This past season was Odom’s first back at his alma mater after working under Justin Fuente at Memphis. Under Odom, the Tigers’ defense is among the nation’s best, ranking seventh in the FBS in points allowed (16.2 points per game) and ninth in yards allowed (302 yards per game).
That was despite a lethargic offense that scored nine points or less in five games this season, the primary reason for Missouri’s disappointing 5–7 record.
The 39-year-old Odom played linebacker for the Tigers from 1996–99, recording 362 tackles.
Prior to this year, he was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Memphis for three seasons, where helped transform one of the nation’s worst programs into a top-25 team, revamping a porous defense that become one of the best in college football. Before his stint at Memphis, Odom spent nine seasons at Missouri, including the last three as safeties coach. The other six were in various administrative roles. He was the coach at Rock Bridge High in Columbia from 2001–02.
A Lawton, Okla., native, Odom got his start in coaching in 2000 at Ada (Okla.) High. He succeeds Gary Pinkel, who cited non-Hodgkin lymphoma in announcing his retirement last month after 15 seasons at Missouri.
Pinkel is the program’s winningest coach with a 118–73 record. He won the SEC’s East Division in both 2014 and ’13.