Bookended by Safeties
Football coaches Don Faurot and Gary Pinkel leave their mark at Mizzou.
This fall, hope springs eternal once again as Mizzou begins its 14th season under the Tigers’ winningest football coach, Gary Pinkel.
With a record of 101-63-0, Pinkel matched Don Faurot’s wins when the Tigers defeated Texas A&M 28-21 Nov. 30, 2013, on Faurot Field. Pinkel passed Faurot with the Cotton Bowl win Jan. 3, 2014, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
For the trivia fans among us, Tex Noël, executive director of the Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association of Bedford, Indiana, has resurrected a tidbit about Faurot, BS Ag ’25, MA ’27. Using the May-June 1984 issue of The Missouri Alumnus (now MIZZOU) as his source, Noel notes Faurot’s career ended in Columbia in 1956 with Missouri winning on a safety on the final play of the game, defeating rival Kansas 15-13. A safety, worth two points, typically occurs when the ball is downed in the offense’s own end zone. Faurot received a standing ovation that day from sentimental well-wishers, including the man from Independence, Harry S Truman.
Decades earlier, as a player for the Tigers, Faurot lost his first game on a safety. In an interview with the magazine, Faurot said, “There was my first varsity game against Iowa State in 1923. Our punter, Forrest Fowler, was hurt. I was the next-best punter and was sent into the game with the ball on the 2-yard line. The pass from center was a little low — but we’re not going to say that. I fumbled it, and I lost the game on a safety, 2-0.”