LOGAN, Utah — Ryan Odom led the UMBC men’s basketball team to new heights. Now he is in a higher elevation.
Odom was introduced Wednesday as the new head coach at Utah State University.
"We’re moving west, baby. We’re out here. We’re excited about it," he said.
Odom made history at UMBC. He had chances to leave before. This time he made his move.
"I’ve had opportunities to go other places from UMBC and they never were the right fit for me and my family. This is the right fit," said Odom. "This is a basketball program. People care about what’s going on here. This can be one of the best programs in the country."
Odom leaves the Retrievers after five seasons as head coach, 97 wins, an America East Conference regular season title and tournament championship. Oh, and that NCAA Tournament win over Virginia in 2018. UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed when they knocked off Virginia 74-54.
"The current players, the current roster that's in place [at UMBC]: excellent players. They are very connected. They are hungry for next season," he said.
Telling those players he was leaving:
"It was brutal. It’s one of the hardest things. Change is extremely tough. To see that come to an end is bittersweet. I certainly will be a Retriever for life."
But right now the 46-year-old is an Aggie.
He takes over a team that has made the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three seasons and captured two out of the last three Mountain West Conference Tournament titles. Odom takes over for Craig Smith, who left to take over at University of Utah.
UMBC is conducting a national search for the Retrievers next head coach. Odom said he expects UMBC to move pretty quickly in naming his successor.