University of Missouri Director of Athletics Jim Sterk has relieved fourth-year Tigers’ football coach Barry Odom of his coaching duties and launched a national search to find the program’s next head coach, the university announced on Saturday.
“I want to thank Coach Odom for his contributions to our program,” Sterk said. “He and his staff have worked diligently during the past four years.
“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.”
Odom, hired as Mizzou’s 32nd head football coach on Dec. 3, 2015, compiled a 25-25 on-field record in four seasons along the Tiger sideline, including a 6-6 mark in 2019 that ended with Friday’s 24-14 victory over Arkansas in Little Rock. After a 4-8 debut season in 2016, Odom’s Tigers went 7-6 and earned an invitation to the 2017 Texas Bowl. Mizzou went 8-5 in Odom’s third season, which ended with a 2018 Liberty Bowl bid.
“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 seasons at Mizzou, including eight as a coach (2009-11, 2015-19), six in an administrative capacity (2003-08) and four as a student-athlete (1996-99).
“Mizzou enjoys a winning football tradition and has the necessary resources and commitment to compete at the highest level,” Sterk said. “We strive to achieve excellence, and we expect to compete for Southeastern Conference titles, consistently play in the postseason and represent Mizzou the right way on and off the field.
“A national search is underway and confidentiality during the process is critical. Thus, I will have no further public comments regarding the search process until the announcement of our next head football coach is made.”