Campus Corner

Pinkel pays homage to former assistant Dunbar

Updated: 2013-09-17T16:28:21Z

By TOD PALMER

The Kansas City Star

— Missouri coach Gary Pinkel remembered the late Mike Dunbar during Monday’s half-hour session with the media.

Dunbar, who died Friday in Washington state after a two-year battle with cancer, served as Pinkel’s offensive coordinator from 1992-96 at Toledo.

“Mike was a great guy, a great family man and a great coach,” Pinkel said. “He had an impact on a lot of people. I love him and am going to miss him.”

During a coaching career that spanned five different decades, Dunbar, who was Pinkel’s assistant head coach the final three seasons with the Rockets, went 29-15 after taking the reins at Northern Iowa, where he averaged more than seven wins per season from 1997-2000.

“I found that out early Saturday that that happened,” Pinkel said. “He died of mesothelioma. It’s a disease that can’t be cured. My daughter-in-law’s father has the same thing.”

Pinkel also talked about his mentor, former Washington and Kent State coach Don James, who was hospitalized Sept. 2 in Seattle.

“Coach James is out of the hospital,” Pinkel said. “He called me today and I got a chance to talk to him a little bit. They’re doing to make some decisions on what they’re going to do.”

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.

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