UPDATE: OU has made it official and named Brian Odom the inside linebackers coach.
ORIGINAL (1/14): Following the departure of Tim Kish, the new defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and the Oklahoma Sooners had a role (or perhaps roles) to fill with the linebacker position. It now appears that OU has found its guy in Missouri Tigers outside linebackers coach Brian Odom. According to a report from Power Mizzou’s Gabe DeArmond, OU now plans to hire the Ada native and brother of Mizzou head coach Barry Odom. Last week, it was reported that Odom had turned down an offer, but there was dispute as to whether or not an offer was actually made at the time.
We were told last week Brian Odom has turned down interest from Oklahoma to stay in Columbia. Can’t say for sure what changed. Would look for this news to be official as soon as today.— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) January 14, 2019
An accomplished high school player in the Sooner State, Odom ended up playing running back at Oklahoma in 2000 and 2001 before finishing his playing career at Southeastern Oklahoma. Following a year as a defensive graduate assistant in 2005, he spent 10 seasons working in various performance enhancement roles at the University of Arizona and the University of Houston. In 2015, he was hired as a defensive quality control assistant at Washington State, where he developed a relationship with Grinch. In 2017, his brother brought him to Columbia to be the Tigers’ outside linebackers coach.
The coaching sample size at the position is obviously small for Odom, but Grinch clearly knows the guy and feels comfortable with what he would bring to the table. I remains to be seen whether or not Oklahoma would bring in another LB coach (likely an ILB coach), but I would have to guess that the answer is ‘yes’ when considering his lack of experience. However, there are only spots for five coaches on the defensive side, so in that scenario, would OU elect to roll with one defensive line coach and two DB coaches (meaning adding a CB coach), or vice versa? I would guess the former, but then that likely brings up the status of Ruffin McNeill. In short, there are obviously a lot of variables here, but hopefully things will come into focus soon.