Utah State Basketball Hires UMBC Head Coach Ryan Odom To Same Position

Apr 5, 2021, 12:30 PM | Updated: 2:57 pm
Ryan Odom - UMBC...
Head coach Ryan Odom of the UMBC Retrievers signals to his players during the second round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Kansas State Wildcats at the Spectrum Center on March 18, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Wildcats won 50-43. Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State AD John Hartwell has hired UMBC head coach Ryan Odom to the same position for the Aggies basketball program.

Ryan Odom has spent the past five years with UMBC and will now reportedly make the jump to the mid-major ranks at Utah State.

Utah State announced the hiring on Twitter on Monday afternoon. Hartwell released the following statement:

“We are beyond excited to announce Ryan Odom as Utah State’s new men’s basketball head coach,” said 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.”

“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.”

Odom achieved something that no other coach or program has done in Division I college basketball history. In the 2018 NCAA Tournament, Odom and No. 16 seed UMBC knocked off No. 1 seed Virginia 74-54 in the first round of the Big Dance. It was the first time in NCAA Tournament history that a 16-seed beat a No. 1-seed.

The Retrievers went on to lose to No. 9 Kansas State in the second round. That season was only the second time since UMBC joined the Division I ranks that they reached the NCAA Tournament.

Odom began his coaching career in 1996 when he was a graduate assistant at South Florida. In 1997, he became an assistant coach at Furman until 1999 when he went to UNC Ashville for one season.

After the stint at UNC Ashville, Odom left for an assistant coaching position at American from 2000-03. He made the jump to power-five program Virginia Tech from 2003-10. Then he was named the associate head coach for Charlotte from 2010-15, where he became the interim head coach, going 8-11 for the 49ers in 2015. Odom then took his first head coaching job at Lenoir-Rhyne, a Division II program for one season.

That’s when he became the head coach of UMBC. During his time as the head coach of the Retrievers, they went 97-60, winning the America East Tournament in 2018 and the regular season title in 2021. They went to the CIT in his first season, reaching the semifinals before the magical run the following season in the NCAA Tournament.

Odom will take over the Utah State program after Craig Smith departed to become the head coach of the Utah Runnin’ Utes. In three seasons under Smith, led the Aggies reached the NCAA Tournament every season and won two Mountain West Tournament titles and reached the title game the third time. He helped Utah State to a 74-24 (.755) record as the head coach.

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Utah State Basketball Hires UMBC Head Coach Ryan Odom To Same Position