“Tis the season of giving, and I, for one, am very thankful for all that coach Gary Pinkel has given us over the last 15 years. While this last season isn’t what Pinkel wants to be remembered for, and it won’t be, the fans of Missouri will all agree that it has been a pleasure to watch him become one of the best coaches in Missouri Football history.
Pinkel’s tenure at Mizzou has been precious. In his time as the Tigers’ head coach, he’s seen 117 wins and only 71 losses, making him the second winningest head coach in the university’s history-only behind legendary leader, Dan Devine. Coach Pinkel’s other accolades include two SEC East titles and six bowl wins. No matter whom the Athletic Department hires, he/she probably won’t be able to fill the shoes of Gary Pinkel. However, all great things must come to an end, so Missouri is going to have to find a good replacement if they want to get close to the level Pinkel had them at. Here are a few guys that would fit in and are currently favored to be Missouri’s head coach next season.
At the moment, defensive coordinator, Barry Odom is the front-runner for the position. Odom graduated from Missouri in 1999, and has been with the football team since 2003. He didn’t start coaching at the collegiate level until 2009, but he knows the team and game very well. Odom took a brief break from the Tigers to be the DC at Memphis, but has since returned to Mizzou. Prior to his career in college coaching, he coached at a high school in Oklahoma and a local school, Rockbridge, in Columbia.
Dave Steckel left at the beginning of the season for Missouri State to pursue a head coaching position. Before that, he’s been a huge part of the “Gary Pinkel Era.” Since 2001, Steckel has spent only three years away from Columbia, two of which when he left to be DC with the Miami Dolphins.
It’s a hefty asking price for him, but you’ve gotta pay to play. Les Miles is the current head football coach for LSU. While at LSU, he’s attained a conference title, a national title, and two BCS bowl wins since 2005. Overall, Miles is 110-32 with the team, and has proven to be a very successful head coach in the SEC.
As the current coach for the Texas Longhorns, Strong appears to be in a bit of hot water. He was really successful in the Big East with Louisville, and even won 2 conference titles with them. It just seems like he isn’t adjusting to the Big 12 very well, so maybe a change of scenery will do him some good.
Are Les Miles and Charlie Strong realistic options? No, not really. Barry Odom and Dave Steckel would be the more likely candidates. To say, though, that Miles and Strong wouldn’t “want” a job at Missouri is a stretch. Missouri is a good program, and if a coach of Les Miles’ caliber chose to continue his career there, it’s not so far of a stretch to say that Missouri would step up their game to play to his level.