Tag Archive for: Gary Pinkel

The occasion was certainly a special one on June 30, 2022 in Seattle. Former Kent State athletic director and University of Washington athletic director Mike Lude turned the big 100! Friends, family, former players, and former colleagues gathered in the emerald city to celebrate Lude’s big day.

GP M.A.D.E. Foundation President and Founder Gary Pinkel, former Kent State player and University of Washington assistant coach under athletic director Mike Lude and head football coach Don James, honored Lude with a special tribute and congratulations on an honorable career in college football. Pinkel, a College Football Hall of Fame coach, was one of 10 speakers asked to comment on the life and era of Lude’s career.

Coach Pinkel spoke about Lude’s extraordinary years of leadership and also the hiring of his mentor and coach Don James at Kent while acknowledging Lude’s historical mark on college athletics.

Carol James, wife of the late former head football coach of University of Washington, Don James, is pictured below with football athletic administrative staff from the 1970s and 1980s who also attended the special occasion in honor of Mike Lude’s 100th birthday.

Carol James and Friends

Former coaches and players of past Rose Bowl Championships from University of Washington also reunited after many years to rekindle a very special bond.

1982 Rose Bowl Champions

Guess what? The GP M.A.D.E. Foundation came to visit and celebrate with ME! Blaze, the Facility Wonder Dog. That’s right! Gary and Missy Pinkel came to my 3rd birthday party. I was so excited to see them. The GP M.A.D.E. Foundation helps take care of me so that I can take care of my favorite people in the world – my kiddos at the hospital.

What are some of the ways I take care of my kiddos? Ok, I’ll tell you:

  • I help children work on brushing teeth by letting them brush mine.
  • I help children learn how to dress with buttons, zippers, and shirts.
  • I help children walk. I tell them good job and walk along side for support.
  • I help children pick out orthotics to walk more easily.
  • I help keep kids entertained when they have to wait on things that take a long time, like ordering a new wheelchair.
  • I let children scratch my belly, rub my ears and touch my nose for different sensory experiences.
  • I act as a visual stimuli for kids to work on localizing to objects. (especially my tail!)
  • I help children practice walking up and down stairs. I help keep them safe.
  • I help children learn and identify different body parts.
  • I help children work on standing, strength, and balance.
  • Most importantly, I give the BEST snuggles and kisses!!!

I LOVE my job and I take it very seriously. Nothing makes me happier than helping my kiddos. Thanks, Coach and Missy, for coming to my birthday party. Come back and visit me soon – and don’t forget to bring treats!



Through a grant from GP M.A.D.E. Foundation, MU Health Care is able to care for Blaze so that he can bring joy and support to pediatric patients. We are proud to make a difference in the lives of local children every day.

Gary and Missy Pinkel attended the second ever “Game Day with GP” event hosted by Dudley and Beth McCarter on Saturday, September 11 in St. Louis, Mo. The event was a watch party for the Missouri at Kentucky football game in which Mizzou came up just short in a 35-28 contest.

During the event, guests were encouraged to take photos with Coach Pinkel, listen to coach’s pregame routine and enjoy the game. Prior to kickoff, Coach Pinkel went through his real team meeting notes including his “Fatherly Advice – Thursday Talk,” an itinerary, and game week notes. The pregame talk was preceded by a Q&A featuring former Missouri football player TJ Moe who described his own pregame routine and what it was like playing under Coach Pinkel.

Guests were able to purchase cups, signed books, footballs and visors in the form of a donation to the GP M.A.D.E. Foundation. Coach Pinkel’s bowl rings and watches were also available for viewing.

The event raised over $10,000 in donations toward the GP M.A.D.E. Foundation which directly contributes to the yearly scholarships given out by the Foundation. Three weeks later, the GP M.A.D.E. Foundation was able to host a tailgate for Missouri’s home game against Tennessee to meet with sponsors and other supporters.


Coach Pinkel and ZOUNation Magazine teamed up with Academy Sports + Outdoors in Columbia on Wednesday to provide more than 30 Douglass High School students with a private shopping spree. Coach Pinkel spoke to the crowd of students before presenting each high schooler with a $100 Academy Sports gift card to shop for t-shirts, cold weather gear, hats, polos, shoes, novelty items and more. The students were rewarded for excelling in the One Step Forward “Transformation High” program.







COLUMBIA– Upon the release of his new book ‘The 100-Yard Journey’, Coach Pinkel will make appearances at the following locations. Click here to purchase your copy.

September 16, 2:00pm – 4:00pm @ Barnes and Noble – University of Toledo

Septemer 20, 6:30pm – 8:30 pm @ Barnes and Noble – Columbia Mall (with Dave Matter)

September 27, 1:00pm @ The Mizzou Store

 November 15, 1:00pm @ Mizzou Store (Holiday Author Fair)




*list to be updated with more appearances