Hometown: Atkins, Iowa
Husband – Rich
Children – Blake and Zach
Head Coaching Career:
•University of Missouri (2010-Present)
•Illinois State University (2003-10)
•St. Ambrose University (IA) (1992-2000)
This story originally appeared in FCA Magazine. Subscribe today!
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
– Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
Coaching wasn’t in the original post-college plans for Robin Pingeton, but a love of athletics and desire to teach the game opened her eyes to opportunities the profession provided. Now in her fourth season at Missouri—and 19th overall as a head coach—the Atkins, Iowa, native is proof that building on the foundation of strong Christian character is the key to leaving a lasting impact.
FCA: Was it always your plan to become a coach?
RP: Honestly, it wasn’t. I was getting my degree in business management and never really thought about get-ting into coaching until my last game as a player. Athletics had always been such a huge part of my life, and I had benefitted so much from being a student-athlete and the life lessons I learned. At that moment, I felt like I wasn’t ready to let go of athletics and wanted the opportunity to give back to others like my coaches had for me.
FCA: What have you learned in your 20-plus years as a coach?
RP: I feel like I’ve learned so much in all facets of my life, and I hope I continue to grow and learn. This game—and our journey through life—are full of opportunities to get better and grow. My challenge for myself each day is to be better than I was yesterday. That applies as a basketball coach, wife, mother, friend and boss.
FCA: How do you keep the focus from being solely on wins and losses?
RP: I’ve got a drive and work ethic that is second to none, but I constantly have to remind myself about the big picture. My goal is to win championships, but my passion is to impact people’s lives and make a positive difference. If you don’t keep blinders on as a coach, you can lose sight about what’s most im-portant. I’ve always been someone who is very open about my priorities being faith, family and then my career. Scoreboards, the history book, the stat book—you can’t keep any of that with you, but the values and the lessons learned through college athletics are what will remain with these kids for the rest of their lives.
FCA: How do you incorporate your faith into coaching?
RP: As coaches we have an opportunity to impact not only our players but so many in our community, throughout our state and the country. I truly do feel like coaching is a ministry, and it’s not just about taking your Bible out and talking to players about their faith. More importantly, it’s about walking out our faith every day. I know my foundation, the baseline principles in my life and my value system, and it cer-tainly has to continue to grow and get better to help other people grow in their faith and in their walks with the Lord.
The best way I can share my faith is the way I live it out every day and the way I handle success, ad-versity, and challenging times, walking with my players through the journey together.
FCA: What do you hope your players take away from their time playing for you?
RP: I hope I’ve impacted their lives in a very positive way and been a mentor and a teacher. I want to be someone who has helped them understand what it truly takes to be successful in relationships, careers and life after athletics. That comes from a lot of hard work, a lot of discipline, accountability, attention to detail, and the ability to communicate. I want to challenge my players every day to be their absolute best in everything they do.
FCA Staff Quote:
“Coach Pingeton’s faith—and the faith of her staff—is revealed daily by the way they embody and reinforce the FCA core values of integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence. They have been diligent in building a solid foundation for the Mizzou women’s program rooted in excellence both academically and athletically, creating a family atmosphere where caring for each other is most important.”
-Kathy Wiesen, Area Representative, Lake of Ozarks (MO) FCA
Originally Published: March 2014
Photos courtesy of Mizzou Athletics