(Photo by Adam Vogler/Columbia Missourian)
On Thursday night it was announced that defensive coordinator Barry Odom would be promoted to head coach. He will replace the retiring Gary Pinkel as he battles with lymphoma.
The football season ended less than a week ago, but the coaching hot stove has made it feel like months. It was going to be Tom Herman, then Matt Rhule was the lead candidate, then Matt Wells, then Sonny Dykes supposedly agreed to a deal, which turned out to be a farce, then finally Mack Rhoades chose the guy who has been there all along.
He was highly in play to be Memphis’ head coach, and there were reports that he was to be announced, but it never came to be. In the end, Odom held out long enough for the Missouri offer, and he got it.
In a press release, Odom doesn’t hold back his excitement on becoming the head man at his former school.
“I’m tremendously honored to have this opportunity,” said Odom in a press release. “It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time as I’ve made my various stops leading up to this point. I understand the responsibility we have to not only carry on the tradition of excellence that Gary Pinkel has built here, but also to help this program reach new heights. Mizzou means the world to me and to my family, and we couldn’t be more proud and excited to be in this position. There are so many people I am thankful for from throughout my career – they are responsible for allowing me to learn and understand all the facets of building a program – that I couldn’t name them all. I’m grateful to Chancellor Hank Foley, President Mike Middleton, the Board of Curators and Mack Rhoades for their faith in me, and to Gary Pinkel for his support over the years. I can’t wait to get started.”
I thought Mark Richt made the most sense, but since Miami scooped him up yesterday, I would have no issue with Odom being the man in Columbia.
He’s had a great track record as a defensive coordinator, not only at Missouri but at Memphis too, the players have been advocating for him since Pinkel announced his retirement, and he was going to be a head coach at some point, so why not now?
Above all, he knows the Missouri system as he’s been a player, a position coach, a coach elsewhere, and now he’ll get the chance to take Missouri to the next level. He loves his alma mater, and it’s highly unlikely he coaches anywhere else unless Missouri shows him the door.
Odom doesn’t turn 40 until next year, if all works out, Missouri doesn’t have to do another coaching search for a very long time.
I said Richt would have been a homerun hire, this is a triple. He’ll do his best to keep this recruiting class together, and some members of the coaching staff together.
Next task for Odom: do what you have to do to keep Craig Kuligowski on staff, and find a offensive coordinator that not named Henson.
A very solid first hire for Mack Rhoades at Missouri to say the least.