PHILADELPHIA (MUTigers.com) - Mizzou Football head coach Gary Pinkel has been named a finalist for the Maxwell Football Club's Collegiate Coach of the Year Award, the organization announced Tuesday (Dec. 3). In his 13th season leading the Tigers, Pinkel has firmly led Mizzou back into the national spotlight with its 11-1 overall record and Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title (7-1 SEC), in only the school's second season of SEC competition.
The Tigers' resurgence in 2013 is one of the best turnaround stories of the college football season as injuries derailed Mizzou's inaugural SEC campaign in 2012. A refocused and healthy Mizzou squad has ascended to No. 5 in the Bowl Championship Series standings heading into Saturday's SEC Championship Game vs. BCS No. 3 Auburn inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga.
Mizzou's 28-21 victory over then-No. 19 Texas A&M (Nov. 30) not only clinched the SEC East for the Tigers, but also matched Pinkel with legendary Tiger head coach Don Faurot with an all-time program-best 101 wins. It was also Mizzou's fourth over a ranked opponent this season.
Under Pinkel, the Tigers have consistently competed at the highest level. Mizzou has won a conference division title in four of the last seven seasons (2007, 2008 and 2010 Big 12 North; 2013 SEC East). This year's group for Pinkel became the third team in school history to win 11 games or more in a season (1960, 11-0; 2007, 12-2).
Joining Pinkel as a finalist are Duke's David Cutcliffe and Auburn's Gus Malzahn. Voting is now open for the finalist selection for the MFC Collegiate Coach of the Year. Eligible voters include NCAA Bowl Subdivision Head Coaches and Football Sports Information Directors, Maxwell Football Club members and selected national media. The winner announcement will be made on Thursday, Dec. 19 and the award will be formally presented at the 77th Maxwell Awards Gala which will be held in March 2014 in Atlantic City, N.J.