Barry Odom becomes UNLV Rebels’ 13th head football coach 

Source: Arkansas Athletics

Newly-hired UNLV head football coach Barry Odom was introduced today at a press conference just one day after he was hired to the position. Odom most recently served as the defensive coordinator at Arkansas and has a solid background in coaching football, having done so for 22 years. Most notably, he led the Missouri Tigers as head coach from 2016 to 2019. Odom replaces Marcus Arroyo, who posted a 7-23 record in three seasons with the team.

During his introductory press conference, Odom was asked about his previous head coaching experience and said that he is a different coach now than he was then.

“You learn from your opportunities, you learn from your success and failures,” Odom said. “I’m excited to apply some of the things that I learned from the first time when I was a head coach.”

Odom felt fortunate that UNLV believed in him to be the coach to help turn this program around. 

“I’m honored and excited to begin developing a relationship with our student-athletes and provide them a great foundation for success in every area of their lives,” Odom said. 

Taking into account that the Rebel defense ended the year allowing 28.5 points per game (fourth worst in the Mountain West), this is a great hire for the Rebels because Odom has extensive coaching experience in the SEC and has a strong defensive philosophy.

UNLV President Keith Whitfield said he is ecstatic with the hire as Odom brings a lot of intangibles for the program.  

“We have high expectations for UNLV Football, and Coach Odom is a proven leader who will help elevate our program to new levels of success,” Whitfield said. “It’s a great pleasure to welcome the Odom family to our university and Las Vegas.”

Emotions aside, Odom does have a tall task in turning around this program. Winning hasn’t come easy for the Rebels, but Odom is excited to get going.

“I feel the urgency to win and win now,” Odom said. “My goal is to take this team and go win, and win immediately.”

Sustainability was emphasized throughout his opening press conference and Odom stated that he needed to bring back every member of the team from the previous season. Odom held a meeting with the team and noted that everyone arrived early and prepared to listen, which helped the Rebel football team make a great first impression. Odom paused in the middle of his press conference to express gratitude to the players who were also present.

“There is only one Vegas in the world, let’s make it special,” Odom said.

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