What’s the deal with Missouri coaches and plane rides?
Pinkel, 63, who was attending the annual SEC spring meetings in Destin, Fla., wasn’t able to scramble and get another charter in 25 minutes.
Fortunately, Pinkel, an Akron native, was able to hop aboard a charter taking Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari and football coach Mark Stoops to Lexington, Ky., and made it to the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel despite rainstorms across the Midwest a few minutes before his introduction.
“It’s a miracle,” he told the crowd. “I really wanted to be here.”
Pinkel played tight end at Kent State for the 1972 MAC champion, where he played for Don James and was teammates with Alabama coach Nick Saban.
He already had been inducted in the Golden Flash Hall of Fame and the Toledo athletics Hall of Fame.
Now, he’s also a member of the conference’s Hall of Fame, joining a class that also included Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Pinkel, who is the winningest coach in Missouri history at 113-66 overall, is one of two coaches in the country to boast the most wins at two Football Bowl Subdivision schools. Steve Spurrier, who owns the records at Florida (122) and South Carolina (84), is the other.
Pinkel, who is expecting the birth of his eighth grandchild, has led MU to consecutive SEC East division titles and appearances in the SEC Championship Game.
Tigers men’s basketball coach Kim Anderson had a harrowing experience when a plane he was flying in during a recruiting trip in February experienced mechanical issues mid-flight and was forced to make an emergency landing.