The Virginia Tech Hokies ended their 2019 regular season on Friday in disappointing fashion with a loss to Virginia. The loss was Virginia Tech’s first to UVa since 2003, but even more noteworthy was Bud Foster’s last regular season game as Tech’s defensive coordinator.
Fortunately for head coach Justin Fuente and Virginia Tech, Bud let everyone know this summer this year was going to be his last. While we all will miss Foster terribly, the early announcement allowed Fuente and athletic director Whit Babcock to get a head start on the search.
On Wednesday, reports began to trickle out that former Missouri head coach Barry Odom would be Tech’s next defensive coordinator. Before we discuss this in depth, lets stress these are not official reports. Some of these leaks are people who want to be called insiders from reading message boards and post on Twitter that they have sources.
One thing we can confirm is there is smoke to this story. Will it end with Odom reuniting with Justin Fuente? We will know soon, perhaps as early as tomorrow.
And, Odom’s recent Twitter follows are also curious.
Many Hokie fans wanted former defensive back and secondary coach, Torrian Gray, to return to Blacksburg as defensive coordinator. Gray, the current secondary coach for Florida, had interest in the gig. And, from all indications, the feeling was mutual.
The difference between Gray and Odom, though, is experience. If Gray came here, it would be his first coordinator gig. Odom. a former standout linebacker at Missouri, was an assistant at his alma mater when Fuente tabbed him to be his first defensive coordinator at Memphis. After three years with Memphis, Odom returned to Mizzou as defensive coordinator in 2015. When longtime Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel stepped down after that season, Odom was named head coach.
In four years with the Tigers, the 43-year-old Odom compiled a record of 25-25. While Mizzou is not known as a powerhouse, Pinkel had them playing at a higher level before he left.
Despite Missouri’s disappointing 2019 season, Odom’s defense still ranked No. 14 in total defense. That’s impressive in the rugged SEC where, at times, the Tigers are playing far more talented teams.
As we discussed on this week’s Talking Turkey podcast, Odom was our prediction. Keep in mind, we all admire and respect Gray. For right now, I do believe Odom would be as close as a slam-dunk hire for Fuente and Virginia Tech as there is. Gray would also be an outstanding hire.
So, Hokies, what’s your hope and prediction?