Diagnosed with cancer, Missouri football coach to resign after season

Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:24pm EST
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By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) - Gary Pinkel, the head coach of the University of Missouri's football team, said on Friday he has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and will resign at the end of the year.

Pinkel, who was diagnosed in May, said he informed his staff and team on Friday, the eve of the Tigers' game against Brigham Young University at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

The school said the 63-year-old Pinkel received "multiple treatments" in May and June. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the blood.

"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.

After Missouri played Vanderbilt on Oct. 24, Pinkel said he scheduled a PET scan on Oct. 26 for reassessment. He then visited with his family and decided the next day that this would be his last year of 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 in a statement.

Pinkel, who spent 10 seasons coaching at Toledo before coming to Missouri, said he will remain as the Tigers' coach through Dec. 31 or until a new head coach is in place.

"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.   Continued...

Nov 5, 2015; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers head coach Gary Pinkel looks on prior to the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Faurot Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports