Kayler Smith-23Sports

Less than 24 hours after the conclusion of Mizzou’s 2019 football season, athletic director Jim Sterk fired Barry Odom after his fourth season as the head coach at his alma mater. This news came just four days after the ruling of the NCAA appeal was released, upholding the original punishments of postseason ban and recruitment restrictions.

Although Mizzou finished their season at .500 and were bowl eligible for the third straight year, it was too little too late for Odom after Mizzou’s mediocre season.

There have been mixed responses from Mizzou fans, many appalled at the fact that Mizzou would fire a coach that led them to bowl eligibility for three of his four seasons. However, many have been calling for coaching turnover after the debacle of a road trip Mizzou had, being inexcusably upset by Wyoming, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

This is the third season that Mizzou has suffered a five-game losing streak under Odom’s leadership. Mizzou was expected to have a strong season with the talent they had acquired, even reaching the top spot in the SEC East and a spot in the national rankings after a five game win streak at home. They quickly fell out of the rankings and any contention in the SEC East after their losses to two of the worst teams in their division.

The Tigers were unable to find much cohesion on the offensive side of the ball this season what with an underperforming line, underperforming Kelly Bryant, an injured Bryant and more. They were not able to overcome the various roadblocks they faced, which ultimate comes down on the coaching staff.

It was no help to Odom that he was not coaching under the athletic director that hired him. He was hired by Mack Rhoades in 2015 who jumped ship in 2016 and went to Baylor. He was never Sterk’s guy, giving him a shorter leash to begin with.

Odom’s ability to keep the team together and keep recruits through the uncertainty of the NCAA investigations speaks measures about his abilities as a player’s coach. He helped Mizzou’s defense immeasurably in his time as the defensive coordinator and head coach. The defense scored five defensive touchdowns in the first five games of this season and is likely to produce an NFL-caliber linebacker in Cale Garrett who was recruited in Odom’s last season as Mizzou’s defensive coordinator before being promoted.

Odom finished his head coaching career at Mizzou 25-25. He came into leadership in a rebuilding year but lead the Tigers to two winning seasons the following years, earning them bids to play in the Texas Bowl in 2017 and the Liberty Bowl in 2018. Despite the steep downfall midseason, he was able to help the team to bowl eligibility again, finishing 6-6 after beating Arkansas in their final game Saturday.

Odom is a hot commodity for his defensive mind and is already being sought after by various schools in search of a defensive coordinator.

After 18 years as a Tiger between his coaching, administrative and playing career, Mizzou bids farewell to Odom as he is and always will be a Mizzou True Son.