Southern University football coach Dawson Odums received a two-year contract extension and a raise to $210,000 after guiding the Jaguars to the Southwestern Athletic Conference West Division title in 2018.
The extension locks Odums in through 2021 with an option year for both parties in 2022, according the contract terms approved in February by the Southern University Board of Supervisors.
It’s the third extension for Odums, who has built a 50-27 record since taking over two games into the 2012 season for Stump Mitchell. Odums received an extension after the 2012 season and another in March 2017. His Jaguar teams have won one SWAC title (2013) and three West Division titles.
Odums said he’s had chances to leave for other coaching jobs, but Southern is where he wants to be.
“This is where I’m supposed to be at this point in my life, where the Lord wants me to be,” Odums said. “My daughter is in the 10th grade, so I’m going to have a chance to be here when she graduates from high school.
“I’m happy to be at Southern University. We’re doing things the right way. We have the right people in place. When you put all the pieces together, this is a phenomenal place to be and has all the potential to again be great.”
Odums has been praised for his stewardship of the program through NCAA sanctions. Since 2011 Southern has been hit with probation three times, depriving the program of scholarships, postseason appearances, recruiting visits, practice time and spring football beccause of improper reporting of Academic Progress Rates program data.
The Jaguars open spring drills for the 2019 season on Thursday.
“Not just this last season but his body of work when we were under NCAA sanctions, he’s kept the team performing well,” Southern athletic director Roman Banks said. “Our team is one of the top teams in APR now. We won the SWAC West Division this year.
“The president and I feel the program is going in the right direction. We are going to be even better on and off the field with his leadership. We thought it was the right thing to do.”
Odums also has performance bonuses written into the deal. There is a $20,000 incentive for reaching the Celebration Bowl and another $20,000 bonus for winning the title. Assistant coaches will divide a $15,000 bonus if the Jaguars win the title.
Odums guided Southern to a 7-4 mark last season, winning the West Division and breaking a three-game losing streak in the Bayou Classic. Southern lost to Alcorn State in the SWAC Championship game, 37-28.
“Southern has shown its appreciation, and we’re excited about it,” Odums said. “We want to make this program one of the tops in the country.
“When it’s all said and done and they do everything they said they were willing to do for the staff, that’s what’s important. It was never about me. The contract extension is about my assistant coaches and players. It gives them all a sense of relief that I’m going to be here and we’re going to make the program better.”