SOURCE: Mizzou Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel Will Resign

Christian Datoc | Breaking News and Engagement Editor

UPDATE (4:30 pm, EST): According to the University of Missouri, Pinkel has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. The school’s statement can be read at the bottom of the piece.

Only days after tweeting support for the student protestors at the University of Missouri, head football coach Gary Pinkel has announced his resignation at season’s end.

Despite Pinkel’s tumultuous week, PowerMizzou publisher Gabe DeArmond has stated that Pinkel’s resignation stems from health concerns and is in no way related to this week’s protests. (AUDIO: Radio Host GRILLS Mizzou Head Coach For Supporting Activists)

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

UPDATE: Statement from Mizzou:

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel will resign his position following the conclusion of the 2015 season, and he will remain as Mizzou’s coach through December 31, 2015, or until a new head coach is in place, as announced today by MU Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades. Pinkel informed his staff and team this evening, and will address questions following Saturday’s game against BYU at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

Pinkel and Rhoades are discussing a role that would keep him associated with Mizzou Athletics once he steps away from coaching duties.

Pinkel’s decision is health-based, as he was diagnosed in May of 2015 with lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer of the blood. He received multiple treatments in May and June, and after doctors indicated that the treatments wouldn’t interfere with his coaching duties, he decided that he would continue to coach the Tigers in 2015.

“I made the decision in May, after visiting with my family, that I wanted to keep coaching, as long as I felt good and had the energy I needed,” Pinkel said. “I felt great going into the season, but also knew that I would need to re-assess things at some point, and I set our bye week as the time when I would take stock of the future. After we played Vanderbilt (Oct. 24), I had a scheduled PET scan on Oct. 26th for reassessment, and then visited with my family and came to the decision on October 27th that this would be my last year coaching. I still feel good physically, but I decided that I want to focus on enjoying my remaining years with my family and friends, and also have proper time to battle the disease and give full attention to that,” he said.

“It’s been an honor working with Gary since I joined the Mizzou family,” said Rhoades. “Gary is truly a coaching legend as the winningest coach at two Division I institutions while leaving a profound impact on a countless number of young men. We are extremely appreciative of all that he has done for Mizzou. It’s tough emotionally knowing that his fight with cancer is bringing his run to an end sooner than any of us thought. I want to commend Gary with how open he’s been with me the whole time, from the first day he came to my office in May and told me about his diagnosis, all the way to now and when he met with me personally on October 28th to tell me he’d made up his mind. He’s been nothing but first class in how he’s handled the situation the whole way.”

“I want to make very clear that I’m not doing poorly, and that this is a manageable disease, but it’s one that will never go away,” Pinkel said. “So many people have bigger struggles with other forms of cancer and other serious diseases, and I feel blessed that I’ve got something I can fight and still enjoy a good quality of life. I don’t know how many years I have left, but I want to turn my focus to life outside of the daily grind of football,” he said.

“Words can’t express how grateful I am to the University of Missouri and all of the amazing people who make it up, from the administration to the students and our fans. Obviously, I’m so appreciative to all of my coaches and athletes. Leaving them makes this decision so tough, but I do so feeling good that the Mizzou Football program is in a better place than it was when we came in 15 years ago. I feel that Mizzou is a great job at a great school and has so much going for it that they’ll find an outstanding coach to move the program forward,” Pinkel said.

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