Utah State hires Maryland-Baltimore County’s Ryan Odom as new men’s basketball coach

Odom replaces Craig Smith, who recently took a job to coach the University of Utah

(Gerry Broome | AP) UMBC head coach Ryan Odom directs his team against Kansas State during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, March 18, 2018. Odom has been hired as the new baksetball coach at Utah State, replacing Craig Smith.

The Utah State men’s basketball team has found its next coach.

The Aggies hired Ryan Odom, who coaches the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers, the university announced Monday.

“My family and I are thrilled to be joining Utah State University and the Cache Valley community,” Odom said in a statement. “With President [Noelle] Cockett and Vice President John Hartwell, there is an outstanding foundation and great leadership, and I can’t tell you how excited we are to experience ‘The HURD,’ and build upon the storied history and recent success of Aggie basketball.”

Odom has coached UMBC since 2016. His claim to fame came in 2018 when the Retrievers became the first-ever No. 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament to knock off a No. 1 seed when his team beat Virginia.

In all, his coaching record at UMBC is 97-60, including a 14-6 mark this season when the Retrievers tied for first place in the America East Conference. He led the Retrievers to three straight seasons of 20 of more wins, a UMBC record.

In his seven-year career as a head coach, he is 126-81.

“Ryan has a proven track record of accomplishments with his student-athletes, both in the classroom and on the court, and we are confident he will continue to elevate the success of our Aggie basketball program,” Hartwell said in a statement.

Odom comes into a Utah State program that earned three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths under Craig Smith, who recently left the Aggies to coach the University of Utah. While he won’t have the luxury of coaching Neemias Queta after the center declared for the NBA draft, he will get a cast of players with plenty of experience and leadership ability.

Justin Bean and Brock Miller will become seniors next season. Bean, a forward, is a double-double machine and arguably USU’s most energetic player. Miller, a guard, is a streaky outside shooter with an improving defensive skill set.

Bean took to Twitter to voice his support for Odom’s hire, writing, “Let’s gooooo!!!!”

Marco Anthony was Utah State’s defensive anchor in an increased role after winning a national championship in 2019 with Virginia but not getting much playing time. And then there’s Rollie Worster and Steven Ashworth, who both made significant impacts as point guards who were also true freshmen.

Aggies football coach Blake Anderson also welcomed Odom on Twitter.

Return to Story