Odom set to stay in Scarlet and Gray

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Barry Odom conducting summer camp at the Fertitta Football Complex. Photo by DJ Cabanlong.

With the next UNLV football season seemingly right around the corner, a lot of anticipation has been building surrounding the team after their previous year. 

Much of that has to do with the reshaping of the program after the signing of the 13th head coach of the team, Barry Odom, and his coaching staff. 

Many of the Rebel faithful have asked during his tenure as head coach if he will remain with the program for an extended period of time after his quick success, and that answer may have just been received after an announcement across social media on April 12. 

News rang out across the campus and the city of Las Vegas that Barry Odom had signed a new contract with UNLV to stick around through the 2028 season. 

In his newly structured contract, Odom is set to make an additional $2.4 million by the end of his deal reportedly making him the highest paid coach in the Mountain West Conference. 

Shortly after the announcement, Director of Athletics Erick Harper spoke about Odom’s importance to the team’s success last season. 

“We are obviously thrilled about what Barry Odom and his staff did in year one leading Rebel football,” Harper said. “The program is on an upward trajectory, and we could not be more excited about him leading the way. Barry continues to be a man of his word, focusing on growing all phases of the program the right way. He is committed to his players, coaches, and staff, and with the newly expanded CFP, he is laying a foundation that gives Rebel Football a chance to compete at the highest level. I look forward to working with Coach Odom for years to come.” 

Coach Odom also received praise for his work in a short period of time from UNLV president Keith E. Whitfield when asked how much he meant to the program and the conversations between them.

“When I first met Coach Odom a little over a year ago, I shared our expectations for UNLV Football – including that we want our team to compete and win at a high level and be embedded in the incredible culture of our community,” Whitfield said. “He’s met many of those expectations after just one year. Coach Odom’s exceptional work ethic, strong character and commitment to success have been evident since day one, and I’m proud of the program he is building and the direction of Rebel Football under his leadership.”

The Rebels finished the previous season with a record of 9-5 while finishing third in the overall Mountain West Conference standings. 

Additionally, the Rebels were elected to their first bowl in over a decade while narrowly falling to the Boise State Broncos in the Mountain West Championship. 

These accomplishments led to Barry Odom’s Mountain West Coach of the Year win, the first time a Rebel head coach has received the award since 2000. 

Odom was also the program’s first finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, awarded annually to college football’s top head coach in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.

When asked after the announcement of his extension, Coach Odom made a statement about the program moving forward and the support from the Rebel faithful.

“I’m excited about the foundation we have built in the past 16 months and look forward to our strong future. I’m thankful for our staff and student-athletes- they are on a mission to win a championship,” Odom said. “I’m also thankful for the tremendous support we receive from the UNLV community, its fans and business partners, and the extraordinary city of Las Vegas as we build a program in which we can all be proud. Together, I’m confident that we will continue to move the program forward and have success.”

The Rebels will face a challenging path next season as they are slated to play in prominent matchups against Syracuse, Boise State, Oregon State and a rematch of the Guaranteed Rate Bowl against the Kansas Jayhawks.

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