He won more games than any head coach in Mizzou football history, and now Gary Pinkel is officially a College Football Hall of Famer. The National Football Foundation unveiled its induction class of 2022 on Monday, a group of 18 players and three coaches, including Pinkel, who won 118 games with the Tigers from 2001-15.
Also part of the 2022 class: former Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree, Illinois defensive lineman Moe Gardner, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and the late Colorado running back Rashaan Salaam.
The other coaches are former Memphis coach Billy Jack Murphy and John Luckhardt, who coached Division III Washington & Jefferson College and Division II California University of Pennsylvania.
The class will be inducted during the 64th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6 at a location to be determined.
The inductees were selected from the national ballot of 78 players and seven coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision, 99 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks and the NFF Veterans Committee candidates. The inductees will be immortalized at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta and will receive a custom ring.
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“Each of these men has established himself among the absolute best to have ever played or coached the game, and we look forward to immortalizing their incredible accomplishments,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning.
Pinkel, 69, was 118-73 at Mizzou with four appearances in conference championship games and 10 bowls. He guided the Tigers to the nation’s No. 1 ranking during the 2007 season and twice had the Tigers one win away from playing for the national championship in 2007 and 2013. He’s also the career wins leader at the University of Toledo, where he was 73-37-3 from 1991-2000. When Pinkel surpassed Don Faurot as Mizzou’s career wins leader in the 2014 Cotton Bowl, he joined Steve Spurrier (Florida, South Carolina) as the only active coaches who were career wins leaders at two FBS schools.
To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, coaching candidates must be three full seasons removed from retirement or at least 75 years old if still active and have served as a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and at least 100 games with a .600 career winning percentage.
Pinkel stepped down from coaching at the end of the 2015 season after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He continues to live in Columbia where he runs his charity organization, GP M.A.D.E. Foundation.
Pinkel is the fifth Mizzou head coach elected to the Hall of Fame, following Bill Roper, Faurot, Frank Broyles and Dan Devine. Seven former MU players have been inducted, most recently Roger Wehrli in 2003.
Here are the 18 players inducted this year: Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington (1997-99), Georgia defensive back Champ Bailey (1996-98), Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree (2007-08), Alabama center Sylvester Croom (1972-74), Ohio State safety Mike Doss (1999-2002), Toledo quarterback Chuck Ealey (1969-71), LSU running back Kevin Faulk (1995-98), Illinois defensive lineman Moe Gardner (1987-90), Illinois State linebacker Boomer Grigsby (2001-04), Oregon State receiver Mike Hass (2002-05), Florida State linebacker Marvin Jones (1990-92), Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck (2009-11), Michigan defensive lineman Mark Messner (1985-88), Oklahoma State running back Terry Miller (1974-77), Colorado running back Rashaan Salaam (1992-94), Alcorn State center Dennis Thomas (1971-73), Nebraska offensive tackle Zach Wiegert (1991-94) and Oklahoma defensive back Roy Williams (1999-2001).