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Pinkel gets raise, deal through 2020

In this Sept. 21, 2013, file photo, Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel applauds his team during the second half of a 45-28 win against Indiana in Bloomington, Ind. Pinkel has signed a new contract that boosts his annual salary above $3 million and extends his previous deal by three years.

In this Sept. 21, 2013, file photo, Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel applauds his team during the second half of a 45-28 win against Indiana in Bloomington, Ind. Pinkel has signed a new contract that boosts his annual salary above $3 million and extends his previous deal by three years. Photo by The Associated Press.

Gary Pinkel is going to be around for awhile.

The winningest coach in the history of the Missouri football program signed a contract extension through 2020, it was announced Thursday, earning a significant raise along the way.

Pinkel’s guaranteed annual salary increased from $2.8 million to $3.1 million, while his assistant coaching staff will receive a bump in their salary pool from $2.66 million to $3.2 million. Pinkel can also earn another $1.825 million in incentives, including $100,000 for another Southeastern Conference East division title, $200,000 for an SEC championship and $450,000 for a national title.

“It is important for us to be able to recognize what Gary and his staff have achieved for the University of Missouri,” Missouri director of athletics Mike Alden said. “We’re very grateful to the Board of Curators and University leadership for their support of our program, which is among the best in the nation both academically and competitively.”

Pinkel’s previous contract, signed in 2010, guaranteed him $2.8 million per year through the 2017 season. Now Pinkel gets the $300,000 raise in guaranteed salary. Beginning in 2015 and running all subsequent years, Pinkel will receive a $100,000 raise in guaranteed salary each season.

“I’m very honored and proud to be the coach at Mizzou, and I appreciate the opportunity,” Pinkel said in a statement. “We will work very hard to continue to build our program and to graduate our players. It’s important for our program to keep moving forward and build on a solid foundation. I’m pleased that my assistant coaches continue to get recognized for the work they do. We are fortunate to have a great staff at Mizzou.”

Pinkel boasts a 102-63 record with nine bowl appearances in 13 seasons in Columbia, having passed legendary coach Don Faurot when Missouri defeated Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl in January. Faurot went 101-79-10 in 19 seasons at Missouri from 1935-42 and 1946-56.

Since 2007, Missouri is the only program in the country to rank in the top-10 nationally in wins, while also ranking in the top-five in both Academic Progress Rate and first-round NFL Draft picks. Missouri’s football program led the SEC in APR in the most recent report, and 95 of the last 97 players who have exhausted their eligibility since 2008 have gone on to earn their degrees from the university.

“I’ve worked with him for 13 years,” Alden said, “and I think he’s been pretty vocal about how much he cares about Mizzou and how much he wants to be here. … We know he’s had opportunities to do other things and he’s stayed true and committed to this institution. So, yeah, pretty confident we’re going to be working together for a long time.”

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Pinkel’s new contract places him eighth among the 14 SEC coaches. Also defensive coordinator Dave Steckel, offensive coordinator Josh Henson and quarterbacks coach Andy Hill will receive $50,000 raises. Every coach on staff received some sort of raise. This all came after Pinkel expressed frustration in January about the slow pace of contract negotiations.

“I would hope (Pinkel) would be (happy with the staff raises),” Alden said. “I’d believe he is. That’s a pretty significant jump. I think from a national standpoint and conference standpoint, when you can position your staff in those types of areas and recognize them for the great work they’ve done, you feel good about that. I’m confident coach Pinkel feels good about the job his staff is doing and the way they’re being recognized.”

The contract extension comes after Pinkel led Missouri to a 12-2 record, an SEC East division title, a Cotton Bowl victory and a No. 5 final ranking. But the raises don’t change how Alden views the football program.

“I don’t know if you necessarily always raise expectations based upon raising salaries. I think you’re raising expectations whether the salaries are raised or not. We’re always raising expectations,” Alden said. “You want to continue to fill that stadium even more, you want to continue to try to win more games, win the SEC championship. The person that’s the biggest advocate of that probably is Gary Pinkel. He’s driven every single day to try to improve. Our expectations are always high and they always are wanting to be higher each year.”

The terms of a potential buyout, however unlikely, were mentioned too.

“If coach would terminate that deal, then coach would owe the University of Missouri $500,000,” Alden said. “If Mizzou terminated that, Mizzou would owe coach the base salary, which is $350,000, times the number of years left on the contract.”

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