In his seventh and final season at the helm of the Gamecock program, South Carolina head coach Dave Odom guided two players to SEC post-season honors when Devan Downey was named to the SEC first team by both the coaches and the AP and Mike Holmes was chosen to the SEC All-Freshman team. It is the second straight year a Gamecock point guard has been named to the SEC first team. Downey broke the SEC record for steals in a season with 103 and also broke the USC record for steals in a season and with 3.2 spg. Holmes posted four doubles-doubles on the year with USC finishing at 14-18 and 5-11 in the SEC. Downey was also a Cousy Award finalist.
On a personal note, Odom won his 400th game as a head coach with a 90-63 win over Radford on Jan. 2, 2008 and finishes as South Carolina's third-winningest coach with 128 wins at USC. Odom was 128-102 in his seven seasons at Carolina. He tutored the Gamecocks to four 20 wins seasons in the past seven years. During that time, USC have won two NIT title (2005, 2006), finished as the runner-up in the NIT (2002) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament (2004). In addition to three trips to the SEC Tournament semi-finals, the Gamecocks have also played in the SEC final once (2006).
Including his tenures at South Carolina, Wake Forest and East Carolina, Odom's career head coaching record is 406-278. He achieved his 200th overall career win on February 12, 1997, in a 55-49 Wake Forest victory over Clemson, win No. 300 over Syracuse in the 2002 NIT semifinals and win No. 100 at USC in a 76-64 win over Michigan in the 2006 NIT Final. Odom spent the summer of 1999 as an assistant coach on the 1999 USA Basketball Junior World Championship team. That team competed in Portugal in July and captured the silver medal at the FIBA Men's Junior World Championships.
In his sixth year at the USC helm, Odom saw three players receive SEC post-season honors. With five transfers on the bench chomping on the bit to play in 2007-08 and a top-20 recruiting class waiting in the wings, Tre' Kelley was named All-SEC First Team on both the AP and Coaches teams; Brandon Wallace was named All-SEC Honorable Mention on the AP list and Dominique Archie was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. In addition to being named All-SEC first team, Kelley was honored as the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winner - given to the nation's top player 6 feet and under. He was also a finalist for the Chip Hilton Award.
Odom's Gamecock team finished the season at 14-16 and 4-12 in the SEC. Highlights included winning at Southern California, in the grand opening of the $150 million Galen Center. SC went on to play in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. USC also defeated another Sweet 16 participant, Tennessee. Wallace broke the school record in career blocked shots (249) and career games played (135). Kelley finished ninth in all-time points scored and third in career assists. He finished second in school history in games played (134), after setting the school record in 2006 for games played (38) and games started (38).
In his fifth year as the Carolina head coach, Dave Odom led the Gamecock basketball team to its second straight NIT title in 2006 - a feat only matched by the 1943 and '44 St. John's teams. Odom, who also began his fourth decade as a collegiate coach and his third decade as a head coach, finished the season at 23-15, posting his fourth 20 win season in five years at the helm. He joined the legendary Frank McGuire as the only Carolina coaches to post four 20 win seasons during their careers. McGuire did it six times in 16 years, while Odom has done it four times in six years.
In addition to USC's second straight title run in the Big Apple, USC set an NIT record by winning 10 straight games in the prestigious postseason tournament, with the semi-finals and finals being played in Madison Square Garden - the world's greatest arena. Renaldo Balkman was named the 2006 NIT MVP with Tre' Kelley and Tarence Kinsey also being named to the NIT All-Tournament team. It was the second straight year a Gamecock was named the NIT MVP (Carlos Powell, 2005).
Odom also led the Gamecock basketball team to the SEC Tournament Championship game, losing 49-47 in the final seconds to No. 16 Florida, the eventual national champion. USC defeated Mississippi State, No. 16 Tennessee and Kentucky on the way to the SEC final after posting a 6-10 record in conference play, highlighted by sweeping the series with Florida (when ranked No. 4 and No. 6).
Tarence Kinsey, who finished his career with 1204 points good enough for No. 25 on the all-time career list, was named to the 2006 All-SEC Coaches second team and Stephen McDowell was honored on the SEC Acadmic Honor Roll for his achievements in the classroom. USC broke three individual school records and five team records for the season, including Tre' Kelley who broke the school's season record for most minutes played (1323) and most games started (38).
With the 2004 SEC Coach of the Year award under his belt last season, Odom was looking for a return trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2004-05. The surprise team of the SEC in 2003-04, USC wasn't going to sneak up on anyone in 2004-05. Wins over No. 3 Kentucky and close calls at No. 2 Kansas, at No. 6 Kentucky and at No. 10 Pittsburgh (lost to each by four points) weren't enough to push USC to the NCAA Tournament.
But, Carolina did receive an NIT bid and entered the tournament with unprecedented vigor. Wins at home against Miami, UNLV and Georgetown punched the Gamecocks ticket for New York City for the second time in four tries. Playing in Madison Square Garden in the semi-final game against Maryland, the 2002 NCAA Champion, USC took the ACC-perennial power-house out, 75-67. Advancing to the final two nights later, Tarence Kinsey hit a three-pointer with less than two seconds on the clock to secure the NIT title, a 60-75 win over St. Joseph's.
Carlos Powell was fittingly named the MVP and Brandon Wallace earned NIT All-Tournament honors. Powell finished his career as No. 6 on the career points list with 1,541 and shattered the career games played record, tallying 132 games on the court in the garnet and black. Powell also earned All-SEC honors for the second straight year.
All four 2005 seniors graduated with John Chappell, Josh Gonner, John Land and Carlos Powell adding to the list of graduates that included Mike Boynton, Jr., Ivan Howell and Sheldon Everett from the previous season. Kerbrell Brown returned to school after spending last season playing overseas and is on track to graduate in 2006. Odom-coached former Gamecocks playing overseas include: Jamel Bradley (Lithuania), John Chappell (Macedonia), Chuck Edison (Germany), Rolando Howell (Italy), Aaron Lucas (Lithuania), Marius Petravicius (Russia) and Carlos Powell (Portugal). Tony Kitchings played in Korea after playing for the NBDL champion Asheville Altitude last year. Last season's superlatives include: Howell's team winning the Italian League B Championship and he was the regular season MVP; Edison leading his league in steals and Bradley's team winning the Lithuanian B-League Championship as he was named the Finals MVP. Pre-Odom Gamecocks overseas include: Antonio Grant (Russia), BJ McKie (Italy), Ryan Stack (Greece) and Melvin Watson (Belgium). Bradley, Larry Davis, Grant , Lucas, McKie, Petravicius and Chris Warren have all graduated. Getting the coaching bug, Boynton recently joined Buzz Peterson's staff as a full-time coach at Coastal Carolina University.
Odom joined an all-star cast of college coaches, including Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Oklahoma's Kelvin Sampson, Charlotte's Bobby Lutz, George Washington's Mike Jarvis and former Georgia Tech great Bobby Cremins and ESPN analyst Jay Bilas in August of 2005 on a special mission in the Middle East. The mission, titled Operation Hardwood, was nicknamed "Hoops with the Troops". The group flew to Kuwait and coached a three-day basketball tournament, including slam-dunk and three point contests with U.S. service men and women serving in the Gulf region. Odom's team, Camp Navistar, made the semi-finals with Izzo's team winning it all.
"My week in Kuwait with our troops taught me more about teamwork and commitment than any other single experience in my life," said Odom. In 2004, he joined Cliff Ellis (Auburn and Clemson) as the only two head coaches to receive the nod for conference coach of the year in both the SEC and ACC. In addition to the SEC Coach of the Year award in 2004, Odom was the ACC Coach of the Year three times at Wake Forest; he also received National Coach of the Year honors in 1995.
Odom continues to support his players' progress when their eligibility is over. The summer of 2003 Odom saw two of his former prize pupils, Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs) and Rodney Rogers (New Jersey Nets) square off against each other in the NBA Finals. Duncan was also named the NBA's Most Valuable Player for the second straight season in 2003 and led the Spurs once again to the NBA title in 2005.
In 2003-04, USC started off the season with eight straight wins and won 12 games before the New Year - a Gamecock first in basketball. The USC basketball team took the pre-season prediction of last place to heart and believed it would 'find a way' in 2004. USC went 8-8 in the SEC and advanced to the SEC Tournament semi-final falling to eventual champion Kentucky. USC won the Guardians Classic, had a player on the All-SEC team (Carlos Powell), a player on the SEC All-Freshman team (Renaldo Balkman) and a player on the SEC All-Tournament team (Mike Boynton, Jr.) - all firsts in one season for Odom.
Averaging over 17,000 fans for its SEC homestand in the second year of the Colonial Center, USC's state-of-the-art facility, the Gamecocks were road warriors as well, defeating the likes of SW Missouri State, Richmond, Clemson, Auburn, Georgia and Vanderbilt. Boynton, the senior captain, led the team on and off the court. He finished his career with 125 games played, a mark that is second all-time only to Powell. Boynton was also named the SEC Community Service Male Student-Athlete of the Year, receiving a $5000 post-graduate scholarship for his work with Team Gamecocks.
In 2002-03, undefeated in their new home in non-conference play, the Gamecocks fell on harder times in SEC play, finishing the year with a 12-16 overall record. The team, which battled the injury bug all season throughout the line-up, saw the inaugural season at The Carolina Center average nearly 13,000 fans per home game.
Chuck Eidson broke the school record for steals with 271 in his career and steals averaged per game at 2.42 as he finished No. 3 on the all-time SEC list. Tony Kitchings finished his career at then-No. 6 in shots blocked (123), leading the Gamecocks four straight years.
In 2001-02, Odom helped generate fervor for basketball in Columbia as he led the Gamecocks to their best postseason showing ever ... a berth in the National Invitation Tournament championship game in New York's Madison Square Garden. Along the way, Odom led the Gamecocks to a 22-15 record, the most wins ever for a first-year Gamecock head coach. He coached the Gamecocks to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament - USC's fourth appearance in the SEC Tournament semis in the last six years, an SEC best - and combined with a 4-1 record in the NIT, Carolina ended the year with a 6-2 record in postseason action.
The 2001-02 Gamecocks not only finished strong, they started strong, winning more games (10) than any other Carolina team prior to January - a feat topped only by his 2003-04 squad which won 12 games prior to January 1. Odom revived a strong interest in Carolina basketball that hit a crescendo in USC's two NIT home games. More than 11,000 fans scooped up tickets in less than 36 hours for the Ball State home season finale, a game Carolina won 82-47 in the final regular-season contest ever at the Frank McGuire Arena.
To cap it off, Odom's last victory in 2002 (NIT semifinals win over Syracuse) was the 300th of his coaching career, the third highest career victory total in the SEC.
Odom, who led Wake Forest to 11 consecutive national postseason tournament appearances and built that program into a national contender while averaging 20 victories per year during his tenure there, was introduced to an overflow crowd of media and fans at an April 10, 2001 news conference at the USC Basketball Practice Facility.
Odom was a three-time Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year and earned National Coach of the Year honors in 1995. He led Wake Forest to two ACC championships and three Top 10 national finishes. His Demon Deacon teams appeared in seven straight NCAA Tournaments from 1991-97, including an Elite Eight showing in 1996 by advancing to the Regional Finals. His youthful 2000 Wake Forest squad caught fire at the end of the season to claim the National Invitation Tournament championship, and his 2001 squad was Odom's eighth NCAA Tournament team at Wake Forest. His last 11 Deacon teams advanced to postseason play and combined with the 2002 NIT showing by the Gamecocks, he led his last 12 squads overall to the postseason.
Upon his arrival in Winston-Salem as head coach in 1989, Odom inherited a program that had suffered four straight losing seasons. However, he turned things around and has made school history by winning more games during his 12 years at Wake Forest than any other coach over a similar period of time, compiling a 240-132 record during his time at the school.
Under his direction, Wake Forest emerged as one of the elite programs in the country, becoming a force at both the conference and national levels on a yearly basis. Odom's 101 wins in ACC play are the most ever by a Deacon coach. His overall winning percentage (64.5%) was the best at the school in nearly a century, and he can claim .500 or better marks in ACC Tournament and NCAA Tournament competition as well.
Odom was named ACC Coach of the Year three times. Three times he has been chosen district coach of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and twice he has been a National Association of Basketball Coaches award-winner on the district level, as well. The Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio) also named him its 1995 national coach-of-the-year after conducting a poll of head coaches across the country.
In 12 seasons with the Demon Deacons, Odom compiled an impressive 240-132 record. He left Wake Forest with the eighth highest victory total in ACC history and the second-most victories in Wake Forest history. Since his only losing record at Wake Forest in 1990, Odom's teams won more than two-thirds of their games, recording 228 victories (20.7 per year) the last 11 campaigns. In addition to the back-to-back ACC titles in 1995 and 1996, Wake spent 10 weeks as the nation's No. 2-ranked team in 1997 -the school's highest ranking ever.
In 1995, 1996 and 1997, Wake Forest finished as one of the Top 10 teams in the country, claiming the No. 3 spot in 1995, and the No. 9 position in both the 1996 and 1997 final polls. The 26-6 records of '95 and '96 were the best in school history, as well.
Odom has also coached three players who have earned All-America honors, including 1997 consensus national player of the year Tim Duncan (1996, 1997), guard Randolph Childress (1996), and forward Rodney Rogers (1993). Duncan was also a two-time ACC Player of the Year, an award also won by Rogers while in a Wake uniform. Rogers and Robert O'Kelley both earned ACC Rookie of the Year honors, too (Rogers in 1993; O'Kelley in 1998).
Odom became the 18th head basketball coach in Wake Forest history on April 8th, 1989. Odom, a native of Goldsboro in eastern North Carolina, began his athletic career as a three-sport standout who served as captain of his football, basketball, and baseball squads as a senior at Goldsboro High. He took his talents and love of athletics to Guilford College in the early 1960s. There he was quarterback on the football team for three years, as well as playing on the basketball squad for all four years.
As a senior, Odom was named the captain of the basketball team, and that same year (1965), was honored as the school's most outstanding athlete. Eighteen years later (1983), Guilford College inducted him into its Hall of Fame. In 1991, he received similar recognition from his hometown by being accepted into the Goldsboro High School Hall of Fame as well. Following his graduation from Guilford, Odom began his coaching career at his former school, Goldsboro High, while at the same time working toward a graduate degree in physical education at East Carolina University. He received his master's in 1969, and in the fall of that year accepted the head coaching position at Durham High School.
After a successful tenure at Durham High (he was five times named his league's Coach of the Year), Odom made his debut on the collegiate coaching scene at Wake Forest, serving as an assistant coach under Carl Tacy for three seasons (1977-1979).
The Deacs were 53-33 during that time, including a 22-8 campaign in 1976-77 when they advanced to the NCAA Midwest Region finals, matching the school's farthest progress in postseason play in the past 35 years. After a three-year stint as head coach at East Carolina (1980-82), Odom made the decision to return to the ACC as an assistant coach. He joined Terry Holland at Virginia and helped lead the Cavaliers through their most successful period ever. Virginia compiled a 142-83 (63.1 winning percentage) overall record during the seven years that Odom was involved in its program and made postseason appearances every year except 1988. Five of those seasons, the Cavaliers were among the NCAA championship field, including a trip to the Final Four in 1984.
Odom left Holland's staff in the spring of 1989 when he returned to Winston-Salem. That move marked only the second time in ACC history that an assistant at one school had become head coach at another (Vic Bubas had been the first, going from NC State to Duke in 1959). Odom and his wife, Lynn, have two sons - Lane and Ryan, who is a member of the staff at Virginia Tech University. Odom serves on the National Association of Basketball Coaches Board of Directors.
Dave Odom Quick Facts
Full Name: G. David Odom
Graduate: East Carolina (M.Ed., 1969)
High School Coaching Experience
Goldsboro HS (4 years): assistant coach, 1965-67;
College Coaching Experience
Wake Forest (3 years): assistant coach, 1976-79
Dave Odom Coaching Resume
WAKE FOREST ASSISTANT COACH
EAST CAROLINA HEAD COACH
VIRGINIA ASSISTANT COACH
WAKE FOREST HEAD COACH
SOUTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH
OVERALL HEAD COACHING RECORD
OVERALL COLLEGE RECORD (As an assistant and head coach)