Gary Pinkel sat down with the voice of Mizzou Tigers, Mike Kelly, at Buffalo Wild Wings for the last time on Monday November 30, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri for Tiger Talk.
Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel held a press conference at Mizzou Arena on Monday, November 16, 2015 to discuss his recent decision to retire from coaching at the end of this season. Friends, family and fans all gathered to support Coach Pinkel and hear more about his health, his decision to retire and the remainder of the 2015 season.
“The most important things is my players at Toledo and here at Mizzou,” Pinkel said during the press conference. “I’m going to miss interacting with them, scolding them and hugging them.”
Pinkel announced on Friday afternoon his intention to retire at the end of the season due to health reasons, shortly before his Tigers responded with an emotional 20-16 win Saturday evening over BYU in Kansas City.
“I’m so proud of them for competing like they did after being told the night before,” Pinkel said.
He will step aside as Mizzou’s winningest coach in program history, with a current win total of 118 as his Tigers will close out the 2015 home season with a Senior Night game against Tennessee at 6:15 p.m. in The ZOU.
Made’ is a phrase that has come to define a lifestyle for everyone who has been through Head Coach Gary Pinkel‘s program at Mizzou. There are plenty of examples of young men who have come to epitomize this culture, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Lineman Jacquies Smith.
After signing as an undrafted free agent with the Miami Dolphins following his senior season at Mizzou, Smith bounced around to three NFL practice teams and even signed with the Canadian Football League in 2012. With the principles instilled in him through Mizzou Football, he continued to grind and work hard. That hard work earned him a spot with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in September of 2014 after being claimed off waivers. Smith excelled in 2014, earning eight starts and playing in 15 games in which he tallied 6.5 sacks and forced a fumble.
Smith’s success has not halted in 2015, as he currently ranks 13th in the NFL in sacks with five on the season. He has also recorded three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries for 12 yards in 2015.
On June 11, 2013 Redshirt Sophomore Anthony Sherrils almost saw the end of his career as a Mizzou Football Safety. While hitching a ride to class from a friend, Sherrils found himself being thrown into the car’s window as it was broadsided in traffic. He had to be removed from the vehicle and rushed to the hospital where doctors diagnosed him with a traumatic brain injury due to bleeding in the right side of his brain.
“In high school I did a research paper on concussions, so I knew a little bit about concussions and how traumatic they could be,” Sherrils said. “When they said I had a traumatic brain injury, I was like ‘wow.'”
The head injury left Sherrils with the inability to use the left side of his body, causing him to have to relearn how to do almost everything, even walk. As he began to progress through rehabilitation, he started to see his future as a student-athlete at Mizzou reappear.
“Everyday I was making steps in progress,” Sherrils said. “I was like, ‘Okay, maybe football can be an option.'”
He continued to improve and work toward his goal of making it back onto Faurot Field and within just a month and a half of the accident, Sherrils was running and lifting weights again. He astonished his doctors with the speed of his recovery.
Sherrils returned to the field for the 2014 season, playing in 14 games and recording 13 tackles. He earned a starting position for 2015 and has already recorded 44 tackles and an interception throughout the first eight games of the season.