Missouri extends Pinkel contract through 2015 at $2.3 million a year

COLUMBIA | Whether or not the seven-year, $2.3 million extension Missouri and Gary Pinkel have agreed to is the last contract Pinkel ever signs is conjecture.

“Generally, they decide that for you,” Pinkel said, laughing in the face of the uncertainty of employment in the football coaching profession.

But Pinkel very much wants to stay at Missouri, to make it his last job in coaching.

“Yes,” Pinkel said. “Yes, I do.”

Now 56, Pinkel will be 63 if absolutely nothing is done to extend his MU contract beyond the 2015 season, when it expires.

That is an extension of three years over the contract in force before the agreement Pinkel signed on Tuesday.

While the $2.3 million per year guarantee is not quite up to the $2.5 million that sources had widely leaked as the anticipated payout, it does make Pinkel - along with Kansas coach Mark Mangino - the third highest paid football coach in the Big 12 Conference.

And, if Pinkel completes the contract, there will be a $200,000 per year bonus, bringing his compensation to $2.5 million a year.

The contract represents a raise of $450,000 per year from the previous guarantee of $1.85 million. Pinkel’s base salary jumps $70,000 to $350,000 a year.

Pinkel - 58-39 in his eighth season at Missouri - has guided the Tigers to victory in 30 of their last 39 games. Heading into Saturday’s Border War game against Kansas in Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri has already clinched its second straight Big 12 North Division title and a spot in the Big 12 Championship game, also in Arrowhead.

Missouri - 9-2 and ranked No. 12 in the latest Associated Press voting - is headed to its fourth straight bowl game, and fifth overall, under Pinkel.

Pinkel is already third on the MU coaching list in career victories and over the last six seasons the Tigers’ 49 victories are the most of any Big 12 North team.

“Gary and his staff have done things that we haven’t seen here in over 40 years,” said MU athletic director Mike Alden.

Pinkel’s new contract comes in the midst of a hiring freeze at MU, but does not conflict with that freeze, according to UMC Chancellor Brady Deaton, because it is not a new hire but an extension.

“Gary Pinkel’s success with building a nationally competitive football program has been extremely beneficial for the entire university,” Deaton said. “Coach Pinkel makes everyone proud to be a Tiger.”