Gary Pinkel was selected to receive the first General Clifton B. Cates “I Will Hold” Award for Leadership today. The Missouri Military Academy created the award in honor of the MMA’s upcoming 125th Anniversary.
“[Pinkel’s] achievements impact much more than the football program at Mizzou,” MMA President Tony McGeorge said in a press release Monday. “They resonate in the success of the University of Missouri, the central Missouri community of which we are a part, and in the minds of young people like the young men here at Missouri Military Academy.”
Pinkel will accept the award this Saturday, March 8 at the MMA’s annual Maroon and Gold fundraising event at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis.
The MMA said it created the “I Will Hold” Award to honor exceptional leaders who demonstrate determination, steadfastness and perseverance through times of challenge.
Pinkel has done just that: his acceptance of the award will follow a 12-2 season for the Missouri Tigers, who capped off their 2013 season with a win over Oklahoma State University at the 78th AT&T Cotton Bowl. This is Pinkel’s 13th season coaching the Tigers.
The MMA was founded in 1889 and is located in Mexico, Mo. The Academy is a training school for boys in grades 6-12.
General Clifton B. Cates is an MMA alumnus from the class of 1910. He became the 19th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. and successfully fought Congress in 1951 against the impending extinction of the USMC.
The award’s name is taken from a quote Cates wrote from France in 1918 after an attack killed his company commander and Cates took over as leader of the platoon.
“I have only two men left out of my company and 20 out of other companies,” he wrote. “We need support but it is almost suicidal to try to get here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant artillery barrage is upon us. I have no one on my left, and only a few on my right. I will hold.”