Dawson Odums is staying at Southern, Bethune-Cookman promotes assistant head coach Terry Sims to head coach _lowres

Advocate file photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Southern coach Dawson Odums gets fitted for a cowboy hat as he and players celebrate their 52-45 win over Grambling in the Bayou Classic last month in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Southern coach Dawson Odums isn’t going to Bethune-Cookman.

The Wildcats received permission from the Jaguars on Friday morning to interview Odums, who has led Southern to the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship games in each of his two seasons as head coach.

But they apparently never met with Odums, who was defensive line coach at Bethune-Cookman from 2005-07. The school promoted assistant head coach Terry Sims early Monday afternoon. Sims replaces Brian Jenkins, who resigned last week to become head coach at Alabama State.

Bethune-Cookman, which won a share of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship and was ranked No. 2 nationally this season, also received permission to speak with Tennessee State coach Rob Reed, but he agreed to an extension Friday night.

The Wildcats were paying Jenkins $265,000 per year after he received a raise two years ago when he was a finalist for the Southern job before the Jaguars promoted Odums from interim coach to head coach.

After leading Southern to its first SWAC championship in 10 years in 2013, Odums signed a four-year contract that included a 25-percent pay raise to $175,000 per year.

Jaguars Athletic Director William Broussard said there have not been any changes to Odums’ contract in the wake of Bethune-Cookman’s interest, though he planned to speak with Odums’ agent, Burton Rocks, about possible changes.

“But the institution remains committed to the contract we established last year and will honor it,” Broussard said in a text message Monday. “It is a competitive contract, with attainable bonuses for (Odums) and assistant coaches.”

It was the second time in a year that another university considered Odums as a candidate for its vacant coaching position. Last season, North Carolina Central interviewed Odums, who turned down his alma mater before signing a new contract with the Jaguars.

Southern won the 2013 SWAC championship by beating Jackson State and lost to Alcorn State 38-24 in the 2014 title game Dec. 6.

Wildcats Athletic Director Lynn Thompson told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that he planned to have a replacement in less than a week after Alabama State hired Jenkins last Wednesday.

During Jenkins’ five seasons, the Wildcats were 46-14, including a 34-6 record in the MEAC.

Sims was on Jenkins’ staff for all five seasons, acting as assistant head coach as well as coaching the secondary and special teams.

Previously, Sims worked with Jenkins at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2005-06. Sims was also an assistant coach at Howard (2006-09), Prairie View (2004), Texas Southern (2000-03) and Austin Peay (1997-99). He was a graduate assistant at Louisville (1995-96).