Barry Odom Talks How 2 Defensive Hires Happened


FAYETTEVILLE — Following Saturday’s practice in the stadium Barry Odom met with the media and touched on a variety of defensive topics.

Among them was how the hirings of Deke Adams on the defensive line and Dominque Bowman at cornerback came about. Bowman came from Marshall while Adams coached at Florida International in 2021. Odom had ties to Bowman.

“Speaking about Dominique first,” Odom said. “When I was an assistant coach at University of Memphis Dominique was a high school coach I think at Cordova High School. We had a camp and a bunch of high school coaches came and worked. Dominique walked in and ran, we worked together I was the secondary coach, we worked together on putting drills together and then going on the field and coaching. Dominique blew it out. He was unbelievable and blew it off the charts the way he taught.

“I kinda followed his career, that was probably 2012 or 2013, and I followed his career from there. I was so impressed with him. With social media now and the way coaching circles are now you can follow a guy pretty close and maybe they don’t even know it. His teams played at a high level and the positions he coached. I heard him speak at a number of different clinics over the year. I kind of reached out, a few years ago, just continuing to try and maintain a relationship. So once I knew we had an opening at that spot. There’s a number of guys that are qualified and wanted to be here my focus went pretty quickly to him to see if we had an opportunity.”

Bowman was the defensive coordinator at Cordova (Tenn.) High School in 2014-15. Following there he had coaching stops at Arkansas-Monticello, UT Martin and Austin Peay before landing at Marshall for the 2021 season. He coached defensive backs at UA-Monticello. In 2017-18 at UT Martin he was assistant head coach and in charge of the defensive backs. He then was co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Austin Peay before returning to UT Martin for co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach. He coached the cornerbacks at Marshall in 2021.

“Then with Deke I knew about Deke because of name recognition what he had done in our conference up until he was out of it last year,” Odom said. “But I knew about Deke from afar a little bit more because I had never been around him. He was at Ole Miss, Mississippi State and he had been at South Carolina. I think he and Coach (Sam) Pittman knew of each other a little bit more than I knew Deke. We’ve got a guy in program in personnel department that had worked with Deke recently. He just mentioned, and didn’t push him at all.  ‘Hey, why don’t you check this guy out.’ Made a lot of calls and spent a lot of hours on the phone with a number of different people and thought Deke was the right guy at the right time for our program. Man, what a joy those guys have been to be around.”

Adams’ first coaching was coaching the defensive line at Jacksonville State in 1997. Since then he has made many stops in the coaching circles. He spent 2002-05 at Ouachita Baptist in Arkadelphia. Among his other stops he has been at North Carolina. He was a South Carolina 2013-15 and then Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

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