Barry Odom

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Barry Odom
Odom at a Missouri football practice
Current position
TitleHead coach
Annual salary$3.05 million
Biographical details
Born (1976-11-26) November 26, 1976 (age 42)
Lawton, Oklahoma
Alma materUniversity of Missouri
Playing career
Position(s)Middle linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2000Ada HS (OK) (assistant)
2001–2002Rock Bridge HS (MO)
2003Missouri (GA)
2009–2011Missouri (S)
2012–2014Memphis (DC/LB)
2015Missouri (DC/LB)
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
2004–2005Missouri (Dir. of Recruiting)
2006–2008Missouri (Dir. Football Ops)
Head coaching record
Overall14–8 (high school)
19–19 (college)

Barry Stephen Odom (born November 26, 1976) is an American football coach. He is currently the head football coach of the Missouri Tigers football team.

Odom has spent 17 years with the Mizzou football program as a player, recruiter, assistant coach and head coach. Born in Lawton, Okla., Odom and his wife Tia were married in July 2000. Tia is a native of Kahoka, Mo., and is a graduate of MU's College of Human Environmental Sciences. The couple has three children.[1]

High School Playing Career[edit]

Odom played high school football (linebacker and running back) at Maysville Junior/Senior High School, before transferring to perennial powerhouse Ada High School for his senior season.[2]

Intent on playing major college football and below the radar at Maysville, Odom spent his senior year 45 minutes away in Ada, where Odom helped boost the team to a second straight state title and raised his own profile.[2]

Barry Odom's first game for Ada High School came in 1994 against their rival, Ardmore.[3]

Odom bulldozed his way to stardom, a 39-13 victory that night. "He had just moved over from Maysville," said Joe Claxton, the publications director for Ada athletics. "He had four touchdowns, and by halftime, people were going, 'Who the heck is Barry Odom?'"[3]

Odom finished his senior season with 39 touchdowns.[2]

After he ran the 100 in 10.6 in the spring of his senior year, then-Mizzou coach Larry Smith swooped in and offered a scholarship.[2]

College Football and Education at the University of Missouri[edit]

Odom played college football at the University of Missouri as a linebacker from 1996 to 1999[4] as a linebacker from 1996-99. He recorded 72 tackles as a freshman. In the spring of 1997, he tore his ACL but recovered in time to start all 12 games of his sophomore season. He ended his playing career with 362 tackles, which still ranks as seventh-most in school history. Odom was chosen as a team captain as a senior in 1999 and would go on to finish with 362 tackles — the seventh-most in Missouri Tigers history. Odom was a key figure on the Missouri teams which reached bowl games in 1997 and 1998, ending a 14-year postseason drought for Tiger fans.[2]

Odom earned his bachelor's degree from MU in 1999, and a master's degree in education from MU in 2004.[5]

Odom wore No. 39 to honor the year the university started, 1839.[5]

Early Coaching Career[edit]

Success followed Odom's career path at each future stop after his playing days. After earning his undergraduate degree in December 1999, he served as an intern with Mizzou's Tiger Scholarship Fund while he worked on his Master's in Education from the University of Missouri (which he would earn in May 2004). He returned to his home state of Oklahoma in July of that year to serve as an assistant football coach for his alma mater Ada High School, which finished that season as runners-up for a state title.[1]

Rock Bridge (2001-2002)

Odom was quickly back in his adopted hometown of Columbia, Mo., taking over as head coach at Rock Bridge High School. Odom sparked a turnaround in the program, which hadn't had a winning season since 1997.

The Bruins went 6-4 in 2001, a two-win improvement from the previous season. The next year, Odom guided Rock Bridge to an 8-4 campaign and an appearance in the Class 6 semifinals. Six weeks after the season ended, Gary Pinkel hired Odom as a graduate assistant at Missouri, and Odom began a nine-year stint serving in various roles on Gary Pinkel's staff.

Joining the College Ranks[edit]

In 2003, Odom returned to Missouri as an administrative graduate assistant. He stayed at Missouri until 2012, serving in numerous different coaching and administrative positions.

2003 - 2008[1]

Running a college program became a focal point next, and Odom began that path by joining the Mizzou staff, first as an administrative graduate assistant for Gary Pinkel in 2003. He spent the 2004 and 2005 seasons as Pinkel's director of recruiting as the staff assembled a core group which would help lead Mizzou to consecutive Big 12 Conference North Division titles in 2007 and 2008 which consisted of 12-win and 10-win seasons, respectively.

From 2006-08, Odom helped run Pinkel's program administratively as his director of operations. In that role, Odom oversaw coordination of the team's budget, travel plans (including bowl trips to the Sun, Cotton and Alamo bowls during that stretch), compliance issues, facilities operations and scheduling, as well as assisting with recruiting operations and managing the day-to-day overall operations of the program.

As director of football operations, he coordinated all public relations activities and community service events that required the presence of Mizzou's football student-athletes, and also played a key role as part of the design and planning team that oversaw the expansion and renovation of the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex, which opened in February 2008.

2009 - 2011

In 2009, Odom took over as safeties coach under Pinkel.

He made an immediate impact, helping the Tigers climb from 104th in the nation in pass yards allowed/game in 2009,[6] to 37th in the nation in 2010.[7] During his three seasons as safeties coach, the Missouri Tigers went 26-13, including a 2010 Big 12 North division title. That 2010 team defense finished 11th in the nation in defensive pass rating, 19th nationally with 18 interceptions, 12th nationally in touchdowns allowed, 10th nationally in yards/attempt.[8]

Defensive Coordinator Career[edit]

In 2012, Odom left Missouri to become defensive coordinator of the Memphis Tigers under head coach Justin Fuente. In 2015, Odom again returned to Missouri, this time to serve as defensive coordinator.[9]

Memphis (2012-2014)

“When I left [Mizzou], it was a tough decision, but it was also a decision I knew I needed to make career-wise to continue to try to become better,” Odom said.[10]

Memphis ranked 117th nationally in total defense in 2011, the season before Odom joined staff. Three years later, Memphis ranked 28th.[10]

Odom became one of the more highly sought-after coordinators in the country due to three stellar years directing Memphis’ defense from 2012-14. His 2014 defense was a key component of Memphis’ 10-3 season, as his unit finished the regular season ranked fifth nationally in scoring defense (17.1 avg.) and 22nd in total defense (343.3 avg.). That marked an impressive incremental improvement under Odom's watch, as Memphis ranked 117th nationally in total defense the season prior to his arrival. In his first season at Memphis, the defense improved to 50th nationally (383.6 avg.), followed by a jump to 39th in 2013 (370.7 avg.). Memphis earned a share of the 2014 American Athletic Conference title, giving them a conference championship for the first time since 1971.[1]

Missouri (2015)

After the 2014 season, Missouri needed a new defensive coordinator after Dave Steckel left to become the head coach at Missouri State. Pinkel tabbed Odom as Steckel's replacement.[10]

Odom's Tigers ranked ninth in the nation in total defense, allowing just 302.0 yards per game. Since the NCAA began tracking defensive statistics in 1978, this marks the first time in MU history that Mizzou has had a top-10 defense. Odom's defense was also ranked seventh nationally in scoring defense (16.2 avg.), seventh in pass defense (169.2 avg.) and second in tackles for loss (8.8 avg.).[1]

Head Coach (University of Missouri)[edit]

Odom was named the head coach of the Missouri Tigers football team on December 3, 2015,[11] after former head coach Gary Pinkel retired after 15 seasons due to health-related issues. At 38, Coach Odom was the second youngest head coach for the Missouri Tigers.

In three years directing his alma mater's football program, Head Coach Barry Odom has led the Mizzou Football program to impressive achievements.[12]


Highly respected among his coaching peers for his integrity and for his championship vision, Odom worked through a rebuilding year in 2016 that saw Mizzou win four games. The Tigers closed the season out in strong fashion, with wins in two of their final three games - with both coming against bowl teams in Arkansas and Vanderbilt.


In 2017, Odom put together one of the more remarkable seasons in school history, when his Tigers achieved a seven-win season and earned the program's first bowl game since 2014. Mizzou closed the regular season as one of the nation's hottest teams, thanks to a six-game win streak that culminated in a thrilling road win at Arkansas. That win moved Mizzou to 7-5 marking an amazing in-season turnaround that saw MU rebound from a 1-5 start on the year.

Odom's team earned an invitation to the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoor Texas Bowl for its effort, and while the end result of the bowl game didn't go Mizzou's way, the appearance certainly represented an important step in the right direction for the program. Coming off a 4-8 season in 2016, Mizzou was picked to finish dead last in the seven-team Southeastern Conference Eastern Division by the pre-season pundits, but the Tigers defied the prognosticators as they ended tied for third at 4-4 in league play – becoming the first SEC team to ever start 0-4 in conference play and finish 4-4.

Odom became the first Mizzou coach to make a bowl game in his second year at MU since Warren Powers did so in each of his first two seasons in 1978 and 1979.


In 2018, Odom's Tigers finished an exciting regular-season ranked No. 23 in the College Football Playoff poll (No. 24 in the Associated Press poll) with eight wins, reached a second-straight bowl game thanks to yet another strong closing month, and turned heads nationally with one of the year's most impressive road wins. His 8–4 record during the 2018 season, marked just the 17th time in Mizzou's 128-year history that the Tigers have recorded an eight-win regular season.

Thanks to the building momentum, and a significant amount of returning talent, excitement is high in and around the Mizzou program heading into 2019. Outside prognosticators think highly of Mizzou's chances to be among the nation's best this coming season, as several national outlets have the Tigers ranked in their pre-season top-25 polls – with one slotting MU as high as number 13.

Much of the excitement heading into the new season revolves around the lifeblood of any college football program – recruiting. Odom and his staff worked hard to assemble a 2019 signing class that ranked 31st (, a standing that's among the highest-ranked classes ever assembled at Mizzou. That ranking doesn't even include what created the most buzz nationally in recruiting circles, when Odom convinced transfer quarterback Kelly Bryant to become a Tiger. The former Clemson starter, who led them to the College Football Playoff in 2017 and had a starting record of 16-2, will bring his significant talents to the program for one year in 2019.

On the field, Odom guided his troops to an 8-5 record in 2018 and to the school's third all-time appearance in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. After increasing his win total each year since taking over in 2016, Odom's three-year career mark stands at 19-19. He is only the fourth coach in Mizzou history to reach bowl games in two of his first three seasons at MU, joining College Football Hall of Fame Coach Dan Devine in that category, as well as former coaches Al Onofrio and Powers.

In the classroom, Odom's program achieved at a record level in 2018. The team turned in a grade point average of 2.90 this past fall, which smashed the previous program record of 2.69 set in the fall of 2015. Additionally, 58 team members – more than half of the 115-man roster – earned a fall GPA of at least 3.0. That is almost double the total of 30 Tigers from fall 2017 who recorded a 3.0 or better.

For the second-straight season, Odom's team finished the regular season in impressive fashion, going a perfect 4-0 in the month of November. That run was highlighted with a dominant 38-17 win at No. 11 Florida on Nov. 3 that marked Mizzou's largest road win over a ranked opponent since 2008. Odom's teams have now won nine-straight games in the month of November, and are 10-2 overall in the penultimate month of the calendar in his three years at the helm. His 19 wins are the most through three seasons by a Tiger coach since Powers won 23 from 1978-80.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Missouri Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (2016–present)
2016 Missouri 4–8 2–6 7th (Eastern)
2017 Missouri 7–6 4–4 T–3rd (Eastern) L Texas
2018 Missouri 8–5 4–4 T–4th (Eastern) L Liberty
Missouri: 19–19 10–14
Total: 19–19

Coaching Tree[edit]

Assistants under Odom who became NCAA head coaches:


  1. ^ a b c d e "Barry Odom Named Head Coach". University of Missouri Athletics. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  2. ^ a b c d e "A trip with Barry Odom to his Oklahoma roots, and what it tells you about him". kansascity. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  3. ^ a b "Rivalry week: Odom family made its mark on Ada-Ardmore rivalry". 2010-09-01. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  4. ^ New Mizzou DC Odom rides Memphis success back to alma mater
  5. ^ a b Para, Jen. "Get to know the Tigers' head football coach, Barry Odom". Columbia Missourian. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  6. ^ " - 2009 National Team Leaders". Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  7. ^ " - 2010 National Team Leaders". Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  8. ^ " - 2010 National Team Leaders". Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  9. ^ Missouri hires familiar face, Barry Odom, as new defensive coordinator
  10. ^ a b c, Blake. "Made in Missouri: Odom's rapid ascent was forged in the Show-Me State". Columbia Daily Tribune. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  11. ^ McMurphy, Brett (December 3, 2015). "Missouri defensive coordinator Barry Odom promoted to head coach". ESPN. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d "Barry Odom - Football Coach". University of Missouri Athletics. Retrieved 2019-01-23.

External links[edit]