As Southern University’s new head football coach Dawson Odums believes better developing the character of players and recruiting more Louisiana athletes will lead to a successful 2013 season.
“ Im not making any predictions I’m just a hard working country boy who loves coaching football, we have some talented young men that are part of the program already and we have an administration that supports change and making Southern University the best” said Odums
Odums said that he is using the “dead” time during the holidays to focus on recruiting for the upcoming season. He believes the success of any football program is determined by the type of athletes it recruits and he will on focus more this year on recruiting athletes from Louisiana.
“Throughout the entire interview process Coach Odums showed myself and the rest of the committee quite clearly that he has the attributes to be successful not only as a division one head coach, not only at Southern but also meet the expectations we have for success in the football program and recruit successful student athletes who we will steward towards graduation.” said Greg Broussard Southern University Athletic Director
Odums said historically some of football program’s most talented players have come from within the state. In the past thirteen days he and his staff have visited almost 213 schools in . Although he is focusing on pursing local athletes the coaching staff will also continue pursue talent outside of Louisiana because
“We have to change our perception of Louisiana we are trying to recruit more within Baton Rouge and surrounding areas because what we do know is that if bring more local talent that will draw more fans to the games. “ said Odums
Although he and his staff are beginning the recruiting process Odums said he is confident in players he has returning to the team in the fall. He is currently assessing the needs of the team , currently with 16 confirmed starters on defense and offense, and looking at current college athletes who could make the transfer to Southern as early as January. Not only will he focus on primarily on a prospective player’s athletic ability but also their : academics, talent, character and attitude.
“I look at this program as a puzzle and it is important for people to understand there are many pieces that make up that puzzle and my process is getting those pieces of the puzzle together to move the football program forward.” said Odums
Odums said that in order for the team to be a successful and move forward they must display good character. Good charter can be shown by possessing three qualities , accountability integrity and discipline, on and off the field. Odums believes players who posses those qualities, will not only contribute to the university as a student and athlete , but also leave Southern as an Alumni who will represent the institution well.
“If we provide these young men with a great experience on the field and in the classroom they will become proud alumni who will want give back and not only make this program better but also the University as a whole ” said Odums
Odums became the interim coach in September after the university fired head coach Albert “Stump” Mitchell after an 0-2 start. Odums went 4-5, including beating Grambiling 38 to 33in the Bayou Classic last month. Southern Athletic Director William Broussard recommended Odums for the position that was approved at a Board of Supervisors meeting. Odums is the university’s 20th head football coach and the only other Southern coach , along with Pete Richardson in 1993, who has claimed first-season wins over Grambling, Jackson State, and Florida A&M.
“This was a national process we wanted someone with experience coaching at the NCAA level with a record of success and we wanted someone who could represent Jaguar Football from one end of the country to the other with class and dignity.” said Broussard
Odums was chosen over candidate that included: Bethune-Cookman head coach Brian Jenkins , Alabama State special teams coordinator John Hendrick and Nevada Offensive line coach James Spady.
“ Coach Odums demonstrated the type of abilities he had when he took over as interim coach and I am looking forward to great season and football team not only in terms of wins and losses but also how these young men will contribute to Southern University” said Dr. James Llorens Southern Univeristy Chancellor
Odums is a North Carolina native and N.C. Central graduate who came to Southern in 2011 after serving , for three years, at North Carolina A&T as the Aggies’ co-defensive coordinator in 2010 and defensive line coach in 2009. Odums was also the interim head coach at Clark Atlanta during the 2004 season and head coach in 2005.