Missouri Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel has been named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coach of the Year for Region 2, after his Tigers putting together an 11-2 season which included an Eastern Division championship in the Southeastern Conference and a trip to the 2014 Cotton Bowl. Pinkel has also been named one of eight finalists for the prestigious Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year, as awarded by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). The winner will be announced on Monday, Dec. 16th, and Pinkel will be considered along with Art Briles (Baylor), David Cutcliffe (Duke), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State), Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), Gus Malzahn (Auburn), George O’Leary (UCF) and David Shaw (Stanford).
After being picked to finish sixth in the seven-team SEC East in the preseason, his Tigers went 11-1 in the regular season, and turned in a 7-1 mark in SEC play to claim the East Division and giving Mizzou’s its third outright division title in the last seven years (2007, 2008, 2013). The school claims a share in 2010 with Nebraska, but the Huskers represented the North in the Big 12 title game.
Mizzou reached as high as 5th in the weekly polls, and after last week’s defeat to Auburn in the SEC Championship Game, the Tigers landed 8th in the final Bowl Championship Series season poll. Pinkel’s 101 wins at Mizzou in 13 seasons have him tied with former Coach Don Faurot for most in school history. He’ll go for sole possession of the record on Jan. 3rd, against former conference foe Oklahoma State.
The 2013 Regional Coach of the Year winners will be recognized at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner at the 2014 AFCA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana on Tuesday, January 14.