Jenny Putnam large part to Pingeton’s 500 wins

Jenny Putnam has been a part of Robin Pingeton’s success both as a player on the court and an assistant on the sideline.
Designed by Corey Hadfield

On Sunday evening, Missouri coach Robin Pingeton won her 500th game as a college head coach. Her Missouri Tigers (18-7, 7-4) beat the Vanderbilt Commodores (6-17, 1-9) 69-46 for the win. Following the game, Pingeton was recognized with a video tribute, flowers and a commemorative poster given to her by athletic director Jim Sterk.

Pingeton was appreciative of the recognition, yet also approached this game just like any other.

“We played pretty darn well for 40 minutes tonight,” Pingeton said. “My mind really was at just where we are as a team and this game.”

The Missouri coach was quick to share the recognition with others.

“This is about a lot of people, not just me,” Pingeton said. “I’ve coached some great players, had some great assistant coaches and some great administrations.”

One of those great assistant coaches is current assistant coach Jenny Putnam. Putnam joined the Missouri staff the same year as Pingeton and was an assistant with Pingeton at Illinois State for seven years prior. She also played under Pingeton at St. Ambrose.

Putnam is a 2001 graduate of St. Ambrose, where she was a basketball and softball star. While the relationship has certainly changed over the years, she says that Pingeton and her pursuit of excellence hasn’t.

“Obviously the times have changed, that was a long time ago,” Putnam said. “A lot of things are really similar such as her vision, her philosophy and her intensity.”

Putnam has had the ability to see Robin’s career bloom from a coach at the NAIA level all the way to her amassing 500 wins.

“The coolest thing that I’ve been able to see is her work her way up,” Putnam said. “People don’t realize all of the little things she did at St. Ambrose. She did all of the little things like driving the vans, got the meals ready, and really everything you can really imagine.”

Putnam started under Pingeton as a player and she has progressed to an assistant. Pingeton molded Putnam from a great player to now a great assistant.

“She was very good with me as far as teaching me and molding me,” Putnam said. “She was a very good mentor and I was able to learn really quick.”

While the assistant coaches don’t always get the glory of a head coach, the records they achieve mean all of the same. Putnam and Pingeton work together on and off the court to achieve all of this success together.

“She’s been amazing to play for and work for,” Putnam said. “The opportunities that have come along have been pretty amazing and I feel pretty blessed.”

Senior Sophie Cunningham also commented on her coach’s achievement.

“There isn’t a single coach in the country like her I bet, and there isn’t another coach I want to play for,” Cunningham said.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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