Pinkel appears close to signing contract extension with Missouri

Missouri officials have told The Star they’ll have no comment today but anticipate being able to announce early next week a contract extension for Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel.

For some time now, the extension of Pinkel’s contract has been a foregone conclusion, despite speculation that Pinkel was high on Washington’s list to replace Ty Willingham.

MU athletic director Mike Alden had an athletic department staffer call The Star on Friday that he would be making no immediate comment.

“We could have something early next week,” athletic department spokesperson Chad Moller said.

MU’s acknowledgement of the situation dovetailed with sources telling The Star, ESPN’s Pat Forde and others that a new agreement was imminent.

Reportedly, the agreement -- which would boost Pinkel’s compensation to $2.5 million a year -- is in the hands of attorneys.

Pinkel currently is under contract through 2012 at $1.85 million a year. That currently is fourth in the Big 12 Conference behind Mack Brown of Texas ($2.8 million), Bob Stoops of Oklahoma ($2.65 million) and Mark Mangino of Kansas ($2.3 million).

Pinkel’s new contract would move him back ahead of Mangino in compensation into third in the Big 12.

While Pinkel will be back at Missouri, his offensive and defensive coordinators may not. Multiple sources list offensive coordinator Dave Christensen as the leading candidate as head coach at Wyoming. Toledo officials have spoken with defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus about the Toledo head job.