Barry Odom speaks out for first time since firing
COLUMBIA - Former MU football coach Barry Odom released a statement Wednesday following his termination over the weekend.
In a tweet, Odom said, in part: "This was never just a job to me! I'm thankful for Coach Gary Pinkel giving me an opportunity in college coaching...I am so thankful for all of my players over the years, you guys have changed my life for the better."
Odom was released on Saturday after the Tigers finished with a close 24-14 win over Arkansas to finish 6-6 on the season.
Athletic Director Jim Sterk said a loss of energy over the second half of the season was concerning and indicated a need for a change in leadership.
"Obviously very tough and he cares very deeply about this institution and I respect the heck out of that. So it's never easy to make a change and he's poured a ton of blood, sweat, and tears into this place," Sterk said.
Odom had a record of 25-25 over four seasons as head coach. He previously played as a linebacker at Mizzou from 1996-1999.
His predecessor Gary Pinkel told KOMU on Monday that his heart goes out to Odom.
"Coach Odom did a good job and he'll get back on his feet and be very very successful," he said.
A national search for a new head coach is underway. Defensive line coach Brick Haley is serving as the team's interim coach until Sterk hires a replacement.