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Southern University football coach Dawson Odums holds a conversation with defensive line coach Juan Navarro at the head table on Wednesday night in the Smith-Brown Memorial Union during a football recruitment bash.

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE

Southern coach Dawson Odums has signed an extension that will give him a slight raise and keep him in place as the Jaguars football coach through the 2019 season.

Although the deal is not technically official yet — Odums has not received a signed copy of the contract back from Southern — Odums' agent, Burton Rocks, said that should not stand in the way of the completed deal.

“We signed the contract; we just have to wait for the executed copy to come back,” Rocks said. “When the schools get all the signatures on the deal, they send a copy back to Dawson. But that's just a formality. The deal is now done.”

Odums' previous contract, which paid him $175,000 per year, was set to expire at the end of the 2017 season. His new deal is expected to pay him $180,000, according to the agenda from the Southern University System meeting last month, with a small raise at the end of each season. 

“He's going to be getting a modest raise throughout the end,” Rocks said. “It's incremental each year. It's a good raise because of the economic situation Southern is in.”

The sides began negotiations shortly after Christmas, but the execution of the deal was delayed by a number of things, including a pause so Odums could put together his 2017 signing class.

Odums has put together quite a résumé at Southern in the face of some difficult challenges. Since taking over as the full-time coach after a stint as interim coach in 2012, his Southern teams have won or been in the hunt for a Southwestern Athletic Conference title each year.

The Jaguars' worst record in SWAC play with Odums as coach came in 2015, when they went 6-3 and finished two games back. Outside of the 2015 season, the Jaguars went to back-to-back SWAC title games and fell a game shy of going again last season, when eventual black college national champion Grambling ended the Jaguars' hopes of an undefeated league season.

Since Odums took over fulltime for the 2013 season, the Jaguars have gone 29-7 in league games. This success came in the face of numerous challenging circumstances with the NCAA. Southern had numerous players pulled off the team bus before its 2014 season opener at Louisiana-Lafayette because of academic clearance issues that were not made clear to the team before it departed.

The Jaguars are also on their third consecutive year without spring practice and will be under heavy scholarship reductions for the next three seasons — which matches the length of Odums' extension.

“They wanted to keep him at Southern, and he was excited to remain,” Rocks said. “It worked out well for all parties.”

Follow Luke Johnson on Twitter, @ByLukeJohnson.