While rumors of Gary Pinkel‘s demise at Missouri never came to fruition, there were rumblings that, coming off a subpar season in the Tigers’ first season in the SEC, a shakeup to the coaching staff could be forthcoming.
Monday morning, that speculation officially turned into a reality, and a rather stunning one at that.
In a release, Mizzou announced that offensive coordinator David Yost has resigned his position, effective immediately. Yost cited “personal reasons” for his decision, saying he felt it was the proper time to turn the keys to the offense over to someone else..
“First off, I want to thank Coach Pinkel for an amazing 17 years,” said Yost. “He has done so much for me and I’m just so grateful for the faith that he showed in me and all of the opportunities that he sent my way. I also want to thank Mike Alden for the support he has given me personally, and to our program. Mizzou is a special place, and I know that we’re positioned to do great things going forward.
“There are a lot of factors that played into the process of coming to my decision. I feel like I’ve had a great run here and that it’s just the right time to turn it over to someone else. On one hand, it’s a really hard decision to make, but on the other hand, I feel good that it’s the right decision at the right time for me.”
Yost has been on Pinkel’s staff at Mizzou since the coach came to Columbia in 2001, serving first as quarterbacks coach before being promoted to coordinator in 2009. Yost’s relationship actually extends back to 1996, serving as a grad assistant on Pinkel’s Toledo coaching staff.
Given that relationship, and at least for public consumption, Pinkel said he asked Yost to reconsider his decision.
“It is very difficult to imagine not having David as part of our staff,” said Pinkel. “I asked him to reconsider, but I respect his decision. He has been such an instrumental part of our program and everything we‘ve built since we came here. There’s hardly an aspect of our program that he hasn’t had a hand in, and we’re going to miss his leadership and energy. He was responsible for a lot of things, and he did them all very well. He was an outstanding representative of Mizzou who busted his tail for our program. He’s going to be tough to replace.”
Following Mizzou’s move from the Big 12 to the SEC, the Tigers saw a precipitous drop in production on the offensive side of the ball. After finishing 30th in the country at 32.8 points per game, the Tigers somehow lost a touchdown and an extra point on their way to a new conference, dipping to 81st nationally at 25.7 ppg. They lost nearly a quarter of their total offense, going from 12th nationally (475.5 yards per game) to an alarming 96th.
In fairness to Yost, the combination of much better defenses in the SEC and injury issues with the starting quarterback played a significant role in that startling offensive decline.
While Mizzou will launch a national search immediately, there’s no specific timetable for hiring a replacement.