Here’s one of the most remarkable Pinkel stats: In his 15 years at Mizzou, he needed to hire only six new assistant coaches because of staff turnover. Once MU’s Eli Drinkwitz hires new assistant to replace two recent departures, he’ll have hired seven new assistants — in just two years! That speaks to today’s mammoth volatility in the coaching industry but underscores the two-way loyalty that existed under Pinkel’s watch.
“It was very beneficial because it allowed you to be on the field and coach and not look over your shoulder, even though I knew he was watching,” said longtime cornerbacks coach Cornell Ford, now back at Toledo. “You knew how he wanted it done.”
He had seven assistants leave his staff: two for head-coaching jobs (Christensen to Wyoming, Steckel to Missouri State), one for the NFL (Matt Eberflus to Cleveland), two for coordinator positions (Alex Grinch to Washington State, Odom to Memphis) and two more who stepped away from coaching (Bruce Walker and David Yost, who soon resurfaced at Washington State.) In 15 years, Pinkel hired just three outsiders with no previous ties to Mizzou: Josh Henson from LSU, Pat Washington from Kentucky and Ryan Walters from Memphis. He later hired former Mizzou center A.J. Ricker to coach the offensive line and former MU grad assistant Grinch, his nephew, to coach safeties.