Former Missouri Tigers head coach Gary Pinkel announced on Sunday that he is receiving cancer treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphoma again.
Pinkel stepped down as Mizzou’s coach at 63 at the end of 2015 season to spend more time with his family after being diagnosed that May. A little over a year later, Pinkel announced that he was in remission, although it always would be at threat of reappearing.
In an interview with KMIZ, Pinkel gave an update on the recurrence of his lymphoma:
“I’m doing good,” Pinkel said. “I had to get treatment again for the first time in four years. My cancer came out of remission, and so I had treatment last month. I’m doing fine. With my type of lymphoma, you'll never be healed. But that's kind of why I retired when I did — I just wanted to not go back and regret working 85 hours a week, 35 weeks out of the year when I could be doing other things with my family and my eight grandkids.”
Upon his retirement, Pinkel discussed having a small role with Missouri but ultimately has shied away from the game. Instead, he has started the GP M.A.D.E. foundation, which supports children with cancer, physical challenges or economic and social challenges.
“You keep battling it,” Pinkel said. “I’m going to battle it. I’ve got a very positive approach to it, and I’m around a lot of good people that are helping me. There’s a lot of people out there with a lot worse cancers than Gary Pinkel has, and so prayers to all of them.”
Pinkel coached the Tigers for 15 seasons and led their transition from the Big 12 to the SEC in 2012. He twice led 12-2 teams, including a 2007 team that reached No. 1 in the AP Poll and finished the season at No. 4 after a Cotton Bowl win. He also won back-to-back SEC East titles in 2013 and 2014.
Since Pinkel’s departure, Missouri is 19-19 under Barry Odom but 0-2 in bowl games. They briefly cracked the top-25 last season and finished the year 8-5.
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