COLUMBIA, Mo. • I touched on this in Tuesday’s paper, but when Missouri’s bowl practices kicked off earlier this week, I was interested to hear what Gary Pinkel had to say about Mack Brown’s resignation at Texas. Missouri and Texas were cast as adversaries throughout the conference realignment saga, but Pinkel and Brown always have spoken highly of each other publicly over the years.
As suspected, Pinkel lobbed more praise at the outgoing Longhorns coach.
“He’s just a great coach, legendary,” Pinkel said. “He’ll be a legend at Texas. Whatever the situation is over there, they’ve got to make decisions what’s best for everybody. Obviously I didn’t sit in on those meetings, but he’s certainly a great coach and will have a huge impact on college football forever.”
But Pinkel isn’t the person in Missouri’s program who knows Brown best. That would be junior wide receiver Darius White, who played two seasons at Texas before transferring to Mizzou after the 2011 season. White was characterized as a malcontent when he left Austin but since arriving at MU he’s insisted he got along great with Brown. He was saddened by Brown’s resignation, he said.
White said he and Brown continue to exchange text messages after games and Brown has regularly checked on his former player since he’s moved to Missouri.
“Mack Brown is a good dude, man. He touched so many people, it’s crazy,” White said. “Coach Brown taught me a lot when I was there for two years at Texas, not just as a player but as an individual and as a man.”
With Brown’s resignation, the list of coaches with more tenure at their current school than Pinkel continues to dwindle. Heading into next season, presuming there are no unexpected changes among these longtime coaches, only five head coaches in the Football Bowl Subdivision will have spent more time at their current school than Pinkel when the 2014 season kicks off.
Here’s the longevity list as it stands, excluding Brown, whose run at Texas ends at 16 seasons after the Longhorns’ Alamo Bowl against Oregon, and Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe, who is stepping down after 13 years on the job.
Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech: 27 seasons (1987-current)
Larry Blakeney, Troy: 23 seasons (1991-current)
Bill Snyder, Kansas State: 22 seasons (1989-2005, 2009-current)
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: 15 seasons (1999-current)
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma: 15 seasons (1999-current)
Gary Patterson, TCU: 13 seasons (2001-present)
Gary Pinkel, Missouri: 13 seasons (2001-present)
Mark Richt, Georgia: 13 seasons (2001-present)
Mike Riley, Oregon State: 13 seasons (1997-98, 2003-current)
When next season kicks off, again, assuming the coaching landscape doesn’t shift among the current leaders, Pinkel will rank no worse than No. 7 on the career wins list for active coaches. Here’s how the list looks heading into bowl season:
1. Beamer, 266-131-4 (plays UCLA in Sun Bowl)
2. Brown, 244-120-1 (plays Oregon in Alamo Bowl)
3. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina: 218-79-2 (plays Wisconsin in Capital One Bowl)
4. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame: 207-71-2 (plays Rutgers in Pinstripe Bowl)
5. Dennis Franchione, Texas State: 203-121-2 (no bowl game)
6. Snyder, Kansas State: 177-89-1 (plays Michigan in Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl)
7. Blakeney, Troy: 175-104-1 (no bowl game)
8. Pinkel, Missouri: 174-99-3 (plays Oklahoma State in Cotton Bowl)
9. Nick Saban, Alabama: 165-56-1 (plays Oklahoma in Sugar Bowl)
10. Stoops, Oklahoma: 159-39-1 (plays Alabama in Sugar Bowl)