MU rewards Pinkel with raise, three-year contract extension

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The sixth-year coach has led the Tigers to a 7-3 record.

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- With a chance to cap Missouri's winningest season in 35 years, football coach Gary Pinkel on Friday received a $225,000 annual raise and three-year contract extension.

The new five-year deal extends Pinkel's contract, which was set to expire in two years, through 2011.

The contract guarantees Pinkel, 54, at least $1.3 million per year, including a base salary of $255,000. That represents a pay raise of more than 20 percent from his previous yearly guarantee of $1.075 million.

Athletics director Mike Alden praised Pinkel's performance.

"Gary and his staff have taken this program to a very competitive level, and it is clear that the future is very bright, and now is a perfect time to further commit to the championship vision that Gary has communicated," Alden said in a statement released by the school.

Pinkel is in his sixth year at Missouri after spending a decade as head coach at Toledo. He has taken the Tigers (7-3, 3-3 Big 12) to two bowl games in the past three years and is assured of a third bowl appearance this season.

After a 6-0 start -- the team's best since 1973 -- Missouri has lost three of its past four games to Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Nebraska. The Tigers play at Iowa State today before finishing the season with a Nov. 25 home game against Kansas.

Should the team win its final two games, Missouri would finish with nine wins for only the fourth time in the program's 116 seasons.

Pinkel has a career record of 36-33 at Missouri and 109-70-3 in 16 seasons overall. The pay raise makes him the seventh-highest paid head coach in the Big 12 Conference, school officials said, a jump from 10th place with the previous contract.

The school will release additional details and copies of the contract Monday afternoon.

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