It was an unprecedented run at the University of Missouri for coach Gary Pinkel, who engineered the rise of what had been a moribund football program to a national title contender before leaving a decade and a half later amid racial unrest on campus that drew national attention shortly after he had been diagnosed with cancer in 2015.
Pinkel tells his tales with the Tigers, as well as the rest of his life and career, in an interesting book. “The 100-yard Journey, a Life in Coaching and Battling for the Win” is to be released Friday . It is co-written by Dave Matter, who covers Mizzou sports for the Post-Dispatch.
It not only dives into the many unchartered waters the program endured during his tenure, but he candidly addresses some of the personal events that unfolded in his life — divorce, arrest, remarriage.
“I saw it all in those 15 years at Mizzou,” Pinkel writes. “We took the program to heights unseen in decades: 10 bowl games over 12 seasons, five division championships and four conference championship games in eight years. We maneuvered through conference realignment (from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference). We encountered challenges that aren’t included in any coach’s manual. What happens when one of your players (Aaron O’Neal) dies during a workout? What happens when one of your players (Michael Sam) says he’s gay? What happens when your players stage a boycott in the middle of the season to save a person’s life (protester Jonathan Butler, who was on a hunger strike)?”
All of these issues are covered in…
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