FAYETTEVILLE — Barry Odom was a successful head coach at Missouri and now he’s the defensive coordinator for Sam Pittman with the University of Arkansas.
Odom could end up being an interim head coach for Arkansas if Pittman had to miss time due to the COVID-19. Pittman was asked recently about the plans in case some coach gets the virus during the season?
“You have to have that,” Pittman said. “It’s just like on offense. Depending on if Kendal (Briles) is going to be on the field or up in the box. If he’s on the field, you better have somebody else that knows the offense as well as he does and able to signal it. Our quarterbacks are certainly responsible for that as well. What the NCAA has done is if somebody has the virus then somebody else can step in. It’s kind of like an emergency situation and all that.
“You have Barry Odom if something happens to me. You have Barry that would step into that role. That’s why we’re ‘two-spotting’. That’s why everybody is getting the same amount of reps in these walk-throughs, because if COVID happens on our football team the next guy has to be available, and he has to know what he’s doing. That’s with the staff, the players, and everybody.”
Odom talked about the situation and like everyone else is certainly hoping neither Pittman or anyone else gets hit with the virus.
“Well, No. 1, Coach Pittman is not going to get it,” Odom said. “I can tell he’s not going to get it. But also, credit to him for the things he’s done organizationally on planning and putting us and moving our program forward every step of the way. He’s done a heck of a job. I’m fortunate that we have the staff that we do. I think – knock on wood – that’s not going to happen, but if something like that were to happen the staff is so great, I would be able to continue to do the things we need to do on defense and then obviously Kendal and I would spend a lot of time going into that game on the management of what that’d look like.
“You have to plan for everything, I understand that. I don’t really know that we change that much. I am fortunate that I’ve got in-game experience of sitting in that chair for the last four years. I think we’d be able to manage and it wouldn’t happen without the staff we have here in place, for sure.”
Odom was 25-25 in four years as head coach of the Tigers including 4-0 against the Razorbacks.