Chances Are Pittman Has Already Contacted Barry Odom's Replacement
Let the speculation as to who's next begin
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Barry Odom will be formally announced as head coach of the UNLV Running Rebels at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.
On Sunday it appeared that Arkansas coach Sam Pittman was going to escape into the bowl season with his defensive coordinator after Tulsa reportedly couldn't get its money right..
Odom was one of coach Sam Pittman's first staff hirings back in 2019 and has basically been the head coach of defense since.
Now, he is headed to the deserts of Nevada after three seasons in Fayetteville and his son has finished his senior season at Shiloh Christian.
Of course, the immediate question is who's next?
No guesses here on exactly who they could get, but with all the heat around Odom involving head coaching positions in the past week, it would seem unlikely that Pittman didn't either put feelers out or at least has a name or two in the back of his mind before Odom boarded a plane bound for the desert.
With the portal open and signing day on the horizon, it's unlikely that Arkansas will wait long for a replacement. Odds are high that the next Razorback defensive coordinator spoke with Pittman Tuesday.
It should be noted that Odom was in every picture Pittman took on his Texas recruiting swing this week. However, he wasn't in photos for the Atlanta portion Tuesday morning.
Considering RJ Johnson is a defensive back and Odom wasn't present, it's likely things were already official by the time the sun rose Tuesday.
Reports eventually came out that by Tuesday afternoon, the now former defensive coordinator was meeting with players on campus.
The Hogs are coming off a 6-6 season that was seriously off the expectations of just about everybody after last season's 9-4 mark that finished with a bowl win over Penn State.
Odom's defenses with the Hogs have given up lots of yards, but actually did well keeping people out of the end zone at times.
Odom's last stint as head coach was at Missouri where he evened his 25-25 overall record with a win over then interim Arkansas head coach Barry Lunney, Jr.
His last bowl appearance was at the Liberty Bowl where his Tigers fell to Oklahoma State in 2018.
When Pittman was hired with the Hogs in December 2019 he didn't waste any time picking Odom and the two have also been fairly close with regular walks discussing various aspects of being a head coach in the SEC.
UNLV fired Marcus Arroyo last week after the Rebels lost six of their last seven games en route to a 5-7 season.
(Portions of this story were contributed by Kent Smith)
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