Barry Odom returns to Mizzou as defensive coordinator

3 years 9 months 4 weeks ago Tuesday, December 23 2014 Dec 23, 2014 Tuesday, December 23, 2014 8:57:00 AM CST December 23, 2014 in Mizzou Xtra
By: Ashley Colley, KOMU 8 Sports Producer

COLUMBIA - Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel is bringing back a familiar face to help fill the void of Dave Steckel. Former Missouri player and coach Barry Odom was announced as the new defensive coordinator on Tuesday.

Odom will re-join the Mizzou staff at the conclusion of the season when Steckel leaves to become the head coach at Missouri State, following the Citrus Bowl game on January 1.

"We're really excited to have Barry and his family back at Mizzou," said Pinkel. "He's done an outstanding job at Memphis these past three years. He's coached with us before, and it's great to see someone professionally advance himself and go do such a great job elsewhere. I know he was sought after by several other power five schools recently, so we feel very fortunate to have him with us," Pinkel said.

The announcement came less than one day after the conclusion of Miami Beach Bowl where Memphis beat BYU, 55-48. For the past three seasons, Odom has served at the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Memphis. He made the move after spending nine years on the staff at Missouri from 2003-2011. 

"It goes without saying how excited I am to have this opportunity. I have such a deep respect for the success that Coach Pinkel and his staff have had since I've been away," Odom said. "Transitioning to a new conference is very challenging, and all they've done is get better at everything. When you look nationally at winning percentage, APR, graduation rates, Mizzou is the total package and it's absolutely one of the top football programs and athletic departments in the country. I'm excited to do my part to continue to add to that, and our family is excited to be part of it again."

After playing as a linebacker at Missouri from 1996-1999, Odom returned to his alma mater in 2003 where he began as an administrative graduate assistant. He then became Director of Recruiting from 2004-2005 before serving as the Director of Football Operations from 2006-08. Odom joined Pinkel on the sidelines as safeties coach in 2009 and helped develop Mizzou players such as Jasper Simmons, Jarrell Harrison and Kenji Jackson. He also played a big role in the $16 million expansion of the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex.

Before Odom joined the Mizzou staff for the first time, he coached high school football in the area including two-years at Rock Bridge. The Bruins went 6-4 in 2001 and grabbed a conference championship. In 2002, Rock Bridge reached the state semifinals and finished with an 8-4 record.

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