Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom

Odom was 25-25 in four seasons as coach.
Coach Barry Odom was fired Saturday after four years on the sidelines for Missouri. Photo by Madeline Carter

After four seasons at the helm, Missouri has fired coach Barry Odom.

The 2019 campaign started with promise. The Tigers jumped out to a 5-1 record with transfer quarterback Kelly Bryant spearheading the offense. Missouri was briefly atop the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division standings. But it lost five straight games, including to Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

"Coach Odom has represented our program with integrity and dedicated himself to developing our student athletes on and off the football field for which we are grateful,” Director of Athletics Jim Sterk said. “We wish the very best for him and his family in their future endeavors."

Odom was hired to replace Missouri’s all-time wins leader Gary Pinkel in 2015. Led by sophomore quarterback Drew Lock, the Tigers went 4-8 in Odom’s first season. The 2017 campaign started with little promise as Missouri stood at 1-5 before the Tigers rattled off six straight wins to finish the regular season 7-5. Expectations were high entering the next fall. Missouri won eight games, but blown leads at home against Kentucky and on the road to South Carolina left a damper on the season. Nonetheless, the Tigers improved in each of Odom’s first three seasons.

"As a program, we had tremendous momentum coming into the 2019 season with the opening of the new south end zone facility as well as other strategic investments in our football program," Sterk said. "However, we lost a great deal of that energy during the last half of the season. This decision was difficult to make but was necessary.”

Odom spent 18 years with the Missouri football program, four as a linebacker, six in administrative capacity and eight as a coach.

Among the most disappointing losses in the Odom era were the 35-3 defeat against Purdue in 2017, the 15-14 loss to Kentucky in his third season and the 21-14 loss to Vanderbilt earlier this year. One of the biggest wins came in a 38-17 defeat of No. 11 Florida in 2018 and a 28-24 comeback win against Arkansas in his first year as head coach.

"Coach Odom has represented our program with integrity and dedicated himself to developing our student-athletes on and off the football field for which we are grateful. We wish the very best for him and his family in their future endeavors."

Edited by Leah Glasser | lglasser@themaneater.com

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