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Missouri hires Brian Odom as outside linebackers coach

That name sounds familiar.

Missouri was in need of a full-time assistant following the departure of cornerbacks coach Greg Brown to Auburn earlier this offseason. With National Signing Day in the rear view, it was time to unveil Brown’s replacement. And his name sounds awfully familiar.

Mizzou Football Head Coach Barry Odom has filled out his coaching staff, and will be joined by his younger brother, Brian Odom, who will serve as outside linebackers coach for Mizzou. Ryan Walters, Mizzou's co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, will now coach all defensive backs moving forward.

Brian Odom will be on his second stint with Mizzou, where he began his career in athletics as an administrative and defensive graduate assistant coach on Gary Pinkel's staff in 2005. He comes to Mizzou from Washington State, where he was the defensive quality control assistant for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. At WSU, Brian was instrumental in the Cougars' defensive turnaround, working under Defensive Coordinator and former Mizzou assistant coach Alex Grinch.

Prior to Washington State, Brian spent three years running the football strength and conditioning program at the University of Houston (2012-14), after spending seven years working with the football performance program at the University of Arizona (2005-11). Additionally, for five seasons (2006-10), he assisted UA's football operations director by coordinating advance travel arrangements for all away games.

A few quick reactions:

  1. The last family promotion we saw was when Gary Pinkel hired nephew Alex Grinch in 2012. That one worked out pretty well. And now Grinch has helped to groom Odom.
  2. If you’re still trying to read the tea leaves in regard to the structure of Mizzou’s defense moving forward, let’s just say that having an outside linebackers coach is much more common for a 3-4 defense than a 4-3. In fact, offhand, I do not think I’ve ever seen a team with a 4-3 defense hiring an OLBs coach. Granted, Mizzou likes to classify itself as “multiple,” but it spent a lot of time with four down linemen last year.
  3. That will be interesting to watch moving forward, especially since the move means that Ryan Walters will now be coaching the entire secondary. You don’t set it up so that one guy coaches four players (five in case of a nickel defense) if you’re also planning on having an “inside linebackers coach” (Demontie Cross, I guess) who coaches just one.
  4. At least, you don’t unless this is just a favor to Dad. I’m going to assume this isn’t just a favor to Dad.
  5. I am old enough to remember when Brian Odom was being recruited. We thought he would come to Mizzou because of his brother, but he stuck with OU, the home-state school. Senility will set in any day now.

Welcome, Coach!