Gary Robin Pinkel (born April 27, 1952) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head football coach at the University of Missouri, a position he has held since the 2001 season. From 1991 to 2000, Pinkel coached at the University of Toledo, where his team won a Mid-American Conference championship in 1995. Before becoming a head coach, he was an assistant at the University of Washington, where he served as Don James's offensive coordinator.
Pinkel graduated from Kenmore High School in Akron, Ohio, and received his bachelor of science degree in education from Kent State University in 1973, where he played tight end under James. His roommate at Kent was Pittsburgh Steelers great Jack Lambert. He did post-graduate studies at Kent and Bowling Green State University, and in 1997 was inducted into the Kent Athletic Hall of Fame.
Since arriving at Missouri in November 2000, Pinkel has guided the Tigers to seven bowl games in 10 years, winning three. The first was in 2003, a 27–14 loss to Arkansas, and the second was a thrilling 38–31 come-from-behind win over the University of South Carolina on December 30, 2005. Missouri then lost to Oregon State, 39–38, in the Brut Sun Bowl. In 2007, a historic year for the Mizzou program, Pinkel led his team to a #1 AP ranking at the end of the regular season after finishing 11–1. They then fell to the Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 Championship game, and played in the Cotton Bowl Classic against the University of Arkansas. The Tigers throttled the Razorbacks, strolling to an easy 38–7 victory and a final season ranking of #4 in the AP Poll.