Senior safety announced as Burlsworth Trophy nominee
2013 Memphis Football National Signing Day.
In Barry Odom's first season as the Tigers' defensive coordinator, Memphis led the league in total defense in conference games played in 2012, giving up just 331.6 yards per game.
Memphis lowered its total yardage allowed in conference games from the previous season by 30 percent.
Odom joined the Memphis coaching staff as defensive coordinator in 2011 after spending nine years on the staff at his alma mater, Missouri (2003-11). In addition to serving as the Tigers' defensive coordinator, Odom coaches the team's safeties.
In 2012, Memphis ranked 50th nationally in defense (383.58 yards per game). The Tigers made a 67-position improvement from the 2011 season when they ranked 117th with a 491.00 total defense average. Memphis' 138-yard rushing defense total for the year ranked 32nd nationally.
Memphis ranked last nationally in pass defense for the 2011 season but in Odom's first season the Tigers made a 42-spot improvement, allowing 245.58 yards passing in 2012.
Memphis also ranked 38th in quarterback sacks (29 total), more than doubling the number of sacks it had the previous season (14).
In Odom's first season at the University of Memphis, the Tigers posted a 4-4 mark in Conference USA play, winning more league games in 2012 than the previous three seasons combined. Memphis' 4-8 overall record marked the team's best finish since 2008.
A valuable part of Missouri's operations staff starting in 2003, Odom showed his versatility when he jumped into recruiting responsibilities in December of 2008 to fill the void when former assistant Dave Christensen left to become head coach at Wyoming after the Tigers' 2008 Alamo Bowl victory. Odom's hard work and personable nature helped secure the signings of several in-state standouts, as well as getting a late commitment from Louisiana's L'Damian Washington. He was also the lead recruiter on a handful of signees with Missouri's 2010 recruiting class which was ranked 21st nationally by Rivals.com, the highest-ranked class in Tigers history.
Under his guidance, senior strong safety Kenji Jackson developed into the unquestioned leader of the 2011 Tigers defense. Jackson ranked fourth on the team with a career-best 71 tackles and led Missouri with three interceptions on his way to earning All-Big 12 honorable mention accolades.
The 2010 season saw the Tigers defense emerge as one of the most improved in the nation and the Big 12 Conference. Despite playing against high-scoring Big 12 offenses each week, the Tigers led the conference and ranked sixth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 16.08 points per game. Additionally, thanks to the play of his safeties, Missouri ranked 11th nationally in pass efficiency defense, holding opposing quarterbacks to a 108.45 rating.
Senior Jarrell Harrison emerged as a solid playmaker in 2010 under Odom's direction, and for his efforts, Harrison earned All-Big 12 honorable mention distinction.
In 2009, Odom oversaw the rapid development of junior college transfer Jasper Simmons into an instant impact player. Simmons earned All-Big 12 honorable mention recognition and also received votes for the Big 12 Conference's Defensive Newcomer of the Year award. Simmons ended the year as the squad's fourth-leading tackler (73 hits) and added two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and an interception that sealed Missouri's win over rival Iowa State.
The 2008 season was Odom's second as director of operations, after handling the duties of director of recruiting the previous two seasons (2006-07). Prior to the 2007 season, he added assistant athletics director to his title. Some of the many duties he performed in that role included overseeing the football budget, coordinating team travel, handling compliance issues, scheduling of facilities, assisting with recruiting operations and managing the program's day-to-day overall operations.
Odom also coordinated all public relations activities and community service events that required the presence of football student-athletes. He also oversaw all organizational aspects from a football perspective related to Missouri's 2007 Cotton Bowl and 2008 Alamo Bowl trips.
He served a key role on the design and planning team for Missouri's $16 million expansion and renovation project of the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex, which is the state-of-the-art, day-to-day home of the Tigers program.
Odom made the jump to the collegiate ranks in 2002 after spending three seasons at the high school level, including a successful two-year stint as head coach at Columbia's (Mo.) Rock Bridge High School.
A native of Ada, Okla., Odom was a four-year letterman at linebacker for Missouri from 1996-99, completing his career in the No. 5 spot on the school's career tackles list with 362 stops. He was a key player on Tigers squads that went to bowl games in 1997 and 1998.
Odom graduated from Missouri in December of 1999 and served as a Tiger Scholarship Fund development intern. In that role, he assisted with various fundraising projects while earning his master's in education from Missouri. He returned to his home state of Oklahoma in July of 2000 to serve as an assistant coach for Ada High School, which finished the season as state runner-up.
Odom moved back to Columbia in the spring of 2001 as head coach of Rock Bridge High School, and he quickly built the Bruins into a power. Rock Bridge went 6-4 and won the conference championship that fall. He followed with an 8-4 campaign in 2002 that saw Rock Bridge reach the state playoffs semifinal round.
Odom and his wife, Tritia, have two sons, James Trump Odom and Garyt Robert.