Missouri's Pinkel gets new contract

Dec 24, 2007 - 12:55 AM COLUMBIA, Missouri (Ticker) -- Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel signed a new five-year contract Sunday, keeping him in Columbia through the 2012 season.

Under terms of the new deal, Pinkel received an annual raise of $550,000 - increasing his guaranteed salary to $1.85 million per year.

"I would like to thank athletic director Mike Alden, (chancellor) Brady Deaton and the University leadership for the generous support they have given us over the years," Pinkel said.

"This is certainly an even bigger commitment that leads to larger expectations and we welcome that. That's exactly what we envisioned when we came here. Our goal is to compete for championships and this show of faith is just further evidence to me that this is the place where we can get that done, and it's where I want to be."

Pinkel coached Missouri to surprising heights in 2007, guiding the Tigers to an 11-2 record and the North Division title in the Big 12 Conference. Missouri dropped a 38-17 decision to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game.

"Gary and his staff are very loyal to the University and we felt it was important to reward that loyalty with this new agreement," Alden said. "Our ultimate goal is to win a national championship at Mizzou, and by competing for the Big 12 title each year, as we did in 2007, we'll have that opportunity. Gary has built his program on class and integrity and it was very important to the leadership of the University to make this statement.

"We are very pleased to make this commitment to Gary, his staff, our kids and all of our fans of the football program at Mizzou. Winning the Big 12 North title this season was the first championship of any kind in football in nearly 40 years here and we want to recognize that achievement and put our head coach in a recruiting position to capitalize on this momentum."

Despite placing sixth in the final installment of the Bowl Championship Series standings, Missouri did not receive a BCS bid. The Tigers instead settled for an appearance in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, where they will face Arkansas on January 1.

Unranked at the beginning of the regular season, Missouri climbed to the top of both the USA Today coaches' and Associated Press polls after defeating rival Kansas on November 24 to win the Big 12 North title.

But after ascending to the No. 1 spot in the BCS rankings, the Tigers saw their national title hopes end in disappointing fashion when they lost to Oklahoma.

A day later, the Tigers watched in vain as both Kansas and Illinois - two teams they defeated during the season - received BCS bids.

Pinkel, 55, has spent the last seven seasons as the Tigers' coach, posting a 48-37 record over that stretch. He owns a career record of 121-74-3 in 17 overall seasons at Missouri and Toledo.

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