FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas associate head coach/defensive coordinator/safeties coach Barry Odom has been nominated for the Broyles Award, which honors the nation’s top assistant coach, the Frank and Barbara Broyles Foundation announced Tuesday. The award was created in 1996 and named after former Arkansas head coach Frank Broyles, recognizing his legacy of selecting and developing great assistants during his hall of fame career.
Arkansas relied on Odom’s defense to record three SEC wins, its most conference victories since 2016. Through the first eight league games, the Razorbacks improved in almost every defensive category over the previous year, allowing 9.0 points, 43.9 total yards and 70.6 rushing yards per game fewer than 2019. Behind the first-year coordinator, the Razorback defense has intercepted 13 passes, more than doubling the team’s output of 2018 (5) and 2019 (6) combined. Odom also improved Arkansas’ red zone defense by 12-percent and third down conversion defense by 10-percent from last season.
Odom, who directly works with the safeties, has mentored redshirt freshman Jalen Catalon into one of the SEC’s most dynamic defensive backs. The safety leads all FBS freshmen with 89 total tackles and 48 solo tackles and is the only player in the country this season to have 85+ tackles and at least three interceptions. The Jim Thorpe Award, which honors the nation’s best defensive back, named Catalon a semifinalist earlier this week.
The Razorbacks’ four SEC Defensive Player of the Week awards this year are the most in a single-season in school history. Catalon, S Joe Foucha and LBs Bumper Pool and Grant Morgan have each won the award this season.
The Hogs host Alabama on Saturday, Dec. 12 in the regular season finale. The game will kick off at 11 a.m. and air on ESPN.