Utah State hires UMBC’s Ryan Odom as next head basketball coach

Sports

Odom, who led UMBC to biggest upset in NCAA Tournament history, replaces Craig Smith

UMBC head coach Ryan Odom directs his team against Kansas State during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, March 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – The man who led the greatest upset in NCAA Tournament history has been tabbed to lead the Utah State basketball program,

Former University of Maryland-Baltimore County head coach Ryan Odom has been hired to replace Craig Smith, who took the head coaching job at the University of Utah after three seasons with the Aggies.

Odom led UMBC to the only victory by a 16-seed in NCAA Tournament history, beating Virginia in 2018, 74-54.

“My family and I are thrilled to be joining Utah State University and the Cache Valley community,” said Odom. “With President (Noelle) Cockett and Vice President John Hartwell, there is an outstanding foundation and great leadership, and I can’t tell you how excited we are to experience ‘The HURD,’ and build upon the storied history and recent success of Aggie basketball.”

“We are beyond excited to announce Ryan Odom as Utah State’s new men’s basketball head coach,” said Utah State athletic director Hartwell. “We had great interest from many qualified candidates and Ryan quickly distinguished himself as the clear choice. Ryan has a proven track record of accomplishments with his student-athletes, both in the classroom and on the court, and we are confident he will continue to elevate the success of our Aggie basketball program.”

In five seasons at UMBC, Odom had a record of 97-60. This past season, the Retrievers were 14-6, and won a share of the America East Conference title, but did not make the Big Dance.

Odom began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at South Florida. He also had stops as an assistant coach with Furman, UNC Asheville, and American, before spending seven years at Virginia Tech. In 2010, he joined the coaching staff of Charlotte, serving as an assistant for five years, including being interim head coach.

In all, Odom is 126-81 (.609) in seven years as a head coach and has 24 years of collegiate coaching experience.

Odom takes over a Utah State program that is losing its best player, Neemias Queta to the NBA Draft.

Smith qualified for the NCAA Tournament in all of his three seasons at Utah State.

Ryan is the son of Dave Odom, who retired in 2008 as the head coach at South Carolina. The elder Odom earned SEC Coach of the Year honors while at South Carolina in 2004 and ACC Coach of the Year honors in 1991,1994 and 1995, while at Wake Forest.

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