Sam Pittman details how Arkansas stepped up to keep Barry Odom this offseason
Following his outstanding debut as the new Arkansas defensive coordinator, Barry Odom was a hot commodity this offseason.
While the defensive coach may have had the opportunity to leave Fayetteville this winter, Sam Pittman and the Arkansas administration stepped up to keep Odom happy.
You do that by making the Razorback defensive coordinator the highest-paid coordinator in program history. Odom is now under contract through the 2023 season and is set to make $1.75 million per season to coach the Arkansas defense.
During a recent appearance on The Saturday Down South Podcast, Pittman shared a behind-the-scenes look at what took place in Fayetteville this offseason to keep Odom.
“Barry has stayed here for the last two years for a significant amount of money less than what he could’ve made if he left,” Pittman said on the show. “Now part of that is because of the man Barry Odom is. Part of that is because of our friendship and his belief in Arkansas and part of it is our administration. It took 15 minutes with our administration to get his contract what Barry was comfortable with this past time. The time before, it was a walk in the indoor (facility) with myself, (Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek) and him.
“You have to give the university credit because they’re going, ‘Hey, we know his value to us and let’s get it done.’ In those situations, you don’t have time. You can’t say, ‘Well, let’s get it done in 2-3 days. The guy might be gone.”
So what will it take for Odom to leave Arkansas?
In Pittman’s mind, it’s going to take a head coaching opportunity at the right school for Odom to leave the Razorbacks.
“I don’t see Barry leaving here unless he gets a fine head coaching job,” Pittman continued. “I think he’s very happy and very content with what he’s doing here as long as the finances aren’t that much different between here and another university.
“He’s gonna get a job offered to him every single year, and probably more than one. So are some other coaches on our staff. The university has certainly been good to me in the fact that the question is, ‘Do you want him to stay?’ And if the answer is ‘Yes,’ then they’ve been very, very good with matching dollars for other schools or other opportunities for my coaches.”