Gary Pinkel enjoyed an outstanding coaching career, leading the Toledo program for a decade before leaving for Missouri in 2001 and leading their transition to the SEC before announcing his plans to step away from the sidelines in November of 2015.
Over the course of that coaching career, Pinkel coached in countless big games, rivalries, and surely dealt with "hot seat" discussion from the media a time or two. During a recent Q&A with Rock M Nation, Pinkel reflected on his wealth of experience to share the toughest part of being a college football coach.
Here's what Pinkel shared:
"One of the toughest things, I think, for anybody, and I'm not [specifically] talking about at Missouri or anything, one of the most difficult things is dealing with the pressure of the job. The pressure of the job is beyond description. I talk in there about some words of wisdom that Coach James gave me when I was leaving to become the head coach at Toledo about how to focus and how, if you don't, it's going to chew you up and spit you out.
I loved the pressure, but now that I'm away from it, I don't know how I did it for 25 years.
There's no handbook for, 'This is how you handle the pressure ... GO.' You have to learn through discipline, make mistakes sometimes, but you have to learn how to deal with it because if you don't it'll chew you up."
Pinkel also shared how important it was to go with a gut feeling when it came to hiring people, and how he never hired family (until hiring nephew Alex Grinch in his last few years at Mizzou), and to never hire friends.
Head over to Rock M Nation to read the full thing, including a lot of good insight on Pinkel's new book, The 100-Yard Journey - A Life in Coaching and Battling for the Win.