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Missouri replaces Gary Pinkel with former Tigers linebacker Barry Odom

The Tigers have reportedly found the successor to Gary Pinkel from within the program.

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

The Missouri Tigers have hired defensive coordinator Barry Odom as their new head coach, the school announced Thursday. He was only Missouri's defensive coordinator for one season, but played linebacker for the Tigers in the late 1990s and was on the coaching staff under Gary Pinkel from 2003-2008.

The move is not a surprise, as Odom has been one of the front runners for the job since Gary Pinkel announced he was retiring. Our Missouri blog, Rock M Nation, had this to say about him when they were considering potential head coach candidates back in November:

I don't hate the idea [of hiring Odom as head coach]. We know the players love him, and in theory, promoting Odom would allow him to move Craig Kuligowski up to defensive coordinator (therefore keeping the best defensive line coach in the country in the fold), keep some other Pinkel assistants involved (Ryan Walters, for instance), and still bring in some new blood on the offensive side of the ball. If we think of this as the worst-case scenario -- if only because Missouri is probably the only power conference team considering him for a head coaching job -- it's a pretty great worst case.

Missouri's players were ecstatic upon hearing the news, mobbing Odom and chanting his name:

Odom was also linked with the Memphis job, where he served as an assistant and defensive coordinator from 2009-2014. The Tigers will reportedly hire Arizona State OC Mike Norvell.

As the defensive coordinator for the Tigers this year, Odom has been in charge of one of the country's best defenses. Mizzou is seventh in the nation in points allowed, averaging 16.2 points per game, despite being paired with one of the country's most anemic offenses. They allowed only 4.32 yards per play this year, third in the nation, and were 15th in Defensive S&P+ rating.