Mizzou Coach Barry Odom Fired After Another Disappointing Season

Wesley HIttGetty Images

University of Missouri (“Mizzou”) head coach has been fired after four mediocre seasons at the helm of the Tigers’ football program.

In a statement posted on the University’s football program’s website, Mizzou Athletic Director Jim Sterk thanked the coach for his service, while announcing that the program will begin a search for a new 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,” Sterk wrote.

The Tigers’ 2019 season ended on Friday, with a 24-14 victory over Arkansas in Little Rock. However, that victory brought the Tigers’ record to a disappointing 6-6, failing to get the Tigers a bowl invite. What’s worse, Sterk noted that the win wasn’t enough to salvage a season that had begun with great promise and high expectations.

“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. However, we lost a great deal of that energy during the last half of the season,” Sterk said.

LITTLE ROCK, AR - NOVEMBER 29: Tyler Badie #1 of the Missouri Tigers celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second half of a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at War Memorial Stadium on November 29, 2019 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 24-14. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Featured image credit: Wesley HittGetty Images

During his second stint as the Tigers’ head coach (Odom had been the head coach during the 2009-2011 seasons as well), the team went a mediocre 25-25 across four years, beginning in 2016.

In 2016, the Tigers went 4-8 in what was considered a rebuilding year. Then, the Tigers had a 7-6 season that earned them an invitation to the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. That was followed by another second-tier bowl appearance in 2018, following an 8-5 season that culminated in an AutoZone Liberty Bowl bid.

Odom had been involved with the Mizzou football program, in one capacity or another, for the better part of two decades. Between 1996 and 1999, Odom was a student-athlete in the Tigers’ program; between 2003-2008 he worked behind the scenes in an administrative role; and he had two stints as head coach, between 2009-2011 and again between 2015-2019.

In its 129-year history going back to 1890, the Tigers football program has appeared in 33 bowl games, including 10 major bowl appearances: four Orange Bowls, three Cotton Bowls, two Sugar Bowls, and one Fiesta Bowl. The team has won 15 conference titles, five division titles, and has two national championships: one in 1960 under Head Coach Dan Devine, and again in 2007 under Head Coach Barry Pinkel.

“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,” Sterk said of his program.