Mizzou rewards Odom with extension, but he remains SEC’s lowest-paid coach
COLUMBIA, MO. • After guiding Missouri to its first bowl game in three years, Barry Odom was rewarded with a two-year contract extension, though financial terms of his original five-year deal remain the same.
Odom’s new deal lasts through Feb. 28, 2023, according to the memorandum of understanding released Saturday. The MOU is subject to approval by university system president Mun Choi and the Board of Curators at a future meeting.
“I am excited for the future of this program, as we have made positive steps over the course of the last two years,” Odom said in a statement released by MU. “I am so appreciative of my team and staff; they continually work together to make Mizzou Football a great representative of our University.
“The stability that this will provide for us to continue to provide a foundation for our student-athletes to be successful for the next 50 years of their lives is important. The leadership from Mr. (Jim) Sterk and our administration is moving Mizzou forward in a great way, and I am certainly grateful for their support.”
After a 4-8 debut season in 2016 and a 1-5 start this fall, Odom led the Tigers on a six-game winning streak to finish the regular season 7-5 and 4-4 in the SEC, tied for third place in the East Division. The Tigers will play Texas (6-6) in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 27 in Houston. Mizzou will attempt to become just the second team in FBS history to win eight games after starting the year 1-5.
With a guaranteed salary of $2.35 million, Odom will remain the lowest paid head coach in the Southeastern Conference. This past season, Odom made more than Ole Miss interim coach Matt Luke, but the Rebels removed the interim tag last month and Luke’s salary was raised to $3 million for next year.
All six new SEC coaches across the league will make more than Odom, according to published reports in recent weeks: Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher ($7.5 million), Florida’s Dan Mullen ($6 million), Tennessee’s Jeremy Pruitt ($4 million), Arkansas’ Chad Morris ($3.5 million), Luke and Mississippi State’s Joe Morehead ($2.7 million).
Odom’s buyout doesn’t change under the extension, which means it remains among the cheapest in the power conferences. Should Missouri fire Odom without cause before his deal expires, the school only owes Odom his base salary ($450,000) for every year left on his deal. According to USA Today’s latest salary database, Odom’s 2017 buyout ($1,462,500) ranked second-to-last among Power 5 coaches and 76th among all FBS coaches. Twenty-seven coaches in the Group of Five conferences have higher buyouts than Odom. That makes Odom’s extension low risk compared to other contracts around the power conferences and gives Mizzou’s administration significant flexibility should the program’s progress stall under Odom’s watch.
“We are pleased that we were able to reward Coach Odom for his performance this season with a two-year contract extension,” Sterk said. “Coach Odom and his staff are building a strong foundation for Mizzou Football that will ensure continued academic and athletic success for our student-athletes
“Mizzou Football has great momentum on the field with six-straight victories heading into the Texas Bowl, one of the top football Graduation Success Rates in the Southeastern Conference and ground-breaking for the new Memorial Stadium South End Zone Building slated for early next year. Coach Odom has tremendous passion for Mizzou and I look forward to watching him lead our football program for many years to come.”
The only financial change to Odom’s original contract is a new incentive payment. In any season that MU’s ticket revenue for home games exceeds $11.7 million, Odom will receive an equal amount to 20 percent of that amount over $11.7 million. According to the most recent data submitted to the NCAA, Mizzou’s football ticket revenue during the 2015 season was $13,282,209. Under those figures, Odom would have made a bonus of $316,442. Memorial Stadium’s capacity will decrease starting with 2018 with the construction of the new south end zone complex, which could explain the lower threshold for Odom’s incentive payment.
Under his original contract, Odom can earn up to $1.025 million in one-year performance incentives. This year, he will earn an incentive of $50,000 for making a bowl game. That payment increases to $75,000 if the Tigers win the Texas Bowl.
Odom has several vacancies on his coaching staff that he must fill in the coming weeks. On Tuesday, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel accepted the head-coaching job at Central Florida. Odom learned Friday that offensive line coach Glen Elarbee is leaving MU to join Heupel at UCF. Odom will also hire a linebackers coach to replace former coordinator DeMontie Cross, whom he fired in September. On Friday, Odom formally promoted secondary coach Ryan Walters to defensive coordinator.