Following a season-ending victory over Arkansas, the University of Missouri finished the year with a 6-6 record and a 3-5 record in the SEC. In response, the school has reportedly fired coach Barry Odom. His four-year tenure will come to an end after a 25-25 run.
Following the 15-year run in which Gary Pinkel led Mizzou to 10 bowl games (six wins) and a 191-118 record, there were big expectations for Odom to repeat this feat. However, he only coached the team to two bowl games, both of which were losses.
“He and his staff have worked diligently during the past four years,” athletic director Jim Sterk said in a statement. “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.
“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 continued. “However, we lost a great deal of that energy during the last half of the season.”
Hired at the age of 38, Odom was the youngest coach in school history, but there was faith in him based on his history with the team, as well as previously working under Pinkel. Odom played for Mizzou in the late 1990s and later returned to begin his coaching career as a student assistant during the 2003 season.
While Odom did lead the school to an 8-5 record in 2018, his tenure was partially doomed due to the inability to defeat top SEC rivals. Missouri defeated Ole Miss and South Carolina to start conference play in 2019 but fell to Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Georgia, and Florida. Losing to Tennessee continued the streak and dropped Missouri to 5-6.
In order to simply become bowl eligible, the Tigers needed to defeat Arkansas in the border rivalry game to finish the season. They did so and reached 6-6, but that was not enough to save Odom's job.
At this point, there isn't a definitive list of options for the Tigers to pursue, but one name that has been mentioned is Greg Schiano. The former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach was expected to return to Rutgers, but the rumored deal has reportedly fallen through. According to The Associated Press, Schiano could be an option for Missouri, along with Memphis coach Mike Norvell, Boise State’s Bryan Harsin, and Louisville's Billy Napier.
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