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Pinkel discusses diagnosis, decision to retire in front of Mizzou students and staff

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COLUMBIA, MO (KTVI)- Mizzou students and staff got a chance to honor the career of Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel on Monday. The 63-year-old held a press conference at Mizzou Arena on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus to discuss more about his cancer diagnosis and his decision to retire. The event was open to the public.

Pinkel shocked everyone Friday with the announcement that he will step down at the end of this season to focus on health and family while battling non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  He was reluctant to say a lot about his decision Saturday night after Mizzou's win over BYU at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The team mobbed him after the win, chanting his name while they danced on the field.

At times during his prepared statement Monday, Pinkel fought back tears, especially when talking about his players, calling them the thing he’s going to miss the most.

Pinkel took over the Mizzou football program on Nov. 30, 2000. He is the winningest coach in school history, with a 117-71 record in 15 seasons. He's led the team to 10 post-season bowl appearances.