As Gary Pinkel spent 13 of the first 17 years of his coaching career at Washington, it was only natural he would be connected to the job when it came open earlier this week. Pinkel waxed eloquently upon the passing of Don James about what the legendary UW head coach and his time with the Huskies meant to him and his career, leading some to connect further Columbia-to-Seattle dots.
At least publicly, though, the Missouri head coach maintains he’s going to remain just that.
Appearing on ESPN‘s Mike & Mike radio show Thursday morning, Pinkel was asked about the speculation that he could leave the Tigers and head back “home” to the Huskies. Unequivocally, the coach said he’s staying put.
Pinkel is in his 13th season at Mizzou. After a rough first season in the SEC last year that had some placing him firmly on the hot seat entering 2013, Pinkel has the Tigers ranked fifth in the country and playing for a conference championship this weekend against Auburn.
In 2008, Pinkel reportedly turned down an opportunity to interview for the Huskies vacancy in 2008. The job ultimately went to Steve Sarkisian, who left earlier this week to take over as the head coach at USC.
Late Wednesday night, the Seattle Times reported that UW’s top two targets to replace Sarkisian are Boise State’s Chris Petersen and Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.
Petersen was long considered one of the Trojans’ top targets to permanently replace Lane Kiffin — perhaps even the top target — before reportedly withdrawing his name from consideration. Prior to spending 2012 and 2013 as the Tide’s coordinator, Nussmeier held the same job for three years under Sarkisian with the Huskies.
Michigan State has become a national power under the coaching of Mark Dantonio. The grizzled and confident coach has put together a master plan in East Lansing and has taken the Spartans to the top of the Big Ten along the way, capturing a Big Ten title and victories in the Cotton Bowl and Rose Bowl as well as in-state dominance over the Michigan Wolverines. Danotnio is preparing his Spartans to take on the Wolverines this week, but with the new vacancy opening up at South Carolina following the sudden retirement of Steve Spurrier, Dantonio has already been presented with the question about his thoughts on coaching at South Carolina.
He did not seem all that interested in discussing the vacancy when meeting with Michigan State media this morning.
“Coach Spurrier’s had an outstanding career there, it’s alma mater, and we’re here to talk about Michigan,” Dantonio said when asked about it today. Video below from the Big Ten Network…
Dantonio played defensive back for the Gamecocks in the mid 1970s, which helps make Dantonio an interesting name to mention in any coaching future discussion out of Columbia. While Dantonio may have played at South Carolina for Jim Carlen, Dantonio grew up in Ohio and has coached the bulk of his career within Ohio and the Big Ten. He is also one win away from picking up his 100th career coaching victory, 81 of which have come at Michigan State.
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is stepping down as head coach of the Gamecocks, and that has the college football world reflecting on the impact he has had on the game of college football. Spurrier’s quips at rivals and revolutionary thoughts on where the sport has been heading were always on the mark, even when his team’s performance on the field was not.
Dan Patrick shared his reaction to the news of Spurrier retiring today on The Dan Patrick Show (simulcast on NBC Sports Network). As many have already suggested, Spurrier’s wit and charm brought a refreshing personality to the SEC.