Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
Barry Odom has taken over Gary Pinkel’s old job but he won’t be taking home the same paycheck.
The University of Missouri System Board of Curators approved Odom’s contract in its meeting Friday. Odom, who has no prior collegiate head-coaching experience, will receive a guaranteed $2.35 million annually. Pinkel, the program’s all-time winnningest coach, received a contract extension before last season that guaranteed him $4.02 million per year.
Odom’s contract, which lasts until Feb. 28, 2021, pays less annually than that of any other head football coach at a public Southeastern Conference school. Vanderbilt is the conference’s lone private school and does not release contract information.
“I’m very grateful to (director of athletics) Mack Rhoades, chancellor Hank Foley, (system) president Mike Middleton, the Board of Curators and the entire university administration for this opportunity,” Odom said in a statement. “Through this process they have shown an unwavering commitment to provide us with the resources we need to attract and retain an elite staff and support our student-athletes in order to compete at the highest level.”
Odom was hired earlier this month to take over for Pinkel, who resigned after the 2015 season because of health concerns.
Odom’s contract includes a base salary of $450,000 and a guaranteed non-salary compensation of $1.9 million per year. The latter amount includes $475,000 for media appearances, apparel rights and “public relations and stewardship appearances.” The 39-year-old coach will also receive a deferred $100,000 at the end of each annual contract period if he is “in good standing.”
Odom can make up to $1.5 million in incentives annually. The incentives are based on “academic performance, social responsibility, athletic performance and coaching recognition,” per the statement. Odom would make $250,000 if Missouri wins a conference championship and $250,000 if the Tigers play in a “New Year’s Six” bowl, which includes the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Peach, Rose and Sugar bowls. Those incentives can be earned once each within the contract term and would be considered part of Odom’s non-salary figure.
Pinkel’s most recent contract gave him the chance to make $725,000 in incentives. Before his extension in April, which was also set to run through 2021, Pinkel was able to make up to $1.825 million in incentives.
Other incentives for Odom’s contract have yet to be finalized. The board, which met Thursday and Friday, approved a memorandum of understanding Friday that was released later that day by the athletic department. The memorandum stands in place of a complete contract until one is finalized. It includes the buyout details of the contract: $2.35 million on or before Feb. 28, 2019; $1.175 million from March 1, 2019 to Feb. 29, 2020; and $587,500 from March 1, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021.
The contract retroactively began Dec. 3, the day Missouri announced Odom as its 32nd head coach. It includes a mutual option for a two-year extension.
The 2015 season was Odom’s first as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator. His salary was $625,000, according to an open-records request made by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. At the time, it ranked 11th among SEC defensive coordinators.
The discrepancy between Odom’s and Pinkel’s head-coaching salaries should give Missouri the opportunity to spend more on coordinators as Odom fills out his staff. Offensive coordinator Josh Henson, who is not expected to return to Missouri, made $675,000 last season according to the Post-Dispatch, fourth in the SEC.
At $7.09 million annually, Alabama’s Nick Saban is the highest-paid coach in the SEC.