UNLV football officially announces Barry Odom as new head coach

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UNLV football officially announced Barry Odom has the 13th head coach of the Rebels. S&G Stock Photo from Jordan Anders-McClain.

UNLV football officially announced its new head coach, Barry Odom, last Wednesday at a press conference at Richard Tam Alumni Center.

The hiring came after the firing of former coach Marcus Arroyo on Nov. 28 after the Rebels finished 5-7.

Odom recently coached at the University of Arkansas as a defensive coordinator for the last three seasons. He was the head coach at the University of Missouri from 2016-2019 and went 25-25. The Tigers won at least six games three of his four seasons.

“[I am] overwhelmed with excitement, with joy, with extreme enthusiasm to be in Las Vegas and to be part of this community to be part of this wonderful institution,” Odom said.

“I didn’t know what I was walking into today [his press conference], but the support … and the plan shows that the vision is of championship level.”

Championship caliber teams are a key aspect that has been lacking in the program’s history. Since becoming members of the Mountain West Conference in 1999, the program has yet to win a Mountain West Title.       

Odom’s introductory ceremony was jam-packed with players, faculty, fans, and the media. The occasion proved to demonstrate the magnitude of Odom’s arrival and the hope and faith in his philosophy to turn this program into a “successful championship environment.”

The 46-year-old is looking forward to leading the program to create that standard in his role. 

“I think they’re a hungry football team that’s looking for leadership and guidance,” Odom said. “I’ve got a chance to be an educator and a teacher.” 

Odom’s hiring made impressions of great anticipation for what is to come, and the hopeful success that the football program looks to accomplish in the future. .

Quarterback Doug Brumfield, who started last season 4-1 before injury, said, “Absolutely,” in regards to his excitement as Odom takes the helm of the football program as the new head coach.

Brumfield, who is a leader of the team, is a representative of the thoughts in the locker room. After the press conference, Brumfield used his social media platform to reach out to his teammates publicly. by tweeting “come back” to wide receiver Kyle Williams who entered the transfer portal.

Based upon the remarks and atmosphere of the press conference, this may be the beginning of UNLV football becoming the team to beat in the Mountain West.

“There’s a great focus on getting the high school kids in the program… They continue to build the culture of your team,” Odom said on the recruiting front. “With the addition of the portal, I think if there’s an immediate need on your team, you’ve got to be selective with that.”

It is now officially the start of the Odom era and he gave the blueprint of what his plan is for the UNLV program. 

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