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Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom to become next head coach at UNLV

The Hogs defensive coordinator will take over in the desert in 2023.

Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen talks with Arkansas acting head coach Barry Odom before a football game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Gainesville Sun-USA TODAY NETWORK

Former Missouri head coach and current Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom will be the next head coach of the UNLV Rebels, per multiple reports.

The Rebs fired native son Marcus Arroyo following a 5-7 season, despite winning the Fremont Cannon over Nevada in the last game of 2021. UNLV has struggled of late in the Mountain West Conference, but still offers all the flash and appeal that a campus just a three-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip should have.

A large donation from the Fertitta Family to an almost-completed football center, as well as playing home games at the brand-new Allegiant Stadium on the other side of I-15, should make this one of the better jobs in the MWC. But can the commuter-heavy school capture the minds, hearts, and dollars of a fan base in the Vegas Valley? That’s a question that’s yet to be answered.

Odom compiled a 25-25 mark at Missouri after taking over for legendary Tigers head coach Gary Pinkel. The program was progressing well since the fallout from the 2015 protests stemming from allegations of racism and lack of diversity on campus and in the MU system. Odom got more wins each season in his first three years, so he was doing well on the field too. However, he went 6-6 in what would be his final season and that didn’t inspire confidence, which eventually led to him being fired.

The Arkansas defense ranked 64th in FBS this season per SP+.

Update 8:15 p.m. The contract details for Odom have been revealed, and it’s a big investment by the MWC school with limited media revenue.