An unfair end to a coach’s career

Mizzou fires head coach Barry Odom


Photo provided by Creative Commons

Kenny Miller, Reporter

On Nov. 30, Mizzou ended its run with head coach Barry Odom. Odom had a decent four year career at Mizzou with a record of 25-25, but many fans wished their team could pick up more wins judging how much talent was on the roster. Now as Mizzou searches for a new head coach, fans are debating whether if it was worth it to fire Barry Odom.

Although the Tigers had a disappointing season this year, firing Odom at this point was not worth it. Odom created one of the best defenses, due to his experience as a defensive coordinator before taking the head coaching position in 2015. The defense is ranked ninth in the nation. The defense also had a great pass defense only allowing a 16.2 average, and had a great turn over defense. That part of the game is ranked seventh in the nation. Mizzou has never been known as a good defensive school, so Odom’s ability to change that for the Tigers was exciting to see. Odom also took his team to two bowl games and had three seasons with a record of .500 or better. Only a couple of coaches have been able to do that in their first four years at Mizzou, which shows Odom did well in his first four years.

Odom also never had enough time to make Mizzou a great team, another reason Mizzou athletic director Jim Sterk pulled the trigger too early. Previous head coach Gary Pinkel did not have a great first four years at Mizzou. In Pinkel’s first four seasons he was 22-25 and was only 12-20 in their conference. Odom was better than that, going 25-25 and 13-19 in their division. Pinkel turned Mizzou around in his later years, finishing with a record 191–110–3 and a total of 10 bowl games. If Mizzou gave Odom a few more years like Pinkel, he might have had the same success Pinkel had.

Odom also had one of the shortest times as head coach at Mizzou. Coaches like Bob Stull and Woody Widenhofer had horrible years as head coach, but still got more time than Odom. Despite an impressive record over his four years, Sterk believed it wasn’t enough. However, this leaves the Tigers looking for a new head coach which means they are rebuilding. Only two coaches in Mizzou history have had a winning season their first year, so Tigers fans shouldn’t have high hopes for next season. If the Tigers held onto Odom and gave him a few more years he could have turned them into something special.

The Tigers will continue to look for a new head coach and hope to have a better season next year.