly upbeat about the future. He was, perhaps, buoyed by the public support of athletic director Mike Alden, who reiterated Monday night that Pinkel will be the team’s coach next season, effectively squashing unconfirmed rumors about Pinkel’s status that appeared online over the weekend.
“When we have adversity here, what I embrace is the foundation of our football team,” Pinkel said. “I embrace the foundation of what we’re about, and making sure that everybody in our organization is doing all the little things necessary (to win).”
Missouri certainly had its share of adversity this season. The Tigers’ 59-29 pasting at the hands of Texas A&M on Saturday capped MU’s first losing season since 2004, which also led to rumors about staff changes coming this offseason.
Though he stated before the Texas A&M game that he saw no such changes coming, Pinkel reemphasized his long-held belief Monday that he’s willing to replace assistants, but only if he deems it necessary.
“What I’m not going to do is I’m not going to be the coach that changes guys to make it (seem) like I’m mixing things up,” Pinkel said. “I go back to my philosophy of how I manage people, and we have a good staff … and if they weren’t I would get rid of them and make changes.”
Pinkel even expressed some gratitude for the fans’ increased expectations, adding that he was excited to get back to work Monday morning. He did so as his players took to Twitter to voice support for their coach throughout the day.
Among them were freshman quarterback Maty Mauk, who Tweeted the following from his handle, @MIZ_MAUK7_ZOU:
“What’s up with all these rumors? #noonesgoinganywhere.”
Freshman linebacker Torey Boozer chimed in too, Tweeting this from his handle, @Give_em_he11:
“All these rumors<<< we win and lose together. Then we stick together to get better! #onemizzou”
Pinkel made it clear that getting better will be a priority this offseason, adding that the staff will visit other colleges this offseason to keep abreast of new fads.
“We might meet with the coach from Southern Cal, we might meet with the coach from Ohio State,” Pinkel said. “We ask like 25 questions about what they’re doing in their program to find out what’s happening in every one of those areas, and we report back. That’s so we stay on top of the cutting edge of what’s happening out there … so we’re very detailed, and that has helped us to remain as consistent as we have, even though we had a bad year this year.”
Pinkel isn’t done getting his message out, either. For the first time in years, the school has scheduled a postseason news conference — set for 8:30 a.m. today — with the purpose of “wrapping up the 2012 season and looking ahead to 2013 season,” according to a release sent out by the school.
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