Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
Barry Odom’s cabinet is officially full.
Odom hired Joe Jon Finley to be Missouri’s tight end coach next year, Odom’s first as head coach. The school announced the hiring Friday.
Finley was an offensive quality control specialist and assistant director of football operations in Baylor in 2015.
“Joe Jon brings great energy and enthusiasm to our program,” said Odom, who was hired in December. “He is a winner who has proven himself in a short time to be a valuable asset offensively in run game organization, concepts and teaching. He has great experience working with the tight-end position at a couple of very successful programs, and he’s gone from playing that position at a very high level to carrying that over into coaching.
“I’m excited about his experience with tempo, as well as his deep ties with recruiting in Texas, where both his father and brother have been high-school coaches. His knowledge of that area, as well as his prior relationships with our staff make him a great fit for what we’re looking for.”
Finley also worked with tight ends at Baylor. He played as a tight end at Oklahoma from 2004-07 and he spent time int the NFL from 2008-12 with San Francisco, Detroit and Carolina.
He was an offensive line coach in 2011 at Los Fresnos (Texas) High School, where he also coached in 2014 as an offensive line coach and a strength and conditioning coordinator. He was an offensive graduate assistant at Oklahoma from 2012-13.
“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity at such a great university and with a program that I believe is going to do big things,” Finley said. “I’m very excited to get to work with coach Odom and the staff he’s put together. I’ve known of coach Odom for a long time, I’d heard about him and his family growing up and I’m very excited to be part of his team. I can tell he’s going to bring great energy and work ethic to the table for this staff and program. I’m also looking forward to working again with Josh Heupel. I know what kind of worker he is and the mind he has, he’s done nothing but win everywhere he’s been. It’s a great step for me at a great place and I can’t wait to get to work.”
Heupel, who was hired in December as Missouri’s offensive coordinator, was a graduate assistant and a quarterbacks coach when Finley played at Oklahoma and a co-offensive coordinator when Finley was a graduate assistant.
Finley also spent time at Oklahoma with Chris Wilson, who is now Missouri’s defensive line coach, and Ryan Walters, Missouri’s safeties coach.
Finley hauled in 775 yards and 10 touchdowns on 62 catches in his playing career at Oklahoma. He was a captain his senior year and was named All-Big 12 honorable mention his junior and senior seasons.
Last season, he worked with the nation’s top offense in scoring and yards gained, as Baylor led the country with 48.1 points per game and 616.2 yards per game. Missouri never met either of those marks in any game last season.
Baylor tight ends accounted for 141 yards and three touchdowns on nine receptions in 2015, led by Gus Penning’s 109 yards on six catches. Missouri tight ends had 33 catches for 279 yards and one touchdown last season, paced by junior Sean Culkin’s 16 catches for 139 yards and the only score.
Finley takes the role held by Josh Henson, who was also Missouri’s offensive coordinator in 2015. Henson was not retained with the staff turnover caused by the resignation of Gary Pinkel.
Details of Finley’s contract have not yet been released.