As the coaching carousel continues to turn, more seats are being claimed. The one at Missouri was filled on Thursday when Tigers defensive coordinator Barry Odom was promoted to head coach.
Odom, who just completed his first season as Missouri's defensive coordinator, has the task of succeeding Gary Pinkel, the winningest coach in school history. Pinkel was 118-73 in his 15 years at Missouri.
Here are five things to know about Odom:
He's "Mizzou Made": Odom, 39, was a linebacker at Missouri from 1996-99 and once he got into coaching, he worked his way up the ladder there, starting as a graduate assistant in 2003, moving to director of recruiting in 2004-05, then director of operations from 2006-08 and finally serving as the safeties coach from 2009-11. After that stint, he went to Memphis, where he shined as a defensive coordinator and safeties coach and wound up back at Missouri this season to replace longtime defensive coordinator Dave Steckel, who is now the head coach at Missouri State.
He knows the local recruiting landscape: When it comes to recruiting in his home state, Odom should do well because he once was a high school coach (he was the head coach at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia from 2001-02). It was during his time at Rock Bridge that he first met Pinkel, since Odom's time as a Mizzou player predated Pinkel's arrival. He's also well thought of on the recruiting trail by high school coaches. One former Texas high school coach who now coaches at a Power 5 school called Odom "one of the best recruiters and best people to ever come through my door." When Pinkel first met Odom, who had expressed interest in being a GA at Mizzou, Pinkel recalls most of his assistants vouching for Odom, telling Pinkel, "We've got to get this guy because he's a sharp young guy."
He's an accomplished defensive coach: He has been a coordinator for only four years, but has done an impressive job in that short time. Before he arrived at Memphis, the Tigers were 117th nationally in total defense. In 2014, Odom's final season there, Memphis was 27th in that category, 10th in yards per play, 21st in yards per carry and tied for 23rd in third-down defense. This season at Mizzou, Odom led a defense that was second in the SEC to only Alabama -- and third in the nation -- in yards allowed per play (4.31), seventh nationally in yards allowed per rush (3.27, second in the SEC) and seventh nationally and third in the SEC in scoring defense (16.17 points allowed per game). He did that as the SEC's youngest defensive coordinator this season.
He has many of the qualities you want in a head coach: Pinkel said that Odom communicates very well with players, instills discipline, is very intense and competitive, is honest with his players and is very well-respected. "He could have gone half a dozen other places" before choosing to return to Mizzou last offseason, Pinkel told ESPN.com before the season. When Odom made the transition from Memphis back to Missouri, instead of bringing his own defensive terminology that was used in Memphis, he came in and adapted to Mizzou's terminology so that it would be an easier adjustment for the coaches and players. "That's a great statement about him, 'It's not about me, it's about making this thing work,'" Pinkel said. "His attention to detail, demanding but not demeaning attitude, it permeates throughout the whole defense."
He loves Mizzou and the players love him: "I know Columbia and have been in Missouri for a long time, and I know the university and I owe the University of Missouri a whole lot," Odom said before the season. "I got my education here and started a family here and met my wife here. So those are all things that at the end of the day are awesome on a number of levels." The chance to lead this program will mean a lot to Odom. Clearly, the players like the hire based on the reaction Odom got when he was introduced to the team as the head coach by athletic director Mack Rhoades: