Former Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel was one of the longest-tenured coaches in college football. He has been with the Tigers since 2001 and has led them to a myriad of success since then.
Earlier this season, he announced that he would be resigning at the end of the year to deal with some health issues as he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.
A lot of players were saddened by the news of his resignation as it came at a difficult time for the university as racial tensions were at an all-time high.
Former wide receiver T.J. Moe was deeply saddened by the news.
The former All-Big 12 selection in 2010 wrote him a touching letter that is pretty difficult to read without getting emotional.
An excerpt from Moe’s letter read, “Thank you for showing me what it looks like to be a man. In a society full of cowards, and certainly a generation full of cowards, you forced us to be men. You taught us that regardless of circumstances, regardless of what we felt like, regardless of adversity, our job was to fight like hell and find a way to be successful.
“Thank you for showing me how to handle adversity. Even when adversity hits, and it always does, you showed me how a man handles it. You showed me that the real men of this world aren’t required to be perfect; they’re just required to take responsibility for their mistakes and promise to be better.”
It’s no secret that football coaches sometimes serve as father figures to a lot of their players. It’s safe to say that Pinkel was certainly one of them to many of his players.
Thank you, Coach Pinkel.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports