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Mizzou goes with Barry Odom as new coach

Barry Odom

We’re down to one SEC school that needs a coach after Missouri promoted Barry Odom from defensive coordinator to replace the retiring Gary Pinkel.

Mizzou joins Georgia, which has chosen Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, in filling its coaching vacancy. That leaves South Carolina, which is seeking to replace Steve Spurrier. Interestingly, Georgia filled its vacancy in a day and Missouri in less than three weeks; Spurrier stepped down at South Carolina in mid-October.

Odom, 39, a Mizzou alum, will be officially introduced at a Friday news conference.

Insiders tell GN that Josh Heupel likely will be Mizzou’s new offensive coordinator. Heupel was Utah State’s OC this season, and spent nine seasons as an Oklahoma assistant, including the final four (2011-14) as the Sooners’ co-offensive coordinator and play-caller.

Odom has spent 14 years at Mizzou, in a variety of roles: a player (1996-99), in an administrative capacity (2003-08) and as an assistant (2009-11, 2015). This was his first season as DC; he had returned to Missouri after spending four seasons in the same role at Memphis. He reportedly also was offered the Memphis job as that school attempted to replace Justin Fuente, who left for Virginia Tech. Memphis hired Arizona State offensive coordinator Mike Norvell.

Odom agreed in principle to a five-year deal; financial details will be released after they are approved by the MU Board of Curators at its regularly scheduled meeting next week.

“We are extremely excited to announce Barry Odom as the new leader of the Mizzou football program,” athletic director Mack Rhoades said in a statement. “We had the opportunity to visit with a number of excellent coaches throughout our search. At the conclusion of that process, Coach Odom was the clear choice to serve as our next coach.”

Pinkel, 63, who is the winningest coach in Missouri history, announced November 13 he was stepping down at the end of the season. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in the spring. “I don’t know how many years I have left, but I want to turn my focus to life outside of the daily grind of football,” he said when announcing his retirement.

It’s safe to say Mizzou players liked the choice.

(You can follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin)
(Feature photo COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI)

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