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MU’s Pinkel Talks Recruiting Hurdles Down South And Respect

Missouri’s Gary Pinkel has taken a moribund football program and make it competitive on the national scene.  Competitive in the rankings (the Tigers reached #1 in the nation in 2007) and on the recruiting trail (Mizzou has inroads into Texas and outdueled Arkansas for star receiver prospect Dorial Green-Beckham).

He’s accomplished much, but now Pinkel is determined to break new barriers:


“We’re getting our brand name down in Atlanta.  We’re in South Florida, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando.  But we’re back to like we were when we first went into Texas.  You have to sell yourself.  They have a great pride in the SEC down there and you’re welcome down there.  But it’s just like when we first went into Texas, and the coaches would tell us, ‘Okay, these (five-star) guys are going to Texas, Oklahoma and A&M.  You can’t talk to them.  But you can look at these guys.’  Well, they don’t do that in Texas anymore.  They say, ‘These are our best guys, go recruit them.’  Well, now when we go into SEC territory to recruit, we hear, ‘Well, these guys are going to Alabama or Auburn.  But you can talk to these guys.’”


The coach told The St. Louis Dispatch that his program is ready for the challenge of its new home.  “That’s all we’ve been talking about to our football team,” Pinkel said.  “That’s what it’s all about.  Proving ourselves.  No one knows us in the SEC.  We have to earn their respect, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

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The Highest Paid Football Assistants Are In The SEC

When it comes to paying football coaches, the SEC can’t be matched.  And we’re not even talking about head coaches.

The St. Louis Dispatch posted a little list of the 10 highest-paid assistant football coaches in the college ranks.  The top seven coaches on the list all reside in the Southeastern Conference.

2011 Salary
Gus Malzahn
Kirby Smart
Charlie Weis
Todd Grantham
Ellis Johnson
S. Carolina
John Chavis
Steve Kragthorpe
Kevin Steele
Nick Holt
Manny Diaz / Bryan Harsin

Steele is a former SEC coach as is Diaz who left Mississippi State for Texas just this year.

You’ll note that of the seven SEC coaches on the list, three are offensive coordinators: Malzahn, Weis and Kragthorpe.  That’s a near 50/50 split along offensive/defensive lines (with Smart, Grantham, Johnson and Chavis all serving as D-coordinators).  While the league’s reputation is built on defense, these numbers show that SEC schools are just as likely to toss cash to offensive wizards as they are to defensive gurus.

On a sidenote, Auburn released details of its coaching staff’s pay yesterday and Gene Chizik’s assistants will tally a combined $4,085,000 this fall.

Add it all up and it’s clear that the SEC’s enormous television contracts with CBS and ESPN have benefited the league’s assistant football coaches as much as anyone over the past couple of years.

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Report: Anderson To Get $2M To Stay At Missouri

According to The St. Louis Dispatch, Missouri is “on the verge of finalizing a contract extension and raise for basketball coach Mike Anderson that it believes will keep him at MU.”

The new deal would be worth $2 million per year and would add two years to his current pact.  Anderson currently makes $1.5 million.

The question: Did Arkansas really make chase?  Or did Anderson’s agent — Jimmy Sexton — just bluff Mizzou into pulling out their checkbook?

Either way, it looks for now like Razorback fans will have to look in another direction (like Marquette’s Buzz Williams).

(Sidenote — Sorry for the typo in my initial headline.  Too much staring at a computer screen today.  And no, that’s not Anderson at left… before someone emails me.  Just a funny picture of a guy counting cash.)

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No Offer From Bama to Croom Yet

According to The St. Louis Dispatch, Sylvester Croom was back at work as running backs coach for the NFL’s Rams yesterday… with no offer from Alabama in hand.

Croom interviewed this past weekend for the vacant assistant coach’s job on Nick Saban’s staff.  Curt Cignetti left his role as receivers coach and recruiting coordinator two weeks ago to take a head coaching job.

Alabama has interviewed Croom, is interested in Louisville quarterback coach Mike Groh, and was interested in Kentucky receivers coach Tee Martin.  Martin is staying at UK after receiving an extension and a new title — passing game coordinator.

The Dispatch believes Croom still might receive an offer from his alma mater. 

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