It’s a reuniting of Cross and Odom, who played together at Missouri in 1996. Cross also coached outside linebackers for the Tigers from 1998 to ’99, the last two seasons that Odom played middle linebacker in Columbia.
Cross has been an assistant at TCU since 2013. Before that, he was Kansas’s linebackers coach for a season after a year as Wisconsin’s special teams coordinator and safeties coach.
Cross spent 2006–10 as an assistant for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. He started with the team as a special teams/defensive assistant for a season before being promoted to linebackers coach/special teams for three years.
His last season with the Bills was as inside linebackers coach. He was Iowa State’s outside linebackers and special teams coordinator from 2001 to ’05.
Cross coached Sam Houston State’s defensive backs in 2000 following his two seasons at Missouri. A St. Louis native, he was a free safety for the Tigers from 1994 to ’96.
Odom became Missouri’s coach earlier this month after serving this past season as the program’s defensive coordinator. One of the nation’s top young defensive minds, the 39-year-old Odom led an aggressive Tigers defense this season that ranks sixth in the FBS in points allowed (16.2 points per game) and ninth in yards allowed (302 yards per game).
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.