COLUMBIA — In his 59 years, Gary Pinkel cannot remember ever hurting his family, friends or team.
Last week, he did.
Pinkel, head coach of the Missouri football team, was arrested for driving while intoxicated Wednesday night. He pleaded guilty to the Class B misdemeanor charge on Friday morning.
Speaking to media at the law office of Holder-Susan-Slusher-Oxenhandler on Monday afternoon, Pinkel called his mistake "one of the most devastating things" that had ever happened to him. In his attempt to be a positive role model, Pinkel said he failed miserably.
"I got to live with it," Pinkel said.
Pinkel was pulled over around 10 p.m. Wednesday for not using proper lane and signal violations as he exited U.S. 63 onto Broadway. Pinkel received a 30-day suspended sentence, which means he will serve 30 days in jail if he violates a two-year probation.
"This will never ever happen again," he said. "You don't drink and drive. Gary Pinkel shouldn't, and nobody should."
Bogdan Susan, Pinkel's attorney, said he does not have access to the results of Pinkel's blood alcohol content test results.
"When someone has pleaded guilty and accepted responsibility, that renders that evidence moot and irrelevant," said Susan, who spoke after him.
Pinkel called the support he received in the aftermath of his arrest phenomenal, but he also said he understands those who are less forgiving. Asked what he thought of the public attention his arrest garnered, Pinkel said he recognizes that, as a public figure, he is responsible.
"I know this, OK?" he said. "We know if you make a mistake, it's going to be publicized nationally, and I have no problem with that at all. That's part of my failure."
Pinkel was suspended for one week from MU facilities, including Missouri's Senior Day game against Texas Tech on Saturday. Before leaving the facilities Thursday, he addressed the seniors on the team, which he said was one of the most difficult things he's ever had to do.
On Saturday, he watched the game from his condominium at Lake of the Ozarks with friends. He said every play felt like the last of a close game. In fact, the Tigers didn't secure a 31-27 victory until the final minute, when defensive end Michael Sam intercepted a pass yards away from the Missouri end zone.
"It was gut-wrenching," Pinkel said. "It was very emotional for me. Saw the team play the first quarter, and we obviously weren't focused. And that's me, I put them there. I had to live with that burden.
"If we don't win that game, I don't know, uh … I'd have to live with that the rest of my life. I'm very thankful to them."
Pinkel is allowed to return to team facilities on Thursday morning and will coach when Missouri plays its rivalry game against Kansas on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.