When Gary Pinkel’s new contract runs out in 2020, he’ll be 68 years old and will have coached 20 seasons at Missouri.
It’s possible he’ll receive another extension down the line and coach into his 70s. Kansas State’s Bill Snyder will turn 75 during the 2014 season, so it’s not unfathomable.
Either way, one near certainty from Thursday’s announcement that Missouri had extended Pinkel for an additional three seasons is that he’ll probably retire — whenever that is — as a Tiger.
Pinkel had flirtations with Washington in the past. He had strong ties to the Huskies’ program, where he coached 13 under Don James.
James, who died Oct. 20, was more than a mentor for Pinkel, who unashamedly admits that his program at Toledo and Missouri borrow heavily from James’ influence.
When the Washington job opened up in December, Pinkel’s agent talked with Huskies’ administration about the vacancy, but he never interviewed for the position.
Now, it seems as if Pinkel, whose 102 wins at Missouri are the most in program history, will be a Tiger for life.
To be clear, that’s just fine with Missouri athletic director Mike Alden.
“I’ve worked with him for 13 years and I think he’s been pretty vocal about how much he cares about Mizzou, how much he wants to be here,” Alden said. “He’s done that recently, so we’re really confident in his commitment to the University of Missouri. We are.
“We know that he’s a Missouri Tiger. We know that he believes in it. We know that he’s had opportunities to do other things and he’s stayed true and committed to this institution, so I’m pretty confident that we’re going to be working together for a long time.”
Pinkel’s new deal provides a salary of $3.1 million this year with yearly increases of $100,000 through the duration of the deal, topping out at $3.7 million for the 2020 season.
Under the terms of an extension Pinkel signed in April 2011, Missouri deposited $300,000 in deferred compensation into a savings account, but Pinkel can now draw on that money during the next few years.