University of Missouri

Mizzou extends Barry Odom’s contract; he’s no longer SEC’s lowest-paid football coach

Barry Odom after Tigers win over Arkansas: ‘We are playing our best ball’

Missouri head coach Barry Odom breaks down the team's win over the Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday Nov. 23, 2018.
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Missouri head coach Barry Odom breaks down the team's win over the Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday Nov. 23, 2018.

It’s been a good week for Barry Odom.

After Mizzou earned a Liberty Bowl bid on Sunday and landed former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant on Tuesday, the Tigers gave their football coach a contract extension on Wednesday.

Odom’s new contract runs through 2024, a two-year extension, and raises his base pay to $3.05 million, a $600,000 raise. The former Missouri linebacker replaced Gary Pinkel in 2015 and has gone 19-18 in his first three seasons with two bowl appearances. The University of Missouri Board of Curators approved Odom’s contract on Wednesday.

“Coach Odom has a tremendous passion for teaching and developing our student-athletes, on and off the field, which aligns well with our departmental philosophy to Win it Right,” Mizzou athletic director Jim Sterk said. “With this new contract, we felt it was important to recognize Coach Odom’s commitment to our football program and University, and we look forward to his continued leadership and watching him make a positive difference in the lives of our student-athletes.”

After a 1-5 start last season, Odom and MU ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak but lost to Texas in the Texas Bowl. Missouri gave Odom a contract extension through 2022 that kept his salary intact, mainly for recruiting purposes. It wasn’t exactly an endorsement from Sterk, but it wasn’t a pink slip either.

The new contract moves Odom, 42, from the lowest-paid SEC football coach to No. 11, ahead of Ole Miss coach Matt Luke, who makes $3 million annually. Odom’s academic and athletics incentives package was increased to $1.6 million.

Odom’s new contract automatically gives him a one-year extension for each nine-win season — the Tigers are 8-4 entering the Liberty Bowl — and gives him a $37,500 raise for each bowl berth starting in the 2019 season. His agent is Jimmy Sexton of CAA, who represents every head coach in the SEC.

Any week that Missouri appears in the AP Top 25, coaches or College Football Playoff polls nets Odom an extra $5,000 that tops out at $80,000. Odom also receives a 20 percent bonus of the amount of Mizzou football ticket revenue that exceeds $11.7 million.

If Mizzou decides to buy out Odom from the contract it will owe him his base salary of $450,000 multiplied by the number of years remaining, which would equate to around $3 million as of Wednesday. He would also receive money from a deferred compensation fund that grows by $150,000 each year. If Odom terminates the contract on or before Feb. 28, 2019, he must pay MU $2.35 million.

“I’m excited and thankful to lead our program and student-athletes for years to come,” Odom said. “I’m excited to move forward with Jim Sterk, we have the same vision in building Mizzou Football and providing a platform for our young men to be successful in all aspects of their lives. We have a great staff in place who care about winning the right way and I’m appreciative of their efforts. I’m grateful for our players, and I’m honored to be their coach.”

The memorandum of understanding regarding Odom’s contract extension does not include any information about the salary pool available for Mizzou’s assistant football coaches. Missouri just lost tight ends coach Joe Jon Finley to Texas A&M despite offering him a slightly higher salary.

Missouri’s assistant coaching pool is $4.38 million, according to a recent USA Today poll, which puts the Tigers No. 20 nationally and No. 10 among SEC schools. Athletics department spokesperson Nick Joos said that Mizzou agreed to raise Odom’s assistant coach salary pool but did not disclose a number.

The Tigers play Oklahoma State in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31. Kickoff is slated for 2:45 p.m.

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Alex Schiffer

Alex Schiffer covers University of Missouri athletics for The Star.

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