Gaynell Tinsley began his coaching career at Louisiana College in the late 1930’s, and after serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II Tinsley returned to coaching as an assistant at LSU. He took over as head coach of the football program in 1948 and held the job for seven seasons. Tinsley posted three winning seasons with the Tigers, and his 1949 team reached the Sugar Bowl after an 8-2 regular season. That was Tinsley’s only bowl appearance as a head coach, and LSU finished the season ranked No. 9 in the final Associated Press poll. He retired from coaching in 1955 with a record of 35-34-6 at LSU. Tinsley passed away in 2002 at the age of 87.