After losing Josh Heupel as an offensive coordinator to be the head coach at UCF, Missouri head coach Barry Odom needed to find a replacement. He ended up bringing former Tennessee head coach and Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Derek Dooley into the Missouri program to fill the void. For Dooley, a chance to return to the college game and in the SEC is one he embraced, and he seems to be looking forward to putting his past at Tennessee behind him as he hopes to help keep Missouri moving forward.
“Getting back into the crosshairs is a little bit more my personality,” Dooley said Friday at his first press conference with Missouri media, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It’s easy to stay removed from the firing line. You guys have the ammo and you’re firing away. That’s OK. That’s your job. But there’s a lot of personalities (in coaching) that don’t like that. And that’s OK. They’re great coaches. But I guess that’s not mine. I’m a glutton for punishment.”
As far as Odom is concerned, he seems optimistic about hiring an offensive coordinator with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
“He’s got something to prove,” Odom said. Odom also said he has something to prove. After a rough start to the 2017 season, Odom made a passionate claim he was the right guy to coach the Tigers. Sure enough, Missouri turned things around in a big way to reach a bowl game. The season ended with a loss to Texas in the bowl game, but that gives Odom a sense of unfinished business, a mantra his entire program can buy into this offseason.
Dooley certainly does. Back in the same division as Tenessee, Dooley hopes his work as offensive coordinator at Mizzou will erase the image he had when he went 15-21 as head coach of the Vols. Dooley will have a talented offense to work with next fall, which is led by the return of the SEC’s leading passer from last season, Drew Lock.
More than satisfied with the in-season turnaround of the football program in 2017, Missouri has extended the contract of Barry Odom by two years. The school announced the contract extension Saturday, locking in Odom through the 2023 season with the new extension.
“I am excited for the future of this program, as we have made positive steps over the course of the last two years,” Odom said. “I am so appreciative of my team and staff; they continually work together to make Mizzou Football a great representative of our University.
The contract extension still has to formally be approved by the university board and president, but that should be merely a formality. The financial details of Odom’s contract will remain in place as previously agreed to, but it is noted Odom would be eligible to receive a cut of the ticket sales if Missouri makes enough on tickets.
“According to the MOU, in any season during the agreement that ticket revenue from Mizzou home football games exceeds $11.7M, Odom will receive an amount equal to 20% of that amount,” a statement from the school explains.
Odom is losing a few caches to other jobs this season but is making adjustments to provide some stability after losing Josh Heupel to be UCF’s head coach.
The Missouri Tigers have been a bit of a mess this season, which means the changes for 2017 are already underway. Today, on the eve of Thanksgiving, Missouri has fired defensive line coach Jackie Shipp.
“Jackie Shipp is no longer coaching for us, due to an internal matter where his conduct didn’t meet our expectations for coaches,” Missouri coach Barry Odom said in a released statement. “We have a very high level of expectation for our student athletes, and for our staff that applies to an even higher level.”
Bu this may go a little deeper than just coaching an inadequate defensive line. According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Shipp may have been fired for his conduct with a player prior to last week’s road game at Tennessee. An argument with a player led to Shipp not coaching in the game and not traveling home with the team.
Shipp joined the Missouri program this season to fill a vacancy left by Chris Wilson, who accepted a job with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. Shipp joined the Mizzou program after three years with Arizona State and a long stretch with Oklahoma.
Missouri’s defensive depth just got hit with a serious injury big. Missouri head coach Barry Odom announced today linebacker Mike Scherer and defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr. have been lost for the rest of the season due to ACL injuries.
“It rips my heart out that he’s done everything he’s done and it ends for him with that injury,” Odom said when reflecting on the injury to Scherer. The senior also suffered a torn MCL in addition to the ACL injury. Scherer’s season comes to an end after leading the Tiger sin tackles this season.
This is the second season in a row Beckner has injured his ACL. Beckner tore his ACL and MCL last November, but the latest injury was to the opposite knee.
While Scherer will be forced to call it a career, Odom said Beckner will most likely be able to make a return to the team in 2017. It is just a matter of when he will be able to rejoin the team, as his rehab would likely linger into the winter and spring months. As noted by Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Beckner did not miss any preseason camp activities this year.
There was some positive injury news for report from Missouri. Defensive back John Gibson and safety Thomas Wilson each returned to practice on Tuesday after having a strained knee and taking a hit that required a concussion test, respectively. Wilson was not diagnosed with a concussion, allowing him to return to practice.
It is strike three for Missouri quartreback Maty Mauk. Mauk has been dismissed by the Missouri Tigers football program by new head coach Barry Odom. The dismissal comes just days after the school indefinitely suspended Mauk after a video of the quarterback surfaced online in which he was believed to be doing drugs.
“I met with Maty Mauk this morning and informed him of my decision to permanently dismiss him from the football program,” a statement from Odom said. “When I met with Maty back in December, I wanted to give him an opportunity for a fresh start, but I also made it very clear what our expectations would be moving forward. After gathering information and speaking with a number of individuals this week, it is clear Maty has failed to live up to those expectations by violating team rules in recent weeks.”
Odom did reference the red flag video that went viral earlier in the week, but suggested he believes the footage captured on social media was from “a long time ago.” Odom said regardless of when the video was recorded, Mauk still managed to fall short of the bar set at Missouri moving forward.
“We believe it is in his best interest to focus on his personal life and his academic career at this time,” Odom said. “We remain committed to helping him work through the challenges and earn his degree. Our hope is that he will grow from this time and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
Mauk had been suspended twice during the 2015 season, so this latest sequence of events could be best summarized as Mauk’s strike three with the program. Given Mauk’s previous violations of team rules under Gary Pinkel, it was clear Odom needed to stand firm with his decision here to establish order within the program under his guidance.
Mauk’s Missouri career now ends with 42 touchdown passes, 4,373 yards and four rushing touchdowns. Mauk can still land on his feet with another college football program in the fall and he still has a year of eligibility remaining. With Mauk no longer in the picture in Columbia though, it would appear Drew Lock will be the frontrunner to be Missouri’s quarterback in 2016. The freshman played in 12 games last season, completing just 49 percent of his passes for 1,332 yards and four touchdowns with eight interceptions. Marvin Zanders will also be in the running starting this spring following the recent news of Eddie Printz pursuing a graduate transfer out of Missouri this season.